Force of Nature Blu Ray Review (Lionsgate)
Force of Nature is a 2020 action film directed by Michael Polish (Nona, 90 Minutes in Heaven, Twin Falls Idaho, and Northfork). It was written by Cory M. Miller (The Long Walk Home and Just One Look). It was produced by Randall Emmett (The Irishman, Silence, End of Watch, Survive the Night, Mile 22, Gotti, Wonderland, The Amityville Horror, Day of the Dead, Rambo, and Righteous Kill), George Furla (Trauma Center, 10 Minutes Gone, Escape Plan franchise, 2 Guns, Lone Survivor, Amityville: The Awakening, Narc, and 88 Minutes), and 30 others. This project was originally developed for Bruce Willis. It was a direct to video release in the states. The budget was $23 million and it only made $638,399 at the box office overseas.
A Category 5 hurricane is approaching Puerto Rico and an evacuation order is in effect. A thief who goes by the name of John the Baptist (played by: David Zayas from Dexter, The Expendables, 16 Blocks, and Gotham) robs a woman at a bank of a painting in her safety deposit box and gets an address before killing her. Meanwhile a burned out police officer named Cardillo (played by: Emile Hirsch from Never Grow Old, Freaks, Into the Wild, and The Autopsy of Jane Doe) reports to work as a lowly desk officer but is told to go out with another officer named Jess Peña (played by: Stephanie Cayo from Amalgama, Bad Impulse, and Club de Cuervos) to evacuate anyone who refuses to leave their homes to a shelter. A name named Griffin (played by: William Catlett from Black Lightning, Charm City Kings, and Lovecraft Country) at a market buys up 100 pounds of meat, all of the meat available at the market and gets into a fight with another customer who wants to purchase meat. Cardillo and Peña respond to the call. The officers are about to take him to the evacuation shelter but he insists that he needs to feed his pet plus that an old man and a retired police officer are in his apartment complex refusing to evacuate.
The officers arrive and go to evacuate the retired officer Ray (played by: Mel Gibson from the Lethal Weapon franchise, Mad Max franchise, Fatman, and Dragged Across Concrete). His doctor daughter Troy (played by: Kate Bosworth from Remember the Titans, Blue Crush, Superman Returns, and Wonderland) is still trying her best to get him to leave before it gets worse. They go to Bergkamp’s (played by: Jorge Luis Ramos from The Oath and Captain Ron) apartment to convince to get shelter away from the complex. They try to wrap up everything and get Griffin but he’s badly injured by his dangerous pet. Just before they can all leave for safety, John the Baptist and his henchmen show up to find something that’s buried at the complex that’s worth risking it all for. They are desperate to eliminate all witnesses so they can get away clean with their ambitious plan. The residents and officers fight back to survive this living nightmare. If the weather doesn’t take them out, the criminals might end up finishing the job. Can they get past all these problems to see another day?
This reminded me of Hard Rain with a dash of The Hurricane Heist thrown in there. Force of Nature mixes the crime and disaster sub-genres together. The script is nothing special here but the talented cast makes it better than what it actually is. Despite the creative marketing, this is not a Mel Gibson starring feature. He has decent screen time here but he’s just has a supporting role in Force of Nature. He’s definitely the best thing about this production and it’s that classic action character but older that you would expect from the icon. The leads are actually Emile Hirsch and Stephanie Cayo, they both have solid chemistry with each other. Emile Hirsch used to be a bigger actor when he was younger. He’s been keeping busy with these smaller and independent features. He still has that lead quality from years ago and he manages hold his own against his co-stars when it comes to the acting. I thought his character was interesting. A disgraced and fallen cop that ends up proving himself again in this situation. I’ve never seen Stephanie Cayo in anything besides this but she was tough and made that role more interesting plus she looks great. Kate Bosworth just like Emile was mainly known as a lead in her younger days. She’s mainly been doing television the last few years but she has it. She’s still provides some quality eye candy and she was the one that was pushing everyone to their limit in this awful situation. David Zayas is a talented character actor and it’s always great to see him show up in anything especially when he plays villains. Some of the other supporting cast were alright to be honest and they could have been better with someone else but all the major actors in this made up for it. Force of Nature was fun and it had some nice action in it. For the most part, it was suspenseful and the thrills were delivered. This was more mindless action but it kept your eyes glued to the screen and something to just enjoy without thinking. If this was made 10 years ago, it would have been a huge feature. It’s crazy how times have changed when it comes to cinema.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Lionsgate! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray. The chaotic atmosphere really adds to the visuals when it comes to the dangerous weather in this. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track sounds great here. The dialogue is crystal clear, the action is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH, and Spanish subtitles. It only has a “Trailer” for the film plus other “Trailers” from Lionsgate home video releases on the disc. It also comes with a slipcover and a digital copy. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!