Jul 242020

Force of Nature isn’t the worst movie around and from a technical perspective, like most of these Grindstone/EFO pictures, competently made, but the script, and in particular the finale, needed some work.



Force of Nature

Genre(s): Suspense Thriller, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 91 min. – $21.99 | June 30, 2020

Date Published: 07/24/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Michael Polish
Writer(s): Cory Miller (written by)
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Mel Gibson, David Zayas, Kate Bosworth, Stephanie Cayo

Features: Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.38
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 24.76 GB
Total Bitrate: 32.82 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate 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 — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: As disgraced cop Cardillo (EMILE HIRSCH) and newly assigned partner Jess Pena (STEPHANIE CAVO) race to evacuate an apartment building, they come across Dr. Troy Barrett (KATE BOSWORTH) and her retired detective father, Ray (MEL GIBSON). When a murderous gang of thieves, led way by a notorious gangster John the Baptist (DAVID ZAYAS), arrives to rob a wealthy tenant, they must join forces to battle the criminals and escape with their lives before the entire city is deep underwater.

Review: Force of Nature is yet another what I’ll call filler movies, the kind to take up space at your local Wal-Mart and on Redbox but soon be forgotten other than a stark line at the point Mel Gibson’s career really sank, now belonging with the likes of Bruce Willis and Wesley Snipes doing direct-to-video flicks in order to keep up with any semblance of a lifestyle they once knew (and for Snipes to keep clean by the IRS).

In actuality, Force of Nature isn’t altogether bad though I can pretty say the same thing from Grindstone Entertainment and Emmett Furla Oasis Films, the tag-team production companies who have released dozens of action-thrillers over the years, many co-starring Willis who presumably passed on this one because he didn’t want to get wet. However, for his part, Mel Gibson at this juncture, before depression sets in, seemed to give a quarter-hearted effort, even displaying some of that old charm I once knew and loved. Also will insert the clichéd separating art from the artist here…

But like some of the other passable films in there, this one falters with an ending that just falls flat. Going into spoiler territory, however I suspect not many people care, the issue I have is with our main hero portrayed by Emile Hirsch successfully tricks the villain, John the Baptist, played by the underrated David Zayas, into going to an apartment where a frickin’ puma (I think) is locked in a room. The problem is, John has been played calculating and relatively smart, but Hirsch’s performance, and that John is tricked, makes it rather unbelievable and his demise pretty unsatisfying instead of bad-ass (not to mention the shot of the puma is literally only 2-3 seconds as the filmmakers probably could’ve afford the necessary CGI needed.

The other issue, and this the final scene, is all the survivors are in pretty good spirits with Hirsch’s Cardillo and Bosworth’s Troy characters continue their flirtation that began in the middle of the action. The problem? It was only a few hours earlier Troy’s father was killed. Hell, he very well may laying on a slab in the very hospital she’s work at (seems unlikely after everything she went through, she’d be allowed right back to work, but okay, maybe they’re short staffed).

Nitpicks, perhaps but for a film that was relatively working well enough could have been a thinly entertaining crime/survival flick that would be fine viewing on a slow weekend night or something. As it stands, Gibson probably is best part; Emile Hirsch was alright until the final scenes, Kate Bosworth was passable I suppose; singer/songwriter Stephanie Cayo has a couple okay moments; and David Zayas is your paper-thin baddie who loses all respect for me with how easily he was duped.

Force of Nature might be fine as a rental but you’re not losing out anything by passing it by.



This release comes with a super-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only feature included is the film’s Trailer.



VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases Force of Nature onto Blu-ray where its shown with a 2.38 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The video quality here is rather good even though the vast majority does take place in the middle of a hurricane so a lot of the elements, especially exterior, are dark. Detail however, still is sharp and when we do get some light, colors appear to be bright and vibrant.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is functional enough but not terribly strong. Dialogue though does come through with good clarity while depth is okay which is a bit disappointing given the storm surrounding the area (set). Still, although this will not put your surround sound system to the test, still is serviceable.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Force of Nature isn’t the worst movie around and from a technical perspective, like most of these Grindstone/EFO pictures, competently made, but the script, and in particular the finale, needed some work.

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