Blast (1997) MVD Marquee Blu-ray Review



Despite the by-the-numbers script Blast is packed with action and this is the first time it has been released in the Widescreen format. It’s worth checking out for fans of Die Hard/Sudden Death clones.

Plot: Terrorists are holding the U.S. Olympic swim team hostage, and only the janitor can stop them.

Review: A terrorist group has staged a takeover of a pre-Olympic swimming event in which the President is planning to attend. The plan is simple: rig the stadium to explode, make a show of killing hostages one by one on TV so that their (murky) demands are met. The US female swim team and their coach are in the unfortunate position to be at the mercy of the terrorists and their cold-blooded leader (played by Andrew Divoff), so it’s a good thing the stadium’s janitor – an ex-soldier or ex-something-or-other (played by Linden Ashby fresh from Mortal Kombat) – is locked in with the bad guys because he’s the only chance his wife (the coach! gasp!) and the remaining swimmers have of making it out alive. But wait! There’s more! A counter-terrorism specialist (also a paraplegic genius with impeccable timing, played by Rutger Hauer) is on the case and he has made it his mission on bringing down this particular group of terrorists for years.

From underrated filmmaker Albert Pyun, Blast pulls a small-ish Die Hard, or more appropriately a smaller Sudden Death, with far less extras. The movie is conspicuously devoid of day players and background performers, and in fact the stadium used for the film seems pretty small and would be a difficult place for a janitor to hide, but Pyun makes the by-the-numbers script work with plenty of action. Tony Riparetti’s score emulates ’90s era Hans Zimmer, and everyone goes for broke and breaks about even. This was made and released at a very prolific time for Pyun, and it fits neatly between Nemesis 4 and Mean Guns, a highly creative period for him.

MVD Marquee has just released Blast on Blu-ray, and to my knowledge this is the first time this title has ever been released in a widescreen format. Pyun always shoots in 2:35:1, so the film looks like it has scope and depth. No special features are included.