Nov 182018

S.M.A.R.T. Chase is a poorly scripted action-thriller in an otherwise competently shot film. It’s also Orlando Bloom’s foray into the abyss of the direct-to-video realm.



S.M.A.R.T. Chase

Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller, Crime
Universal Pictures | NR – 94 min. – $22.98 | October 2, 2018

Date Published: 11/18/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Charles Martin
Writer(s): Terence M. O’Keefe & Robby Henson (story), Kevin Bernhardt (screenplay)
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Leo Wu, Simon Yam, Hannah Quinlivan, Lynn Xiong, Liang Jing
Features: None
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 23.8 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1.75/5

S.M.A.R.T. Chase, which was originally titled The Shanghai Job, has an ironic name considering how really dumb this movie was. This Chinese-British co-production was completed in late 2016 and finally saw release here in the States in 2018. Perhaps it should’ve just remained on a dusty shelf.

The plot surrounds Danny Stratton, the proprietor of a private security company titled S.M.A.R.T. (Security Management Action Recovery Team). Upon the film’s opening, the team — comprised of Stratton, Mach Ren (SIMON YAM), J. Jae Anh (HANNAH QUINLIVAN) and DingDong Tang (LEO WU) — are transporting a priceless Van Gogh painting when their convoy is ambushed and the painting is stolen.

A year later, Stratton is unable to move on from the heist leading to clients drying up and a breakup with his girlfriend, Ling Mo (LYNN HUNG). With a chance for redemption, Stratton takes on a new client to transport a rare and priceless vase from Shanghai to London. But despite detailed planning, the crew that stole the Van Gogh is back. The team, with the help of their drone piloted by Tang, manages to escape and get to the airport. But instead of completing the mission, the brilliant Stratton chooses to use the vase as bait to lure the thieves in order to also recover the painting and thus get their reputation back, especially since the Shanghai police believe Stratton was in on the painting heist… for some reason.

What. Utter. Nonsense.

As you might predict, even with placing a tracker, things do go awry and eventually, when threatening to turn in the location of the thieves’ location where other valuable treasures lie, Stratton’s girl is taken and now it’s up to Stratton and company to save her.

S.M.A.R.T. Chase is actually, on a technical level, competently made under the direction of Charles Martin, marking his feature film debut. The chase scenes, while nothing earth-shattering amazing, was still thrilling enough and the acting, mostly, was serviceable though no doubt Orlando Bloom with his distractingly bleached blonde hair, was on cruise control for what I assume is a rare payday for a lead role. The others, as best I can tell, were fine but their English accents did come across stilted but not sure if it were the terrible dialogue or poor English language skills of the actors.

But what really sunk S.M.A.R.T. Chase was the really dumb plot which was utterly nonsensical making the bulk of the movie, and character’s actions, just hard to buy. It makes zero logical sense why, more or less, stealing a vase entrusted to secure, in order to get the thieves and a painting they stole from you, as a way to regain your reputation and also in turn for Stratton, get his girl back. Dumb.

I honestly don’t know how movies like these get passed the scripting phase without producers maybe bringing up issues like that, but it probably comes down to getting a nice profit on what otherwise is probably a cheap production which it still failed, grossing a mere $2.6 million in China.



No features were included and this did not come with a slip cover.


VIDEO – 4.0/5

S.M.A.R.T. Chase is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a nice looking 1080p high-definition transfer. Detail here is decent but not incredibly sharp, but where it does shine is with the bright neon colors of the Shanghai nightlife while skin tones appear natural looking.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 which is quite effective with clear dialogue coming from the center speaker and some fine depth for the action-centric scenes such as the chase sequences which shows off the track’s robustness, where even the lower end bass turns on for an extra measure of intensity, perhaps more than this movie deserves.


OVERALL – 2.0/5

Overall, S.M.A.R.T. Chase is a poorly scripted action-thriller in an otherwise competently shot film. It’s also Orlando Bloom’s foray into the abyss of the direct-to-video realm, alongside the likes of Willis, De Niro, and Pacino amongst others. This Blu-ray release has good video and audio transfers though there are no bonus features.



Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 11/18/2018  Blu-ray Reviews, Screen Caps Tagged with:

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