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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Overdrive (Blu-ray)
Overdrive (Blu-ray)
Paramount // PG-13 // November 7, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $17.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted February 22, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

It's admission time; I haven't seen any of the Fast and the Furious movies. Not by conscious choice of avoidance or anything, I just haven't sought them out. But I'd imagine that if someone wanted to do a rip-off of those films, make it with a good-looking, largely Eurocentric ensemble, it's probably going to be the 2017 film Overdrive.

Written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (The Double) and directed by Antonio Negret, the story is pretty simple; Andrew (Scott Eastwood, The Fate of the Furious!) and Garrett Foster (Freddie Thorp) are brothers who like to steal extremely rare, very valuable classic cars. They steal a car that is owned by a French crime lord (Simon Abkarian, Casino Royale), who finds out about it and captures the brothers. They are given a choice; get offed by the boss, or steal an equally rare car owned by a rival boss (Clemens Schick, Point Break), having only a week to pull off the caper.

And like the Furious films that I haven't seen, Overdrive gives you lots of shots of nice and expensive automobiles, like a $40 million Bugatti, or a James Bond era Aston Martin. And lots of pretty guys like the stars, and gals like Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) and Gaia Weiss (The Legend of Hercules), who play the love interests, potential or otherwise, for each. And again, like the Furious films that I haven't seen, I'll presume the female leads aren't all that fleshed out and or generally one-dimensional, and the actresses don't elevate their roles that much, perhaps as much as the male ones do, which is to say the star of the feature is the cars.

And the cars get full chance to show off; whether all waxed up in a showroom or darting through the streets of Marseille or Nice (it would appear some of the spots shot in Overdrive may be the same ones in Ronin as a nod of sorts to the stunts and driving in that film. And the driving is pretty cool, but the film never really breaks out of that. Hell, Ronin gave you Mamet dialogue for 45 minutes or so before going in, Furious films presumably give you kitsch and a lot of familiar faces doing what they do best, so what space is Overdrive supposed to hold? I don't know, and I'm pretty sure they don't either.

With Overdrive you get a film that tries to be a lot of things, but both doesn't put in the work to do so, and doesn't sort out any sort of voice for its own, and thus sits in our (well, my) consciousness for 100 or so minutes. At least now I understand why there have been a thousand Furious movies because everyone knows the deal, from cast to crew, and embraces it in a bear hug until they can't anymore (and they haven't let go yet). Here, there's just…nothing. Whoa, do I have a respect of Vin Diesel's cinematic oeuvre now?

The Blu-ray Disc:
The Video:

Paramount rolls Overdrive out with a 2.40:1 high-definition presentation that looks okay. Colors appear natural without oversaturation and flesh tones are accurate, though image detail is a little on the down side, the shot of Lacoste sunglasses on the brothers' heads notwithstanding. There are occasional but forgettable moments of artifacts and haloing, and the wider French shots have some inconsistent moments of dimensionality, but otherwise the transfer is straightforward. Not horrible, not beautiful.

The Sound:

DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless which is not surprising because the soundtrack starts to work early with low rumbling of a tractor trailer and the revving engine of a car trying to stop it. The cars whiz through the soundstage in additional chases, and subwoofer involvement is active and consistent throughout the film, as is lesser dynamic moments where dialogue rules the roost, and comes out better than I expected. Overall it's full of low-end, channel panning and directional activity to make for a fun sonic romp.

Extras:

Three quick and generally self-explanatory featurettes: "The Caper" (7:17) looks at the story, the cast share their thoughts on it, the locations and the stunts. "The Crew" (7:19) is cast-centric, as they share why they came to the project and on the characters they portray, along with the director's thoughts on the cast (and vice versa) and the cast on one another. "The Cars" is 3:44 of car porn, with lots of glamour shots, as the stars talk about their favorite automobile.

Final Thoughts:

Overdrive seems to want to capitalize on something it has little connection to, do the exact same thing, not put in any of the work for it and people will like it. The problem is there's a better version of that now, with people who you know and a bunch of different versions of it too. Go watch that. If you don't like that, watch Overdrive I guess, but why would you want to do that?

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