There's a perfectly good reason why Randy Couture doesn't speak much in 'The Expendables,' he's got the charisma of a wet paper bag. He may be an imposing force with his enormous shoulder muscles, rippling biceps, and cauliflower ears, but watching him actually try to act is downright painful. His last big starring action role was Sargon in 'The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior' where he uttered every word as if he was desperately trying to read cue cards that were just too far away to see. In 'Hijacked' it's the same kind of mess.
Couture plays Paul Ross, CIA operative and all around tough guy. He and his buddy, Ballard (Vinnie Jones) are tracking an international crime syndicate called The Tribe, hoping to bring them down before they topple the world's financial markets and so forth.
In the midst of this international sting operation is billionaire Bruce Lieb (Craig Fairbrass) who is now under investigation by the SEC for all sorts of financial fraud, but that doesn't stop him from being a raging rich douchebag with more money than he knows what to do with.
The hijacking doesn't take place until a good 40 minutes into the movie, when Lieb takes off in his private jet. It just so happens that Mr. Ross hitched a ride since he found out that his girlfriend was on board, now working with Lieb.
Just explaining the setup for 'Hijacked' is putting me to sleep. What we have here is your standard terrorist versus one-man wrecking crew movie, except the wrecking is boring and the man is as engaging as slowly-growing grass. Once the terrorists take over the plane, Couture starts taking them out. A fatal mistake is only providing three terrorists for the takeover. You can only kill so many. That must explain the reason why Couture routinely turns his back on tied-up terrorists giving them time to get free from their restraints and grab weapons. This happens at least a half dozen times, maybe more. "Good terrorist. Just sit right there. I'm going to look away for enough time that you'll be able to procure a weapon and try to kill me, but I trust you. We're working on the honor system, okay?"
Don't worry the terrorists aren't too bright either, since they kill all the wrong people. Here let's put a couple bullets into this harmless couple having sex, but let's not kill the jacked up steroid monster with cauliflower ear in the front cabin. He obviously looks like he knows how to take a punch or two. Yeah, let's just tie him up with these really thin zip ties. That should hold him.
'Hijacked' relies on its bad guys being stupid, but it hopes that its audience is even stupider. Yes, it's a straight-to-video movie and I shouldn't be expecting much from it, but one has to wonder if the camera wouldn't have been better suited in the off position. This movie has been made a hundred times, although, to its credit I don't remember any hijacking movie (besides 'Air Force One') that took place on a flying mansion. At least we weren't subjected to rows and rows of coach class seats and were instead treated to mahogany staircases and crystal champagne glasses. That plane set deserves to be in a better movie.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is an Anchor Bay release. It comes on a 25GB Blu-ray Disc and is also accompanied by a DVD copy of the movie. It's kept in a standard size keepcase and is noted as being a Region A release.
Well, it looks like a straight-to-video movie, that about sums up the ho-hum video presentation of 'Hijacked.' The 1080p video has that all-too-familiar flat digital look to it. Detail is OK up close and personal, but mid-range shots suffer from a soft gauzy look.
Blacks are the biggest problem here as they crush detail and create unforgiving shadows which cover up faces, clothing and any other details that might be hiding underneath. There is some banding which is noticeable during the computer-generated shots showing the airplane flying through the air. Contrast is wishy-washy as whites burn hotter than they should while blacks fall in the flat range creating the aforementioned crushing dilemma. Colors are so-so, but the movie is replete with pumped up contrast creating orange-colored skin tones. Besides the banding there weren't any noticeable anomalies with the rest of the movie. Some aliasing here and there, but it was clean for the most part. It's just dreadfully underwhelming.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix lends too much room for the action scenes. I felt like every time the movie picked up its action that the mix ratcheted up its sound tenfold. One scene would have normal conversations at a normal volume and then suddenly the punches start flying and they're way louder than they should be. The wavering loudness of the audio mix really got on my nerves. Gunshots and explosions were ear-splittingly loud and never had much dimension to begin with. Rear speakers were non-existent, granted there wasn't much surround sound action going on in the plane anyway. Dialogue was clear, but too low compared to the over-the-top-of-the-dial action scenes. 'Hijacked' had an annoyingly inconsistent audio mix.
There are no special features included.
Every time I review a movie with a pro-wrestler as the main star, I must reiterate my plea: Please don't let wrestlers and UFC fighters attempt to act! Please! The Rock did it. He's great. Everyone else stinks. Yes, all of them (unless the happen to be directed by a masterful director like Steven Soderbergh). Please. No more. Were you even planning on picking up 'Hijacked'? I always wonder who is buying these titles at the store for retail price. I never want to meet those people.