Robert Kurtzman directs Deadly Impact, an action film starring Sean Patrick Flanery as a cop named Tom Armstrong working in New Mexico. When we meet him, he and his partner are hanging out decorating a Christmas tree and talking about having kids with their respective wives. They get the call and rush into action and we cut to a scene in the basement of a house where Tom's own wife is tied and bound to a post in the basement. Tom's cell phone rings and it's 'The Lion' (Joe Pantoliano), a master criminal and serial murderer that Tom has been chasing for some time now. It seems that, like Jigsaw from the Saw films, he wants to play a game with Tom. He tells him that the whole house is rigged with enough plastic explosive to level the entire block and that the only way he can stop this explosion is by shooting his wife dead. With time running out, Tom makes the hard decision and pops a cap in poor Mrs. Armstrong, the woman he loved and had hoped to one day make babies with.
The next time we see Tom he's south of the border pounding booze to hide his misery and wanting nothing to do with the world. He's approached by an incredibly well built Spanish lady but pegs her for an F.B.I. agent before she even sits down with him. This woman, Isabel Ordonez (Carmen Serano) tells him that 'The Lion' is back in action and the Feds need Tom's help. Of course, he's not interested but when we cut to the next scene and see the Feds setting up a sting at a nightclub, Tom shows up to help just in time to see a bullet fly through the window from outside and send the entire scene spiraling into chaos.
Before you know it, Tom is back on the force, no questions asked, and his expertise makes him the main man on this case. He and his former partner reunite and are buddies again and things are looking up in the love life department when he finds himself going mouth to mouth with a very topless Isabel. But while all of this is going on, 'The Lion' is making his next move and planning his next attack. The government doesn't negotiate with terrorists and refuses to pay him the money he wants, leaving Tom with no choice but to find him and stop him before it's too late.
Deadly Impact is about as original as its title. This is a pretty generic film, there's not much here at all to really separate it from countless other 'cop versus lunatic' movies and as such, it's pretty disposable and forgettable. The film starts off reasonably well, if a bit on the corny side (Really? They're hanging out decorating a Christmas tree and talking about babies?), and the scene in which Tom has to shoot his wife is fairly suspenseful but as the movie continues, the pacing becomes erratic and the random explosions and semi-regular scenes of action and violence can't save it.
In terms of the acting in the film, again, there's nothing that really stands out as memorable here. Flanery coasts through the movie and offers very little charisma. He's not so much smug or uppity as he is bored and uninspired. There's not much in the way of emoting here at all and considering what his character goes through, there was certainly ample opportunity for that. Had the script given him a bit more levity it might have helped things but as it stands he moves from wanting to make babies with his wife to having a dead wife to being drunk to burying his face between Ordonez's admittedly impressive rack so quickly that believability and in turn sympathy go right out the window. Pantoliano isn't any better, hissing his way through the movie and overdoing it in a few scenes. His character isn't given enough of a background to be interesting and while his performance at least has some energy behind it, by the time it's all over and done with you probably won't care.
The test disc sent for review does not represent final product as it has a FOX watermark in the lower right hand corner of the picture. It's hard to evaluate the quality of what you'll be buying in stores when you can't see it though the film is presented here in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen which appears to be its original aspect ratio. That said, the test disc looks okay though there are some noticeable compression artifacts present throughout. Hopefully the properly pressed DVDs look better than what has been sent out for review...
The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track on this disc is pretty good. While this is a film that's primarily based around stretches of dialogue, there are definitely moments where the surround channels come to life such as the club assassination scene or the more action intensive bits where things blow up an go boom. Bass response is strong but never overpowering and the levels are nicely balanced throughout. As this is a new production it's not surprising that there are no problems with hiss or distortion and overall, while not the most aggressive mix you've ever heard, the movie sounds very good. Optional subtitles are provided in English and Spanish.
This disc contains no extras aside from a menu and chapter selection.
Rather uninspired and more than a little bit predictable, Deadly Impact doesn't really bring much of interest to a genre already riddled with clichés. There are some moments of moderately interesting suspense but not enough to save the film. Fox's test disc looks pretty horrible and can't possibly represent finished product, while the barebones nature of the DVD does the disc absolutely no favors. Skip it.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.