The Courier Blu-ray Review

In Hany Abu-Assad’s (PARADISE NOW) THE COURIER, Morgan is, well, The Courier, a messenger man known by only that moniker. That’s supposed to make him mysterious. So, too, is his self-description of his profession, “I deliver things.” So does Skip, the 17-year-old driver at Pizza Hut, but that doesn’t make him any more cryptic or complex than he really is.

The Courier
While visiting an old friend (Darren Aronofsky regular Mark Margolis), The Courier is approached by two men–one with a suitcase, the other with a gun. He’s tasked to deliver the suitcase to a man named Evil Sivle within 60 hours. Failure to do so on time will get his family killed. With that, The Courier takes the aid of the sexy Anna (Josie Ho) and the two take off for answers and Evil Sivle.

The Courier

For THE COURIER to work, we have to want to find out the answers to the questions. (What is the back story of the protagonist? What is this villain’s motivation?) But we don’t. Turns out, we don’t want to know more about The Courier than that he’s the kind of guy who, when the story starts, holes himself up in a decrepit apartment with a mouse. We also aren’t eager to find out who, what or where Evil Sivle is (though we figure out part of that since Mickey Rourke’s name is on the box and neither he nor Evil Sivle show up in the first act). And anything that gets answered really goes nowhere to build on the story or the characters.

The Courier
And so we turn to the action, which there must be a lot of since there are exactly seven guns on the front and back cover of the box art–two for Morgan, two for Lili Taylor, two for (hey, look, it’s–) Miguel Ferrer, and one for Rourke. Shots are fired and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is hit by a car, but thrills and excitement are almost non-existent. We should have known that, though, considering the opening scene takes place on a defunct roller coaster.

The Courier
Well Go USA’s best bet to get you to see this straight-to-video Jeffrey Dean Morgan movie was to slap his face on the box, then hope you’d disregard the name below the chin and assume it all belongs to Javier Bardem. Their backup plan was to put, “From Academy Award Winning Director Hany Abu-Assad” on the slipcover, even though PARADISE NOW was only nominated.

If the plot to THE COURIER sounds like your kind of movie, re-rent THE TRANSPORTER and its sequels. If you think Morgan is remarkably handsome, rent VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA. If you want to see Mickey Rourke imitate Elvis, just ask him.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: 16:9 Widescreen in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Despite the lack of visual pop in the movie itself, the video presentation on this disc is quite good, with detail and proper tones throughout.

Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. While the action itself isn’t all that exciting, the audio effects and music sound great in those sequences.

Behind the Scenes Featurette (22:33): This standard featurette uses clips, on-set footage and interviews (with director Hany Abu-Assad, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Migeul Ferrer, and more) to offer an overview on the making of THE COURIER.

Extended/Deleted Scenes (17:54): This collection of scenes add little to the story or characters of THE COURIER.

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