After being imprisoned on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan and his cellmate Nick Cassidy are finally due to to be paroled. During his imprisonment, Rudy heard endless stories about Nick's romantic correspondence to Ashley, a woman who he has never met. Needless to say he was just a little envious. Whilst Nick can't wait to finally meet Ashley, Rudy is just looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. However, things take a turn for the worst when Nick is killed during a prison riot.
Finally released, Rudy decides to assume Nick's identity and meet up with the unknown woman. It couldn't have been a better decision as Ashley is beautiful and he soon makes up for his time in prison. Unfortunately, Nick's past as as security guard is about to resurface when Ashley's hard line brother Gabriel turns up and forces Rudy to assist with a casino robbery.
With the majority of the film taking place either at night or in dark locations it is serious test to the abilities of the DVD. Fortunately, it passes with flying colours managing to produce a rich and vibrant picture without any artifacting or outlining. With an above average bit-rate throughout the film it generates a fine picture for what is a relatively low key film.
The sound is good with some fine channel separation and clearly audible dialogue in the centre channel. The surround channel activity is reasonable enough with plenty of ambient weather effects throughout the winter setting. Once the action kicks in there's plenty of explosions and gun fire to keep the action fans happy.
The original version was devoid of extras and this Director's cut is a welcome release with a number of Deleted Scenes, Trailer and a brief Behind the Scenes Featurette with the cast telling us how wonderful the director is. It's all wrapped up with a reasonable audio commentary from John Frankenheimer.
Interesting enough, the region two edition of the film has been renamed to Deception as us European types would have probably thought that the original name would suggested it was a cuddly Christmas animated special and there'd be some shocked children with lots of questions.
This is a fantastic film with so much double crossings and double dealings it will leave you gob smacked and wondering just what the hell you've been watching. Although as the plot unfolds it becomes a bit more predictable, it is still a roller coaster ride of superb entertainment. Go buy it!
- Director's Cut Commentary by Director John Frankenheimer
- Original Theatrical Cut Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Theatrical Trailer