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Reed Morano
Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown
Writing Credits:
Mark Burnell

A woman seeks revenge against those who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her family.

Box Office:
$50 million.
Opening Weekend:
$2,715,384 on 3049 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Audio Description
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 4/28/2020

• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Stephanie’s Journey” Featurette
• “Fight or Flight” Featurette
• “Never Leave Second Gear” Featurette
• “One Shot Explosion” Featurette
• Designing The Rhythm Section” Featurette
• DVD Copy


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The Rhythm Section [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 16, 2020)

Based on Mark Burnell’s 1999 novel, 2020’s The Rhythm Section brings a mix of action and drama. When Stephanie Patrick’s (Blake Lively) family dies in a plane accident, she goes on a downward spiral.

Three years after this tragedy, we find Stephanie as a drug-addicted prostitute in London. Journalist Keith Proctor (Raza Jaffrey) finds her and informs her that terrorism caused the crash.

Distraught, Stephanie vows revenge. She embarks on a dark journey to get back at those who caused her pain.

Lively initially earned fame back in 2007 as part of the Gossip Girl TV series cast. Since then, she’s gotten a lot of work but not been able to establish herself as an “A-list” actor.

Indeed, as of 2020, most people probably know Lively as Ryan Reynolds’ wife more than anything else. A box office flop, Section did nothing to alter than career trajectory in a positive manner.

That probably sounds dismissive of Lively’s talents, which I don’t intend. She possess good range and has turned in fine performances in movies as disparate as Age of Adaline and A Simple Favor.

For whatever reason, though, Lively can’t latch onto mainstream commercial hits. Even her one “sure-fire” blockbuster – and only co-starring effort with Reynolds – disappointed, as 2011’s Green Lantern became a much-mocked flick that lost money.

While I wish I could claim that Section deserves someone as skilled as Lively, that doesn’t prove correct. Not much about the film manages to engross the viewer.

Burnell used his 1999 novel as the launching point for a series of Stephanie Patrick books, and the film smells of “franchise opener”. It devotes a massive amount of time to Stephanie’s “origin story” and training, so it takes far too long to get to the main action-oriented plot.

Far too long, at least as explored here. A better-made film could keep us interested during the preliminaries, as something like Batman Begins manages to develop characters and themes while we wait for the “main action” to occur.

Section falters in that regard. While we go through the motions of Stephanie’s life and training, it all feels padded.

This means the movie dawdles and mostly wastes time. We don’t get a good sense of Stephanie or the situations, and we grow increasingly impatient for the main plot to materialize.

As implied, Section wastes Lively. I appreciate that she shows little vanity here, as she allows herself to look appropriately terrible during Stephanie’s dark period.

While she delivers a dodgy British accent, Lively nonetheless gives Stephanie a good sense of both strength and despair. Despite the flimsy script, she develops a fairly believable character.

Too bad Lively does so in such an undercooked affair. Section takes far too long to go anywhere, and even when it should become dynamic, it feels flat. This ends up as a sub-mediocre action thriller.

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

The Rhythm Section appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt satisfied with this appealing presentation.

Sharpness seemed good. Only a little softness appeared in some interior shots, so the movie usually appeared tight and concise.

Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t cause distractions, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to pop up in this clean transfer.

Section presented a fairly subdued, amber-influenced palette much of the time, with some light teal and green as well. The colors seemed accurately reproduced within the stylistic choices.

Blacks came across as dark and dense, while shadows were well-depicted and smooth. No obvious concerns marred this solid transfer.

The DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Section worked fairly well, and various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. These scenes didn’t emerge on a frequent basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner, and music made active use of the different channels.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. This left us with a “B” soundtrack.

As we head to extras, we find five featurettes, and Stephanie’s Journey runs seven minutes, 53 seconds. It brings comments from director Reed Morano, writer Mark Burnell, and actors Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown, and Raza Jaffrey,

“Journey” looks at the movie’s lead character as well as Lively’s performance. A few minor insights emerge but the piece mostly feels fluffy.

Fight or Flight spans six minutes, 10 seconds and includes notes from Morano, Lively, Law, and supervising stunts/fights coordinator Olivier Schneider.

As implied by the title, “Flight” examines the movie’s stunts and fight scenes. Like “Journey”, “Flight” comes with a few insights amid a lot of happy talk.

With Never Leave Second Gear, we get a six-minute, 11-second piece with info from Lively, Morano, 2nd unit director/special effects coordinator Chris Corbould, director of photography Sean Bobbitt, stunt coordinator (vehicles) Lee Morrison and executive producer Gregg Wilson.

Here we learn about the movie’s car-based stunts. It seems moderately informative.

One Shot Explosion goes for two minutes, 18 seconds and features Lively and Corbould. We get a quick look at a big stunt in this short but decent clip.

Lastly, Designing The Rhythm Section takes up two minutes, 38 seconds with comments from Law, Jaffrey, production designer Tom Conroy and set decorator Crispian Sallis.

This gives us a brief take on sets and locations. It becomes a serviceable overview.

Six Deleted/Extended Scenes occupy a total of 17 minutes, 30 seconds. Most of these look at Stephanie’s time in despair or training, and they just would’ve made an already slow movie even more plodding.

The only potential exception comes from two sequences that feature Stephanie’s abuse from her pimp, as they seem moderately interesting. Nothing here really feels like it needed to make the final cut, though.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Section. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

At its core, The Rhythm Section presents a potentially vivid action-revenge tale. Unfortunately, the end result seems slow and turgid, without the desired visceral impact. The Blu-ray comes with pretty positive picture and audio as well as a decent selection of bonus materials. Despite another worthwhile lead performance from Blake Lively, the movie feels dull.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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