Hot babes, lukewarm movie
Bud Bundy | MN USA | 08/13/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Some kids are riding dirt bikes up in the forests of Northern Minnesota (well, I think Romania is filling in for Minnesota), and one of them gets hurt. A forest ranger comes to help, but an arsonist has started a series of forest fires and no matter which way they go, they're cut off from civilization. One of the bikers is an obnoxious jerk, so there's plenty of arguing between him and the ranger (The obnoxious dude comes to a fairly spectacular end). Much of the movie is spent watching people on dirt bikes ride through flames, fall down, be surrounded by flames, scream, be rescued, etc. Some parts of it are pretty cool.
There's also a subplot with the arsonist, who turns into a sort of Jason Vorhees character by the end (watch the "making of" featurette, this guy is quite a character). The bikers and the ranger make their way to a mine to escape the fire, but of course the mine is full of methane gas, they have to climb over a big hole, they pretty much all have a broken leg or arm by this point, and the arsonist is attacking them. Overall, this movie just never seems to generate much excitement. Fire isn't all that exciting when seen on television, but I give them credit - they made it as exciting as anyone could have made it. When we first see it, there's a spooky haze hanging in the forest. Later on, you get the full surround-sound treatment as the blaze consumes the forest. Everywhere they go, there's big gas jets firing flames everywhere.
The two girls are really cute, it's definitely got that going for it. They did a really good job with what they had to work with, all the dirt bike riding sequences are about as exciting as they possibly could have been: The people are really flying through the woods, dirt is flying, engines are howling, but how much dirt bike riding can you really watch and still be interested?
You get a nice little "making of" featurette which is informative and funny. This is one of those disks that defaults to a Dolby 2.0 soundtrack. Make sure you choose the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack before you watch, it's a very nicely done surround-sound track and it adds considerably to the experience."
PUT OUT THIS FIRE
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 05/11/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"NATURE UNLEASHED has given us avalanches, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes and now fire. This is probably the least effective of the series. The villain is a Michael Myers like creature out for revenge on the park ranger who prevented him from stealing gold from a wornout mine. The fire scenes are CGI crafted and aren't that impressive; most of the characters are cardboard and not too likeable and "star" Bryan Gennesse chews up the scenery badly. For firebugs only."