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6 Degrees Entertainment

Drive: Special Collectors Edition [Blu-ray]
(Mark Dacascos, Kadeem Hardison, Brittany Murphy, Tracey Walter, John Pyper-Ferguson, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1997) 2021 / MVD Visual)

Overview: Toby Wong (Mark Dacascos, John Wick 3: Parabellum) is on a martial arts mission impossible. With a bio-energy module placed on his chest, his awesome martial arts skills are tuned to a super-human level. The only problem is that Toby does not want the power.

Now, only an army can stop him, and that is just what is hunting him down. As he makes his escape from an ammo-packing posse of hitmen, Toby needs a hostage, Malik (Kadeem Hardison, White Men Cant Jump) to drive him to freedom in Los Angeles.

Its double-power Jackie Chan-like super moves as the two unlikely heroes face-off with a new advanced killer in this amazing cult classic high octane hyper-action movie featuring an all-star supporting cast that includes Brittany Murphy (Clueless), Sanaa Lathan (Alien vs Predator), Tracey Walter (Repo Man) and Ron Yuan (Mulan).

Blu-ray Verdict: Unlike most Hollywood produced martial-arts movies in which fights seem toned down and silly rather than exciting, Drive shows a strong tie to older and much more alive martial arts movies in that the fights are strong and unhindered leaving a truly amazing style.

This could be the reason why it has won two international film awards and has been called the best martial arts done by a western studio.

Aside from the normal dose of corny jokes and lack of consistent acting expertise, Drive is true to the genre of martial-arts. The fight-choreography done by Koichi Sakamoto and his team alone should make this a film worth watching.

The main character (played by a skilled martial-arts actor) goes through no less than five large fight scenes worthy of anything done by Jet Li or Jackie Chan.

The ending fight scene prominently displays some of the best and most powerful hits that I have ever seen on screen. My favorite fight sequence is inside a hotel room when four men attack the main character in a space no larger than 20 square feet.

I have never really seen a fight that cramped before. The fight itself is very fluid and the moves in the close-quarters battle are outstandingly original.

As for plot, I find it pretty original. The very basic summary is this: a man with an implant in his chest that triples strength and increases stamina is being hunted by the organization that put it there in order to stop him before he sells it to a rival corporation.

Along the way he meets up with someone that could use the money that he is offered and an instant friendship is created in-between non-stop attacks on their person.

I would like to compare Drive to some other movies, but I cannot think of anything like it. Rush Hour perhaps, due to it is Asian/American tag team action. Drive definitely excels in choreography and action but not in character chemistry or plot.

Another movie that comes to mind is The One with one of the main characters possessing the ability to move faster and outmaneuver the opposition.

The only difference is that Drive does not use CGI in order to show the supremacy of the main characters skills. I believe that Drive is an original film that excels beyond anything it is similar to.

This relatively unknown masterpiece has raised my expectations for all martial-arts/action movies like The Matrix raised the bar for action.

If one cannot see how this movie surpasses the others in its genre, then they should be fine with watching such films as Shanghai Noon or Kiss of the Dragon and leave Drive to those that can truly appreciate it is unique qualities. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features* of:

High Definition (1080p) presentation of the Extended Directors Cut in 2.35:1 aspect ratio from a brand new 4K HD scan of the original camera negative

Audio: 2.0 Stereo LPCM, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Audio commentary by director Steve Wang, fight choreographer Koichi Sakamoto and stars Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Hardison
Drive: The Force Behind The Storm documentary (SD, 47:42)
Six Deleted Scenes (SD, 08:42)
Interview gallery with cast, director and crew including stars Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Hardison, director Steve Wang, Second Unit Director Wyatt Weed and Stunt Coordinator Koichi Sakamoto (SD, 24:30)
Drive: Theatrical Cut with optional English Subtitles (HD, 1:39:47. 2.0 Stereo, 1.78:1)
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Artwork
Collectible Mini-Poster
* Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition.