Broken Arrow

John Woo brings his particular brand of action to Broken Arrow about two stolen nuclear bombs

John Woo brings his particular brand of action to Broken Arrow about two stolen nuclear bombs. Typical of Woo is the list of destruction. Several helicopters, assorted trucks and jeeps, a train wreck and an underground nuclear explosion.

In six channel Dolby 5.1 you are in for a ride. The plot in Broken Arrow, as it is, centers on two Air Force pilots played very well by John Travolta and Christian Slater. Travolta has a plot to steal the bombs, ransom them back to the government, buy 5% of Volvo and live off the dividends for life.

Slater is bound and determined to stop him. Along the way Slater meets up with a perky Park Ranger played by Samantha Mathis. She brings some excellent comic relief to the show as well as holding her own in the action scenes. Trademark Woo scenes are there for Woo fans. Dual guns blazing as the actor flies through the air shooting. The pace is roller coaster fast and keeps you glued to the screen.

The Broken Arrow video transfer is top notch. The scenes are clear and without any artifacts from the compression. The sound, not that is a different story. To say the sound is good is a gross understatement. It is marvelous. The musical soundtrack even comes from the rear speakers.

The Dolby 5.1 surround field is almost always fully utilized. The explosions, gun fights and crashes are smoothly moved from one speaker to the next creating the experience that you are in the middle of the action. You hear ever shell casing fall, every bullet bounce around you.

The one thing that holds this Broken Arrow DVD back from true greatness is the lack of extras. It would have been nice to have the director (or a translator) explain the set ups for the scenes or better yet, a behind the scene look at the special effects. Still, if you enjoy a good romp through action, get this one!

Review by Doug MacLean of

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