Wake of Death (2004)

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Released 24-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Making Of
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 86:45
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Philippe Martinez
Bauer Martinez
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Simon Yam
Philip Tan
Valerie Tian
Tony Schiena
Claude Hernandez
Lisa King
Anthony Fridjohn
Danny Keogh
Pierre Marais
Warrick Grier
Tom Wu
Jacqui Chan
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Guy Farley

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Coming soon to a megaplex near you, the latest opus from that master of cinema, Jean-Claude Van Damme! Well, to be truthful, this is a direct to DVD release, featuring a man whose career is somewhere south of where Steven Seagal's is currently residing. Unfortunately, this is not the vehicle which will bring him back to the big time. This film is a pretty clichéd action/revenge vehicle which is trying to be stylish but fails miserably due to the sickening violence involved. For the record, I enjoy action films and am quite a fan of martial arts films, but I have only ever seen two films which made me feel ill, this one and a film I reviewed some time ago from Korea, Shiri. There is one scene in this film for which I had to apologise to my wife for a number of days afterward. It involves an electric drill and a man tied to a chair.

    Anyway, the plot goes like this. Ben Archer (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a club and bar owner from Marseilles who now lives in the US with his wife, Cynthia (Lisa King) and their son. She is an immigration agent who intercepts a boatload of illegal immigrants from China. She takes pity on one young girl, Kim (Valerie Tian) from the boat and takes her home. Unfortunately, Kim is the daughter of a crazed gangster called Sun Quan (Simon Yam) who comes looking for his daughter. Of course, people around Ben start getting killed and then his son is kidnapped. Obviously, this puts Ben and Sun on a collision course. I would explain more of the plot but there isn't any.

    The acting is ordinary but there are some quite decent action scenes. The film was shot in South Africa very recently. It was written, directed and produced by Phillipe Martinez.

    I cannot recommend this film except for Jean-Claude completists.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There were some very occasional scenes which exhibited some softness. The shadow detail was very good.

    The colour was very good with no issues. The colour scheme of the film is mostly dark and most scenes occur at night time.

    The only artefact I noticed was some mild edge enhancement that would not leap out at you unless you went looking for it.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read. My only complaint was that they were always shown in a black box which became a little intrusive.

    There is no layer break in the main feature.

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


    The audio quality is quite good except for some issues with the dialogue.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s.

    The dialogue was a little muffled and some of the accents (yes, you Jean-Claude) made some lines difficult to understand. The subtitles were very useful in determining what people were saying.

    The music was written by Guy Farley and was quite good, adding tension and excitement as appropriate.

    The surround speakers were used regularly to provide atmosphere and directional effects during car chases and gun battles.

    The subwoofer was also used throughout to add tension and bass to explosions and the score.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu was silent and still. Exciting...not!


    Presented in 4x3. This is a pretty standard promotional featurette which includes behind the scenes footage and an interview with the director where he explains that he was making a stylish film noir! The featurette has quite poor video quality.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release of this film also features the trailer for this and some other films. Call it a draw.


    Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest film, which is clichéd and sickeningly violent.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has one featurette in the extras department.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
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Sickeningly Violent? - Steven Cameron (read my bio) REPLY POSTED