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Ryuhei Kitamura
Ruby Rose, Jean Reno, Rupert Evans
Writing Credits:
Lior Chefetz, Joe Swanson

A Marine turned doorman fights off a gang of art thieves in a high-rise apartment.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 10/13/2020

• “In Service of Others” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Doorman [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 15, 2020)

When we last saw Ruby Rose, she starred as the lead character on TV’s Batwoman. Rose chose to leave the series after one season, and 2020’s direct-to-video film The Doorman finds her first work post-Batwoman.

Once a Marine, Ali Gorski (Rose) now operates as a doorman – doorwoman? doorperson? – at a fancy New York City high-rise. A traumatic incident occurred while on duty to protect the daughter of an ambassador, so she now prefers a more tranquil job.

Matters take a turn when a criminal gang led by Victor Dubois (Jean Reno) infiltrates the building to steal art. This acts as a threat to the complex’s inhabitants, so Ali uses her abilities to stop them.

So… “Die Hard With a Doorman”? That synopsis certainly leaves that impression, as one expects it to follow the same kind of high-energy tale as the 1988 classic.

I wrote that paragraph before I actually watched Doorman, and I assumed the similarities with Die Hard would remain superficial. However, Doorman takes the connection much more literally than I anticipated.

Like Die Hard, Doorman features a protagonist who visits estranged family. Both take place in essentially empty buildings, and both boast sophisticated European criminal masterminds.

Doorman finds some of its own ways to tell the Die Hard story, so it doesn’t offer a total replica. Still, the similarities feel more than superficial.

Alas, Doorman doesn’t even vaguely compare to Die Hard. Heck, it’s not Die Hard 2 - or even Live Free or Die Hard.

No - Doorman is A Good Day to Die Hard. By far the worst of the series, Good Day brought a nearly unwatchable effort that maligned the Die Hard name.

Actually, by comparison with Good Day, Doorman doesn’t look so terrible, but don’t take that as praise. Whereas Good Day brought an actively awful film, Doorman just seems cliché and uninspired.

Really, Doorman offers nothing more than a limp copy of Die Hard, as outside of the gender switch for its lead, it can’t find anything new to do with the concepts. That said, as our protagonist, Rose certainly pulls off the role’s physical elements in a way Bruce Willis couldn’t.

Rose boasts a lithe physicality that Willis lacked. Don’t take that as criticism of Willis, of course, as his John McClane shouldn’t have been more than the bull in a China shop he was.

Still, it’s fun to see a “John McClane Type” who shows real dimensionality in her battles. Rose manages to kick butt in a vivid and believable way.

Unfortunately, Rose’s fights can’t compensate for her decidedly lackluster acting skills, as she fails to create an actual human being via Ali. Much of the charm found in Die Hard stemmed from Willis’s smart-ass charisma, but Ali just seems limp and dull.

Over his career, Reno has displayed ample acting talent, but as Doorman’s version of Hans Gruber, he flops. Reno appears to understand that he’s slumming with this cheap rip-off, and he “acts down” to the part.

This means Victor turns into one of the least interesting cinematic baddies I’ve seen in a while. Of course, I don’t expect Reno to make the same impact as Die Hard’s Alan Rickman, for that would almost literally be impossible.

Rickman’s Hans brought a creative twist on the usual nefarious villain, as Rickman gave us a super-intelligent, charming, ingratiating criminal who also came across as utterly ruthless. Hans remains arguably the greatest character of that sort in movie history.

On the other hand, Reno’s Victor ends up as just some guy. As alluded, Reno appears bored in the role, and perhaps vaguely embarrassed as well. He can’t – or won’t – find any personality in the part.

Just because Doorman offers a derivative story doesn’t mean it can’t entertain. Unfortunately, the end product squanders any and all chances for success. With a clumsy script, lackluster production values and iffy performances, the movie becomes a dull chore to watch.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D

The Doorman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie provided a mostly solid presentation.

Sharpness usually worked well. Though interiors could feel a little iffy, the majority of the movie gave us accurate, precise visuals.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also displayed no print flaws.

Doorman opted for a standard orange and teal palette. These tones seemed appropriately rendered given the color choices.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, and shadows boasted good delineation. Low-light scenes seemed smooth and well-rendered. This turned into an effective transfer.

I also felt pleased with the fairly engaging Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Doorman, though it became less active than expected given its action orientation. A smattering of combat and fight scenes added zing to the proceedings, but those cropped up less often than I anticipated.

Still, the soundscape used the various channels well, as the mix brought a good sense of place and ambience throughout the film. Music showed nice stereo presence, and effects meshed together well. These moved smoothly across speakers and formed a quality environment for the material.

Audio quality seemed satisfying. Music was clear and full, while effects offered accurate, dynamic information.

Speech appeared natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. The soundtrack didn’t excel but it fit the story on display.

We find one featurette: In Service of Others, a 12-minute, 13-second program. It offers notes from actors Ruby Rose, Jean Reno, Rupert Evans, and Aksel Hennie.

“Service” looks at cast, characters and performances. Expect a lot of praise and little more.

The disc opens with ads for Arkansas, Anna, Force of Nature and The Courier. No trailer for Doorman appears here.

A cheap knock-off of Die Hard, The Doorman never finds a groove. Burdened with more flaws than it can overcome, the film turns into a sub-mediocre action effort. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio along with minor bonus materials. I hoped Doorman would deliver a lively thriller, but it fails to entertain.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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