'Action 4 In 1 Collection'
(DVD / PG-13 & R / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: Want Edge of Your Seat Excitement?! Then check out this 4 in 1 DVD: S.W.A.T., Basic, Maximum Risk and Stealth.
DVD Verdict: 'S.W.A.T.' (Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Jeremy Renner) is the story of two wisecracking, battle-hardened veterans (Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell) who team up with a pair of street-smart rookies (Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J) to form the most freewheeling - but effective - S.W.A.T. team ever. As cop movies go, this one isn't bad at all. It gives some nice background information about the characters without overdoing it, and the plot is satisfying if not awfully surprising. My main quibble is that hottie girl-jock Michelle Rodriguez didn't get enough screen time. It's nice to see she made the SWAT team, though, and we can always hope she'll have a bigger part in the sequels. On the other hand, Colin Farrel, who evidently has a modest following among female moviegoers, gets plenty of screen time. Something for everybody.
'Basic' (Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Connie Nielsen, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Daly) is the story of a DEA officer (John Travolta) who is recruited to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a famed U.S. Army drill instructor (Samuel L. Jackson) and a group of cadets on a routine military exercise in the jungles of Panama. For the majority of this film everything goes the way you expect it to, but yet it all still works reasonably well. The plot twists in several ways as each contradiction brings out a bit more truth in the overall tale. It is filled with dramatic interrogation scenes which, although clichéd, do still serve to be reasonably gripping. However at some point, and I can't say exactly when it happens, the sheer volume of twists and the leaps we are expected to make simply become too much for the quality of the material and it more or less collapses in on itself.
'Maximum Risk' (Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natsha Henstridge, Jean-Hughes Anglade) is the story of a retired French soldier Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who never knew he had a brother, much less a twin, until he found him lying dead on the streets of his European hometown. To find out who his brother was, he must follow his footsteps back to New York's tough Little Odessa and into the same shadowy underworld that swallowed his brother. For my money, the film is not just a good Van Damme movie, but it's also probably one of the better action movies in the last few years. The story is well written (for an action movie), and is fast paced. Director Ringo Lam ('City on Fire') impresses the viewer with excellent action sequences. This is definitely Van Damme's best turn as an actor. Natasha Henstridge does a rather decent turn as the damsel in distress, and creates good chemistry between herself and Van Damme.
'Stealth' (Starring: Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard, Jessica Biel) is the story of the world's three best pilots who are partnered with a state-of-the-art, fully-automated, pilotless, super stealth warplane - inhuman and invincible. But once in the air, it goes haywire, leaving them with one final mission - bring it down. 'Stealth' was, again, for my money, not the greatest movie I have ever seen, but it was pretty good. The beginning started out a little bland, but as it got into it, I was on the edge of my seat! I am not really into technology, or aircraft, but it didn't play a big factor in the film at all. The storyline was well done and the performances from the actors/actresses were also very good. The events were fairly realistic and moved well. I also thought that character interactions really helped make prominent events more memorable. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.