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I’ll be the first one to admit that MOST WANTED ($25) is a mindless action movie. However, after admitting that, I’m forced into another admission. Once I emptied the contents of my head, I found myself enjoying MOST WANTED quite a bit. So what did I like about the film? The two lead performers- Keenen Ivory Wayans and Jon Voight. Keenen Ivory Wayans is always fun to watch, plus he knows his way around the action movie conventions. His screenplay for MOST WANTED is slightly tongue-in-cheek, yet it pushes all the right action movie buttons. You got to hand it to Jon Voight; this man just gets better with age. While his performance in MOST WANTED is nowhere as over-the-top funny as ANACONDA, he does chew up quite a bit scenery at the film’s principal villain. Voight’s performance alone is worth the price of admission.

In MOST WANTED, Keenen Ivory Wayans plays Marine Sgt. James Dunn; a sharpshooter imprisoned and sentenced to death for killing a superior officer in self-defense. While being transported, Dunn is abducted by Lt. Colonel Grant Casey (Voight) and his team. Casey offers Dunn a deal; join his covert operations unit or his men will execute Dunn’s sentence. With no other options, Dunn signs on. His first mission is to assassinate a businessman that has been selling technology to the enemy. His target will attend a public function with the First Lady of the United States, at which time he is to be eliminated. However, before Dunn can fire a single shot at his objective, someone else assassinates the First Lady. Dunn flees to the designated pickup point, only to discover the police waiting for him. Putting two and two together, Dunn figures that he is the duly designated scapegoat in the First Lady’s assassination. As the most wanted man in America, Dunn must uncover who is behind the assassination, before the authorities close in on him. The cast of MOST WANTED also includes Jillian Hennessy, Paul Sorvino, Robert Culp and Eric Roberts.

New Line Home Video offers MOST WANTED on DVD in both wide screen and full frame versions on opposite sides of the DVD. The full frame version wreaks havoc with the film’s original 2.35:1 theatrical framing, so stick with the wide screen version. The wide screen presentation features the anamorphic enhancement and is quite close to the full 2.35:1 ratio. The transfer itself is up to New Line’s usual high standards. The image has excellent detail, plus color reproduction is smooth, natural and without a trace of noise or distortion. Digital compression artifacts were slight, only noticeable in a couple of very dark sequences.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is a blast and a half. Directional effects come at you from everywhere, including the surrounds. In fact, the surrounds are used for some of the most effective pans that I’ve ever heard. Dialogue is crisp and clear, while the bass reproduction remained effective throughout. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track, plus a French language track and isolated musical score. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The nicely designed interactive menus are animated and feature access to a theatrical trailer, plus cast and crew biographies/filmographies with star highlights.

New Line Home Video has done an excellent job with their MOST WANTED DVD. I have to give New Line credit for offering tender loving care to almost all of their of the DVD releases. I wish every company would do the same.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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