Bleeding Steel Blu-ray Review

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Bled Out

Jackie Chan fights atop the Sydney Opera House in Bleeding Steel, the high point of a cringe-inducing, tech noir, cyberpunk lark. It’s putrid, but does leave one to wonder how Chan would conquer the logistics of brawling on the Opera House’s roof back in his prime.

It’s unclear from the outset who Bleeding Steel is for. The villains, decorated with kooky neon lights and face paint akin to Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin, look right out of a Saturday morning Power Rangers knock-off. Then comes spurting fountains of blood as adversaries mow down a special forces team. They say “fuck” a lot too. Bleeding Steel rises to an R rating with remarkable speed while telling a disjointed story even kids would find laughable.

Bleeding Steel is easily in the bottom five of Chan’s resume. It’s that insufferable, down to the level of The Tuxedo at least. In the center of this science-gone-wrong mess is the story of a father (Chan) trying to reconnect with his daughter (Na-Na OuYang). Tender, even sweet, were the rest of Bleeding Steel not concerned with OuYang running from rapists and fending off an electronic heart transplant. On a spaceship. In Australia. While seeking advice from a voodoo witch with a little person sidekick.

Kitschy comedy bumps into the hardened drama with a transition equivalent of a boulder hitting ground in a landslide

The total lack of grounding or even basic establishment of tone crushes Bleeding Steel. Kitschy comedy bumps into the hardened drama with a transition equivalent of a boulder hitting ground in a landslide. Chunky editing makes fights indecipherable on screen, hiding Chan’s age with disjointed cuts and stunt doubles. Young co-star Show Lo isn’t convincing either, playing a comic sidekick to Chan, sort of anyway. He’s an unwanted nuisance, both to Chan’s character and all of Bleeding Steel.

Somewhere in this mixture is a female villainess, wearing a black leather jacket with red stripes. It looks pulled from a pre-existing wardrobe. Her face caked in white make-up, for reasons never explained, match her with the male big bad, played by Rick Rogers. His make-up includes a Star Trek-like Borg headpiece, another leftover look-alike seemingly from another production.

With this set-up, Bleeding Steel is leading toward an inevitable brawl, this one full of explosions, some real, some painfully digital. A few unconvincing kicks and punches, a stalemate, and then the finish aboard a spaceship – because somehow there’s a spaceship; that’s Bleeding Steel’s clock-out-early climax. The film is so desperate for thrills and international appeal, Bleeding Steel never knows what master it’s serving.

Video

It doesn’t get better for Bleeding Steel in terms of video. As the first skyline shot comes up, the level of sharpening involved is a warning sign. That will continue. Every medium or long shot is riddled with edge enhancement artifacts, robbing the material of fidelity. What’s left is an edgy, unnatural image, lacking in detail.

Luckily, there’s a plethora of color. OuYang travels to an apartment complex littered with brightly saturated graffiti on every surface – floor, ceiling, walls; everything. Brightness is a positive here, adding to the colorful nature of Bleeding Steel.

Black levels and contrast both standout. Depth is exceptional, with clear attention paid to shadow detail. All of the black costumes lose nothing in the shadows. At times, contrast will run hot, although not regularly. That will exacerbate the edginess.

Audio

Bleeding Steel comes loaded with a decent DTS-HD mix. There’s definite focus on the rears, to the detriment of the fronts. Exaggerated activity in the surrounds leaves the stereos lacking, limiting tracking and separation. Bullets and laser beams exchanged in the first gunfight activate the rears with plenty of action. Debris falls successfully in a back-loaded track.

LFE support is noted, if weak. The level of force doesn’t elevate the explosions to a fierce rumble, but what’s here accentuates the fireballs.

Extras

The lonely bonus features menu holds a theatrical trailer, nothing more.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Bleeding Steel
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Movie

Jackie Chan’s presence cannot rescue the abysmal Bleeding Steel, one of the worst films of his career, and without a redeeming quality.

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