Ricochet (1991)

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Released 10-Aug-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 97:43
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Russell Mulcahy

MRA Entertainment
Starring Denzel Washington
John Lithgow
Kevin Pollak
Lindsay Wagner
Mary Ellen Trainor
Josh Evans
Victoria Dillard
John Amos
John Cothran Jr.
Linda Dona
Matt Landers
Lydell M. Cheshier
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Ice-T
Alan Silvestri

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Ricochet is a reasonably solid Joel Silver produced action film starring Denzel Washington and John Lithgow. Released in 1991 the film met with indifferent box office, but introduced the charismatic Washington to the action genre.

    The story is a simple revenge thriller, filled with gratuitous nudity, excessive violence and one-liners galore. In other words - a decent night's entertainment.

    Washington plays Nick Styles, a rookie L.A. Cop who arrests master criminal Blake, played with relish by John Lithgow, during a lethal drug exchange. The incident is captured on amateur video and turns Styles into an overnight sensation. Promoted instantly to detective, his career goes from strength to strength, however Blake, who is languishing in prison, vows revenge on Styles and sets in motion a series of events that will turn Nick's life inside out.

    Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, The Shadow) Ricochet is an all but forgotten diamond in the rough. The talented cast and strong visuals elevate the admittedly generic material from mediocre to highly entertaining, as only a Joel Silver produced exploitationer can be. Washington, Lithgow, Pollak and Ice T give the film a level of class that is hard to resist, and as Mulcahy showed with Highlander, his use of the camera can be mesmerizing. Ricochet will never be considered high art, but if given the chance it will entertain those looking for 90 minutes of action thrills.

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Transfer Quality


    This is a good news bad news situation. When Ricochet was released theatrically it had an aspect ratio of 2:35:1. The Region 1 DVD release is in this correct aspect ratio, but has one of the worst transfers of a major release I have ever seen. The transfer suffers from every glitch you can think of and is not 16x9 enhanced - a real turkey. So the good news is that we have a far superior transfer of the film that is also 16x9 enhanced, but unfortunately the transfer is in the wrong aspect ratio of 1:78:1.

    The transfer is reasonably sharp with only slight edge enhancement. Thankfully there are no aliasing issues in this transfer, unlike its R1 counterpart which shimmers throughout. Shadow detail is fairly solid with strong black levels and detailed background information. The local product shows its superiority over the R1 version in the area of grain. The R1 version was so afflicted with grain and low level noise that it became almost intolerable. Our version has minor grain patches but has no low level noise issues.

    Colours are natural if slightly washed out. There is no image bleeding.

    There are very few nicks and scratches on the print so artefacting is minimal.

    At the end of the day the local release is definitely the disc of choice. Yes, some of the film's information is cropped, but it is far superior to any other version currently available.

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


    The film has been given a solitary audio track in English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround.

    The film's dialogue is crisp and clear with no obvious audio sync problems.

    The film's music is standard fare for a film of this type, and never distracts the viewer from the onscreen mayhem.

    Surround channel usage is minimal. The rear channels contain occasional directional effect action during the obligatory gun fight or explosion, but they are few and far between.

    The subwoofer has a strong bass and reverberation level that complements the film's soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The film's score plays over image captions from the film.

R4 vs R1

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

    The R4 misses out on the original aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and three trailers for the film.

    The R1 misses out on an anamorphic transfer, albeit in the incorrect aspect ratio of 1:78:1.

    For my money the R4 version is superior. The aspect ratio is incorrect on our home grown product, but the picture quality is far superior to the R1 version, which is almost unwatchable.


   Ricochet is a fairly entertaining action film from the stable of producer extraordinaire Joel Silver. If you enjoy a solid action outing that doesn't cater to political correctness then look no further. The disc has a solid audio/visual presentation with no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Where's the censorship info? - ROB
m not r - Anonymous
re: m not r - Shane A
No way this would pass with an 'M' rating - Miklos