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Michael Merino, Daniel Zirilli
Natalie Burn, Sean Patrick Flanery, Dolph Lundgren
Writing Credits:
Michael Merino

When a mob boss kidnaps his operative's son, she needs to perform a slew of violent tasks to gain her boy's return.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $19.97
Release Date: 12/17/2019

• None


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Acceleration [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 1, 2020)

It feels like I see a new direct-to-video Dolph Lundgren movie every two months or so. 2019 closes out with one more effort of this sort, an action tale called Acceleration.

Crime kingpin Vladik Zorich (Lundgren) finds himself double-crossed by Rhona (Natalie Burn), a trusted associate. Unsurprisingly, this turn of events leaves him unhappy and interested in revenge.

To get back at Rhona, Vladik kidnaps her son Mika (Dobromir Mashukov). If she wants to get her child back alive, Rhona needs to carry out Vladik’s violent wishes across one wild evening.

In theory, that sounds like a pretty good set-up for an action flick. In reality, Acceleration comes almost completely devoid of thrills or entertainment.

Even at a mere 85 minutes, Acceleration feels bloated and over-stuffed. How could such a simple tale become such a mess?

I think co-director/writer Michael Merino and co-director Daniel Zirilli suffered from delusions of grandeur. They appear to fashion themselves as the next Tarantino, so rather than tell a taut action tale that focuses on Rhona’s missions, we get a meandering road to nowhere.

In an attempt at complexity, Acceleration splits onto tangential narrative points an awful lot of the time. These prove ineffective and simply distract from the basic story at the core.

That said, I can’t claim for certain that a better-focused Acceleration would offer a clear improvement over the clumsy disaster we find. Even when the movie concentrates on Rhona and her mission, matters never ignite.

While she seems physically right for the part, Burn lacks any obvious acting skills. This means that we find ourselves with a hole at the center of the story, as Burn’s inept dramatic abilities mean we don’t invest in her role or journey.

Lundgren phones in his performance – literally, as most of our scenes with Vladik show him in telecommunication with Rhona. Lundgren gets little to do and makes next to no impact.

That proves true for the entire project, and even a ridiculous plot twist toward the end doesn’t help redeem it. Somewhere here I could find a lively “race against the clock” action flick, but Acceleration never finds a groove, so it becomes a total dud.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C+/ Bonus F

Acceleration appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a surprisingly inconsistent image.

Sharpness turned into an issue, as more than a few soft shots materialized. At times the movie exhibited pretty good delineation, but medium to wide elements tended to lose definition more than I’d expect.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

In terms of colors, Acceleration opted for a John Wick-esque emphasis on heavy teals, purples, blues and oranges. These looked decent but could veer toward an overly thick feel.

Blacks felt a bit inky and dense, while shadows were acceptable. Low-light shots brought decent clarity but they could’ve been clearer. While a watchable presentation, the transfer never excelled.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack came with its own issues, mainly due to a hyperactive soundscape. The mix used all five channels in an overly aggressive manner than became a distraction.

While I appreciate a lively soundfield, this one became too dominant. This meant that we got an unbalanced image that rarely seemed especially natural, as the various channels tried too hard to overwhelm the viewer.

Audio quality seemed fine. Music was bold and dynamic, while effects showed nice range and accuracy.

Speech appeared concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. If the movie boasted a better integrated soundscape, it’d impress, but the out of whack soundfield made it a mess.

No extras appear here – not even previews.

Amateurish and incompetent, Acceleration takes a simple action story and messes it up to an extreme. With an incoherent narrative and nary a thrill to be found, this becomes an awkward embarrassment. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture and audio and it lacks any supplements. Awful from start to finish, Acceleration comes with no redeeming characteristics.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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