"Gretchen Blair (Denise Richards) is a headstrong FBI agent who goes rogue on a hostage negotiation and is sent packing to a desk job back in D.C. By a stroke of luck, she's upgraded to business class on her flight -- but as soon as the plane takes off, her seatmate (Kirk Barker) offers her millions of dollars if she can get him off the plane alive. As his ex-partners (Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Liddell, and Greer Grammer) stage a brutal hijacking, Gretchen finds herself in the fight of her life -- choosing sides between two factions of a criminal gang while trying to keep the plane from going down." That is the official description for Altitude, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.
Seeing the names Denise Richards, Chuck Liddell, and Dolph Lundgren as part of the cast didn't give me high hopes for Altitude, and unfortunately, my initial instincts were correct. It's not that the story is bad. It follows a similar formula to many of the basic action flicks out there, so there are plenty cliches, but these types of movies can still be fun to watch as long as the acting and overall production are decent, but here they are not.
Richards and Lundgren provide some decent action scenes, but otherwise it seems like they're phoning it in a bit. As for Chuck Liddell, well I'm sorry, but when did it become commonplace for ex-fighters to try and become actors? In my opinion, only Dwayne Johnson has done that successfully so far. The only saving grace for Altitude in terms of performances was Greer Grammer with her wild take on the Sadie character, but it's not enough to help the film rise above its other disappointing aspects.
The Blu-ray edition of Altitude presents a 1080p AVC encode and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio with a picture that is technically fine, but marred by production choices. Picture detail suffers because of grading and you can easily see that the CGI is low budget. For audio, the Blu-ray provides a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which in most aspects is fine with clean and clear dialogue, but with less than stellar use of the surround channels. The film includes one supplement in the form of the movie trailer.
At best, Altitude is a B-movie, but its low production value sometimes makes it look like it was made for TV. It's unfortunate, but it looks like Dolph Lundgren can't catch a break with his string of disappointing releases and Altitude isn't going to do anything to help with that.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tb8Pxb
* Website: lionsgate.com