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Steven C. Miller
Aaron Eckhart, Giancarlo Esposito, Courtney Eaton
Writing Credits:
Jeremy Drysdale

A disgraced cop finds himself in a race against time to find a kidnap victim whose abductor he accidentally killed.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 1/14/2020

• Audio Commentary with Director Steven C. Miller
• “Meaningful Action” 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


Line of Duty [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 30, 2020)

When we last saw director Steven C. Miller, he led 2018’s Escape Plan 2: Hades. It was awful.

Because hope springs eternal, though, I decided to give Miller’s follow-up a look. Thus let’s examine 2019’s Line of Duty.

Police officer Frank Penny (Aaron Eckhart) suffers from disgrace after he shoots a kid on the job. Due to his decline in status, he seeks a path to redemption.

Someone kidnaps Chief of Police Thomas Volk‘s (Giancarlo Esposito) daughter Claudia (Nishelle Williams), and Frank senses the desired opportunity. As such, he takes off on his own to find Claudia and come back to prominence.

Frank can’t complete this task on his own, however, and he relies on the assistance of independent online reporter Ava Brooks (Courtney Eaton) to succeed. With their every move live-streamed, Frank and Ava battle the clock to locate and rescue Claudia.

At the onset, I referred to Duty as my attempt to give director Miller a second chance. As it happens, this becomes my third stab at a Miller offering.

I also watched 2017’s Arsenal, another action flick. Like Escape Plan 2, I thought it stunk.

Would the third time become the charm via Duty? Maybe – sort of. While not a great movie, Duty certainly works better than the earlier Miller films I saw.

Much of this comes from the basic framework, as Duty goes loose ‘n’ lively enough to keep us with it. The story embraces its frantic motif to become a fairly engaging “ticking clock” narrative.

Though not an especially original one, as fans of 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance will find ample similarities here. A down-on-his-luck cop who fights against the clock while saddled with a nagging civilian… I won’t claim Duty screenwriter Jeremy Drysdale consciously ripped off Vengeance, but the two seem an awful lot alike.

At no point does Duty threaten to fare as well as Vengeance, but it manages a pretty brisk 99 minutes of action energy, and Eckhart adds to the proceedings. While his role requires no heavy lifting, he embraces his inner John McClane and becomes easily the best aspect of the movie, as he creates a compelling main character.

Eaton proves much less engaging as our second lead. Though not awful, she seems too chirpy and self-consciously spunky to form a believable role.

Though I can’t fully blame Eaton, as Drysdale’s script leaves her little room to breathe. Ava tends to exist more as Frank’s conscience – and eventually “rescue bait” – than a real character. I think a stronger actor would’ve been less annoying, but the role proves restrictive.

Despite various flaws, Duty manages decent – if brainless – entertainment. Aaron Eckhart delivers a performance with enough life and heart to largely carry the movie on his own.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Line of Duty appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the transfer looked good.

Sharpness was fine. A little softness occurred in some wide shots, but those didn’t become a concern. Overall definition seemed solid.

I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and the presentation lacked apparent edge haloes or other artifacts. I also saw no print flaws, as the movie always seemed clean.

In terms of palette, Duty reflected a somewhat subdued sense of orange and teal. I felt the colors looked fine within the design parameters.

In addition, blacks were dark and tight, while low-light shots were well-depicted. This was a positive presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added breadth to the experience. The movie didn’t deliver a consistently rock-em-sock-em soundscape, but it managed to open up well.

A few louder sequences – usually connected to action beats – made more dynamic use of the spectrum, but those didn’t pop up with great frequency. Instead, the emphasis on general environment remained, and that was fine, as I felt the soundfield fit the material.

Audio quality always pleased. Speech remained natural and concise, with no edginess or other flaws.

Music sounded full and dynamic, while effects came across as accurate and clear. All of this suited the film and earned a solid “B”.

A few extras appear, and we find an audio commentary from director Steven C. Miller. He brings a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, stunts and action, the shooting schedule, music and related domains.

Though I didn’t think much of Miller’s commentary for Arsenal, he proves more effective here. The director touches on the expected and appropriate topics during this informative chat.

Meaningful Action runs 16 minutes, 51 seconds and includes remarks from Miller, writer Jeremy Drysdale, producers Myles Nestel and Craig Chapman, director of photography Brandon Cox, production designer Niko Vilaivongs, and actors Aaron Eckhart, Giancarlo Esposito, Courtney Eaton, and Ben McKenzie.

The featurette covers story/characters, various themes, cast and performances, stunts and action, and Miller’s approach to the material. Most of this tends toward happy talk, so don’t expect much substance.

The disc opens with ads for American Dreamer, Domino, and Dead Water. No trailer for Duty appears here.

At no point does Line of Duty threaten to become much more than a cut-rate Die Hard With a Vengeance clone, but that proves enough to create a moderately entertaining experience. A strong lead turn from Aaron Eckhart allows this to become a better than average direct-to-video flick. The Blu-ray offers largely good picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. Don’t expect greatness from Duty, but it does enough right to merit a look.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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