National Security Review

With all the classic films in the Fox library that could have been released on Blu-ray, the studio chose… National Security? This buddy cop disaster was released in 2003 but feels locked in 1992, from its humor to its action. There’s nothing here to recommend unless you’d like to see Eric Roberts in painfully colored white hair.

The pathetic set up teams Steve Zahn and Martin Lawrence, who start their shenanigans after a police brutality understanding could have been cleared up in seconds if anyone in this movie had common sense. Once together, they begin to investigate some mysterious theft ring trying to steal radioactive beer kegs (?), the heist led by Eric Roberts.

What follows is a string of painfully done action sequences, the only one worth mentioning involves a soda factory filled with exploding containers. It’s fun to watch the bottles pop, not the actors shooting them. Dennis Dugan is known for directing light comedies, and has had a few success stories with Adam Sandler, but can’t help these action sequences feel any less than a decade old. Dugan also must love cars crashing through walls, as it happens no less than four times during the film.

Martin Lawrence can be incredibly funny when given the proper material, but his only character development is that he takes his race seriously. Nearly every line out of this mouth makes some reference to being black, and it’s horrendously tiring by the end. There’s no connection between Lawrence and Zahn, another capable actor who is great in the sidekick role (Sahara for example) but here has nothing to work with.

The finale is hilariously contrived (as is much of the story), involving a conveniently placed pile of debris on the edge of a cliff and a crane. It’s hilariously awful, and even throws in the obligatory one-liner action movie cliché.

National Security is a terrible film, one without common logic, laughs, or engaging action scenes. It drags along even though it’s less than 90 minutes, and ends exactly where it started without a hint of surprise. How does this stuff even get made?

Movie ★☆☆☆☆ 

nationalsecurity

The film receives an unwanted Blu-ray release with an AV encode that sits firmly in the middle ground. Sharpness is the problem, never full resolved or outstanding in any way. Primaries are rich and bold, but flesh tones consistently have a pink quality to them. Detail is sorely lacking, giving the picture a flat look.

Shadow delineation is lackluster. Contrast is well calibrated. A few noisy shots are brief, including one from inside a van during a chase early in the film. There were no instances of edge enhancement.

Video ★★★☆☆ 

While the surround channels are incredibly active and engaged in the action scenes, they also sound artificially pumped up. The front soundfield doesn’t seem half as active as the rears. Bass is also non-existent, despite a few explosions and cars crashing into each other. That said, it handles small items well, such as glass breaking, debris falling, and rain. Dialogue is well mixed without the need for adjustment.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

Given what is assuredly a small following, director Dennis Dugan has a solo commentary track to start a tiny selection of bonus features. Three deleted scenes include some improv from Lawrence and an alternate ending that is even worse than what’s included in the film. A music video and some generic Sony trailers finish things off.

Extras ★☆☆☆☆ 

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