Overdrive (Blu-ray) (2017)

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Released 29-Nov-2017

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Behind The Scenes-What's Your Vintage? The Classic Cars
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Go On Set & Behind-The-Scenes
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Blow It All Up - The Action & Stunts
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 93:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Antonio Negret

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Scott Eastwood
Freddie Thorp
Ana de Armas
Gaia Weiss
Simon Abkarian
Clemens Schick
Abraham Belaga
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $24.95 Music Pascal Lengagne

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

††† Overdrive is such a brazen, barefaced attempt to cash in on the success of the long-running Fast & Furious franchise that you almost have to admire the filmmakers for choosing to release it so soon after 2017ís The Fate of the Furious. Written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas - who actually penned 2 Fast 2 Furious - the flick is more or less Fast & Furious mixed with the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, and itís all set in France to boot. To state the obvious, there is not much in the way of originality to Overdrive, nor is there a great deal of wit or intelligence, but against all odds, this formulaic actioner does manage to pass the time easily enough. Itís also admittedly nice to see a car-based action movie without Vin Diesel and his insufferable ego taking centre stage.

††† Veteran car thieves Andrew (Scott Eastwood) and his half-brother Garret (Freddie Thorp) pull off a risky robbery in Marseille, targeting a rare Bugatti which was recently sold at auction. But the theft brings the pair to the attention of local crime figure Jacomo Morier (Simon Abkarian), the owner of the Bugatti in question. Begging for their lives, Andrew and Garret offer to steal a rare Ferrari from Morierís rival, Max Klemp (Clemens Schick), which would boost his valuable car collection. Morier agrees, permitting the half-brothers a mere seven days to prep, plan and pull off the complex heist. With the odds stacked against them, Andrew begins building a team, bringing in his girlfriend Stephanie (Ana de Armas), career thief Devin (Gaia Weiss), demolitions expert Leon (Joshua Fitoussi), and a crew of expert drivers. To make matters more complicated, a pair of Interpol agents as well as Morierís cousin (Abraham Belaga) are keeping tabs on the operation.

††† Playing out as if it was originally designed to be a minor Fast & Furious spinoff, the narrative is (perhaps mercifully) uncomplicated and lathers on the clichťs, even introducing the ďone last job before I go legitĒ routine for Andrew, who seeks to retire and live in peace with Stephanie. Of course the screenplay puts Stephanie in danger, and the boys manage to be one step ahead of their enemies, planning more than what meets the eye. (Traces of the Oceanís Eleven remake are apparent when the heist is being executed.) Devin also becomes a love interest for Garret, because apparently beautiful women can never remain unattached in these types of action flicks. Dialogue is tin-eared for the most part, not to mention eye-rollingly clichťd, while character names never stick because none of the roles are developed beyond the bare minimum of personality traits. Hell, the team of drivers are given such a quick introduction that their names are never said and most of them donít even have lines. The dramatics of the story never gain full traction since itís hard to get invested in the narrative or care about the characters - it just feels like the movie is going through the clichťd motions to get to the stunt driving.

††† Backed by a comparatively scant budget (approximately $30 million), there is not much leeway for the movie to go ridiculously over-the-top during the action sequences, and thatís something of an asset - the primary set-pieces are welcomely grounded, relying on good old-fashioned stunt-work and stunt-driving as opposed to wall-to-wall digital effects (though there is still some shoddy CGI). The director, Antonio Negret, mostly works in television aside from a few minor feature films - he has overseen episodes of Lethal Weapon, Arrow, The Flash and DCís Legends of Tomorrow, just to name a few, while he also helmed 2012ís Transit. Negretís camera fetishistically lingers on all of the beautiful multi-million dollar automobiles, making this a worthwhile watch for all car-lovers. At least the movie is given a boost by its gorgeous, eye-catching European locales, and thereís sufficient excitement to be experienced whenever Negret gives over to the stunt-drivers. Indeed, the sequences of fast cars and burning rubber are entertaining enough for a film of this pedigree.

