Lieutenant Jangles is a 2018 low-budget Australian action comedy that skewers 80’s cop films, leaving no cliche unturned. When his partner is killed in action, schlubby supercop Lt. Jangles will stop at nothing to avenge his death and stop the senseless kidnappings of Australia’s musclebound beefcakes. The Blu-ray from ETR Media and OCN Distribution presents this offensive, action fever dream with a solid A/V package and heaps of bonus features. Grab a slab from the Bottle-o, ring up your mates, and enjoy. Worth A Look.
In 1980’s Brisbane City, the crime rate is off the charts. The newest threat is an organized gang kidnapping the city’s muscle-bound citizens in a series of “Hulk Hijackings.” Keeping the resident thugs under control is rogue supercop Lt. Jangles (Matt Dickie, (Once Upon A Time Down Under). His disdain for procedure is equal to his penchant for property damage and pissing contests with his mates. Hot on his heels is Baron von Schmidt (Jack McGirr, Elvis), a fashionable German crime boss vying for world domination and a collection of Australia’s fittest beefcakes. When Jangles’ partner Dickens (Andrew Dickens, Housebound) dies in the line of duty, can he reckon with the loss and save the city?
Lieutenant Jangles is a love letter to 1980s action cinema, and it's clear that director Nicolas Champeaux had a lot of fun making it. It's full of shootouts, cheesy one-liners, and occasional gratuitous nudity. But it's also surprisingly funny and clever when the film commits to the premise. Drifting away from the 80’s cop satire during the final act, the film leans heavily into over-the-top gory CG violence consisting of spine-ripping, intestine-mangling antics as Jangles and his team advance towards the climatic final battle. It’s totally out of place here, but I suppose it seems like a bit of fun for the filmmakers.
Champeaux and Dickie are well-versed in action film tropes and apply all of them to this film, which is dripping in irreverent humor and cringy Aussie stereotypes. Smartly, Lieutenant Jangles subverts some established cliches, such as the foreign villain, a useless female character whose duty is having sex and being kidnapped, and a lead hero oozing masculinity. Choosing to satirize these components is where the film gets its fuel to burn through visual gags nonstop. For example, bikini models don’t surround the villain’s pool but rather musclebound hunks, lifting weights and frolicking. These goofy setups and vile Aussie humor punctuate the feature, giving every opportunity to have a laugh between film references or montages.
Lieutenant Jangles is not a film for everyone. It's brash, crude, and unapologetically over-the-top. But if you're a fan of 1980s action cinema or enjoy a good laugh, it's definitely worth checking out. The casting is excellent, with Matt Dickie delivering a hilarious and charismatic performance as Lieutenant Jangles. He's supported by a group of committed supporting actors, including Daniel Cordery as Jangles' informant Mark, Graham K. Furness as The Chief, and Tamara McLaughlin as The Woman.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Lieutenant Jangles arrives on Blu-ray thanks to ETR Media and OCN Distribution. The Region A BD-50 disc is held in a transparent keep case with reversible artwork. Loading the disc presents the ETR Media logo before landing on the Main Menu screen with scenes from the film playing above typical navigation options. When you hear the thrilling 80’s action score, you’ve made it!
The AVC-encoded 1080p image for Lieutenant Jangles is presented in the film’s original 1.78:1 aspect ratio with heavy use of filtering and CG to achieve specific genre aesthetics and artistic intentions. Primaries are bright with dynamic presentation, though they become subdued as grungy layers are applied to the image. Fine detail is present within facial features and skin textures. Black levels are solid, though some scenes are unreadable in low light, like the tunnel fight sequence with Anti-Pig. This HD image underwent multiple post-production layers, adding textures and filters that helped the desired aesthetic, but the film never settled on one consistently.
The 2.0 DTS-HD MA track for Lieutenant Jangles pumps with 80s synth rock tracks from retro wave groups Timecop1983, The Van Dammage, and Volt Age. Their pulsating beats complement the bright gunfire popping off between the post-recorded dialogue exchanges. Clear and well-defined, the dialogue is crisp, but most audiences may stumble with the constant Aussie slang hurled around. Switch on those subtitles to understand what Jangles is talking about.
ETR Media and OCN distribution have loaded this release with heaps of bonus material for fans of the film. Let's start with the audio commentary before moving through the extensive list of behind-the-scenes footage.
With Australia punching out a stream of memorable horror and crime dramas, seeing a comedy like Lieutenant Jangles break out is refreshing. Champeaux and Dickie take their love of rogue cop movies and infuse it with bawdy humor and plenty of jabs at the genre. I can’t help but think about what they could do with a bigger budget and real firepower. ETR Media and OCN Distribution bring the film to Blu-ray with a solid A/V package and heaps of bonus features for fans of the film. Worth A Look.