Blu-ray Review: BACKTRACE

BACKTRACE was directed by Brian A. Miller from a screenplay by Mike Maples and starsĀ Ryan Guzman, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew Modine, Colin Egglesfield, Meadow Williams and Christopher McDonald.

After suffering a brain injury from a bank heist gone wrong, MacDonald develops amnesia and is put into a prison psychiatric ward. Following his seventh year of incarceration, he is coerced by an inmate and a ward doctor to break out of prison, and he’s injected with a serum that forces him to relive the life he’s forgotten. MacDonald must now elude a local detective, a toughened FBI agent, and the drug’s dangerous side effects to recover the stolen money.

Backtrace follows MacDonald (Matthew Modine), the lone survivor of a group of bank robbers who’s left with a severe injury to his head that causes amnesia. He ends up up serving seven years in prison and then breaks out with the assistance of two mysterious figures that befriend him on the inside. What happens is, McDonald is actually with members of his own family that injects him with an experimental drug that slowly helps him regain his memory so they can locate the millions he hid after the bank heist. There’s also some nasty side effects that go along with this serum.

While all of this is going on, there’s also Detective Sykes (Sylvester Stallone), from the local police department, whose working with FBI Agent Franks (Christopher McDonald), and they’re hot on the trail of the recent breakout. The thing is, not everyone here is as they seem. You see where I’m going with this? Anyway, McDonald does finally remember where he stashed the money but there’s others who want to get their greedy hands on it as well and this ends up in another bloody shootout between sides.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Backtrace ended up being a mediocre at best crime-thriller that could have been so much lot better. The plot is full of holes so the viewer is left putting pieces of this messy puzzle together and if certain characters had been developed just a little better this one whould have played out much better. I think this was the fourth movie that Brian A. Miller had directed for Grindstone/Lionsgate and even though this movie has the names to draw in some viewers it’s still just an okay watch. The writing is the weakest link for the movie so Miller and company did what they could with what they had to work with. I know these productions are also rush jobs with much smaller budgets so that doesn’t help either. Backtrace is nothing more than a basic crime-thriller for old school action movie buffs and fans of Sly Stallone who’s actually only in a few scenes but the legend does get to shoot his gun a couple of times in the end. Backtrace will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital) on February 19th.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 88 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include a making of featurette, interviews with some of the cast and crew and the official trailer.

  • Making Backtrace featurette (05:58)
  • Cast/Crew Interviews (20:49)
  • Official Trailer (01:45)
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