The kind of film that should have made its debut tucked away deep in the "Beyond" section of Blockbuster, "Redline" is a D-list "Fast and the Furious" (this film has the same editor as the second two "Fast and the Furious" movies, and the first "Fast and the Furious" actually had the working title of, "Redline") that got some mild press when a clip of star Eddie Griffin wrecking one of the producer's prized autos ended up getting some coverage on the news and the internet.
The movie itself? Well, what can one say about a movie whose first bit of dialogue is, "There are cars that get you from point A to point B, and then there are cars that get you from point A to point B really fast." Oy. The film focuses on Natasha (Nadia Bjorlin, a soap opera actress who doesn't give a good performance, but seems to know how ridiculous the whole enterprise is, at least), a singer with a past who finds herself in an underground racing organization where private investors bet on their racers getting from point A to point B really, really fast.
Natasha, despite appearing hesitant to get into the racing scene, is pulled into it by one of the high rollers (Eddie Griffin). Meanwhile, she's really plotting to try and get back at a dangerous investor (Angus Macfadyen), getting assistant from an Iraqi war vet (Nathan Phillips) whose brother died in a crash racing for Macfadyen's character.
So, there's little in the way of plot and the film is largely an excuse to showcase the cars of producer Daniel Sadek (who even works in a completely unnecessary mention of himself late in the movie), which are featured throughout the film (and some of which were damaged during filming.) The action sequences are okay at best, which proves that apparently $26M (the film's reported budget) may not go as far as one might think. The action scenes in "Fastlane" (why isn't that on DVD? That show was junky fun.) were even more exciting than those found here. What's even more bizarre is why the film went for the PG-13 rating - this is an action film apparently financed independently - why not go for the R?
Overall, "Redline" simply doesn't have enough fuel to get to the finish line: the action sequences are just okay, the acting's subpar and the dialogue is weaker than one would expect from this kind of material. The cars are impressive, but this could have been a better showcase for them. As is, it's just a very expensive B-movie.
VIDEO: "Redline" is presented by Genius Home Entertainment in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality was respectable, with consistently fine clarity and detail. Some minor instances of edge enhancement were spotted, but didn't prove to be a great distraction. No print flaws or other issues were noted. Colors, as one might expect from a movie like this, looked bold and well-saturated.
SOUND: The film's Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation offered a pretty active sound mix, as the sounds of the cars racing by was often heard in the surrounds during the race sequences. Surrounds also contributed some additional sound effects and ambience, as well. By no means does the audio match up to the demo-worthy sound design of "The Fast and the Furious", but it was fine enough.
EXTRAS: "Making of" featurette, featurette about "Redline" at the LA Auto Show and finally, the trailer.
Final Thoughts: The cars are impressive, but this could have been a better showcase for them. As is, "Redline"'s just a very expensive B-movie. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a few minor extras. Still, skip it.
The Film D+