††† Eastwood - who was actually added to the ever-expanding Fast & Furious ensemble cast in The Fate of the Furious - is actually one of the better up-and-coming action stars of late, emanating sufficient charisma and with his fatherís looks to boot. However, itís a real shame that there isnít a stronger group dynamic like in The Italian Job or Oceanís Eleven - most of Andrewís team are completely interchangeable, and the cast is filled with bland actors who look like Calvin Klein models. Even de Armas is given little to do, reduced to a one-dimensional damsel in distress role which is all the more disheartening after her exceptional performance in Blade Runner 2049. However, at least she has some degree of charisma, and plays well alongside Eastwood.

††† As fluffy action movies go, Overdrive is middle-of-the-road - itís not offensively terrible and itís at least watchable, providing some surface-level pleasures with its visceral set-pieces and gorgeous location work. And with ďfamilyĒ melodrama being kept to a minimum, itís arguably more entertaining than some of the movies in the Fast & Furious franchise. Still, it is flawed, and it feels closer to a television pilot than a major feature film. It does appear that the filmmakers behind Overdrive were hoping to carve out a franchise, as thereís a direct set-up for a sequel, but considering the movieís abysmal box office performance (it grossed less than $5 million worldwide), this is more than likely the last weíll see of these characters. And thatís probably for the best.

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Transfer Quality


††† Arriving on home media courtesy of Roadshow Entertainment, Overdrive is presented on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition, framed at its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. According to IMDb, the movie was lensed digitally with Alexa XT cameras, though it's not stated whether it was completed at 2K or 4K. (Presumably the former.) Roadshow make use of a dual-layered BD-50 here, and, remarkably, this AVC-encoded video transfer is mastered at an unusually high average bitrate of 35 Mbps, which almost makes up for the lack of a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release. Almost. Whereas the presentation soars in terms of clarity, textures and sharpness, colours seriously lack pop - without the benefit of High Dynamic Range, the palette simply looks drab and borderline ungraded. I did not see this movie at the cinema (who did, really?), so it's unclear to me whether this is source-related or a fault of the encode.

††† With the satisfying bitrate, Roadshow's Blu-ray transfer is thankfully able to bring out fine detail aplenty on skin and clothing. And while this is not the sharpest presentation I have ever seen, the transfer is sufficiently sharp nevertheless, exhibiting fine object delineation. A close-up of Eastwood at 52:45 brings out every last wrinkle and pore on his skin, and you can count his facial hairs - it almost looks to be 4K resolution. Source noise is only occasionally visible, mostly noticeable in darker scenes, making for a predominently clear image benefitting from excellent clarity. Textures falter to a certain extent in wider shots, or shots under lower-light which look a touch muddy, but that's par for the course with 1080p Blu-ray. As good as the transfer does look for the most part, it could no doubt look better with a 4K release. Not that I expect one to ever be produced, mind you, given the terrible box office returns and a general lack of interest in the movie from the movie-going public.

††† As previously stated, Overdrive is the type of movie that would really benefit from HDR, as the colours never pop throughout this Blu-ray. With each new 4K Blu-ray release, it's getting harder to overlook the shortcomings of SDR 1080p. Oh sure, colours look okay for the unfussy, particularly considering the limitations of the format - colours are bright enough when the occasion calls for it, with gorgeous blue water and colourful cars. The colours do come alive in certain scenes, but the palette looks too subdued on the whole, with pasty skintones, weak contrast and milky blacks. In addition, the transfer is too flat-looking, not to mention it's unable to bring out much in the way of highlights, which feels like a waste given the high bitrate and otherwise nicely-resolved textures. Technical information on the movie is hard to come by, but I don't believe it was screened in any cinemas with High Dynamic Range, and I don't believe it received a HDR grade. (Happy to be proven wrong if anybody knows otherwise.)

††† Overdrive's Blu-ray presentation never exactly kicks into high gear due to its underwhelming colours and highlights, but it's still another serviceable transfer from Roadshow. It's definitely commendable that they chose to make use of a BD-50 for the 93-minute movie (with two audio tracks) and the tiny supply of extras. Thankfully, the encode never falls victim to aliasing, banding, macroblocking or any other nasty anomalies - and there is no evidence of unnecessary edge enhancement or noise reduction. If you like the movie, I doubt you'll be disappointed with this fine disc.

††† Only English subtitles are available. I had no issues with them.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††† Overdrive was not mixed in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X as far as I can tell from available information, and therefore this Blu-ray only contains a very nice, lossless 24-bit DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. There is also a lossy descriptive audio track for those interested, but I focused on the primary audio mix for the purposes of this review. Overdrive may not be an expensive production compared to the year's other big-budget action blockbusters, but this is a professionally-mixed audio track, packing plenty of impact when necessary and exhibiting agreeable panning and placement effects. As ever, audiophiles are destined to bemoan the lack of an object-based mix, but on my 7.1 surround sound system, I was never left feeling underwhelmed.

††† From the opening set-piece, panning effects are used as cars whiz around, and all of the surround channels are put to good use. When gunfire erupts at the 50-minute mark, each shot is precisely placed - at one stage, all of the shots come from the rear channels which may make you duck. There are moments like this throughout Overdrive's 93-minute duration, while location ambience is used to enhance the sense of immersion (see a beach-set scene at the 26-minute mark). Music, too, fills the surround channels to nice effect - for instance, in a club about half an hour into the movie. And thanks to the lossless encode, everything is crisp and crystal-clear, with no muffling or any other encoding anomalies to spoil the mix. Prioritisation is never an issue, as dialogue can always be heard over the music and sound effects, even during the noisy climax.

††† In addition, the subwoofer is seriously impressive throughout. Car engines, skidding, explosions and gunshots are all appropriately accentuated, and the audio is aggressive when it wants to be. Loud and immersive, and without any pops, clicks or sync issues, Overdrive is an impressive listen.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††† Despite the special features being so colourfully worded on the back of the Blu-ray cover, the menu description is far more basic. And the package itself is pitiful, reduced to a selection of YouTube-grade EPK videos. Here's what we have:

Behind the Scenes (HD; 2:05)

††† A brief piece clearly designed for YouTube promotion, this is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, but it's unable to provide much of substance. It's slightly amusing to hear Scott Eastwood call the movie original when it's such a blatant Fast & Furious ripoff.

Cars (HD; 2:21)

††† Another brief EPK piece with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage which focuses on the (expensive, beautiful) cars seen in the movie. Again, this feels like an extended trailer intended for online promotion.

Stunts (HD; 2:07)

††† Yet another two-minute puff piece. It even ends with the title of the movie flashing up on the screen.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † The Region A-locked Blu-ray release from Paramount contains the following supplements:

††† I have not viewed these extras, but these appear to be completely different to the featurettes on the local disc. The Paramount release therefore has the edge, though whether or not the American disc is worth importing for such a scant supply of extras is up to you.


††† I didn't hate Overdrive - I enjoyed it in fits and starts. However, the car-based action genre has seen far better movies. At least it's better than the first Fast and the Furious movie, and it'll pass the time easily enough if you're bored.

††† Roadshow's Blu-ray looks and sounds very good, though it's held back by the shortcomings of 1080p Blu-ray, particularly with its limited colour space. The selection of special features, however, is pitiful. This is definitely a try before you buy type of situation - and it's certainly not worth picking up at full price.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Friday, February 09, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDLG UP970 4K UHD HDR Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayLG OLED65E6T. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationSamsung Series 7 HT-J7750W
SpeakersSamsung Tall Boy speakers, 7.1 set-up

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