Sisu - 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayOverview -
Sisu matches a 1 vs 50-man army of nazis on the open road during WWII. It's violent, fun, entertaining, and gory. That's about it. There is nothing really under the surface there, but does there need to be? No, not with this movie. The 4K image with Dolby Vision looks amazing and the 5.1 audio mix sounds great. The two extras are worthwhile too. Highly Recommended!
During WWII, a solitary prospector crosses paths with Nazis in northern Finland. When the Nazis steal his gold, they quickly discover he is no ordinary miner. While there is no direct translation for the Finnish word “sisu,” the legendary ex-commando will embody what it means: a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds. And this one-man death squad will go to outrageous lengths to get his gold back — even if it means killing every last Nazi in his path.
- Indestructible: Making Sisu
- Pushing the Boundaries of Reality: The Visual Effects of Sisu
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
If John Wick and Inglorious Basterds had a love child, it would look something like Sisu, the third film from Jalmari Helander of Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, and Big Game success. Sisu won the major Sitges Film Festival award and has received praise from critics around the world for various reasons. This Finnish film that's made entirely in the English language is simple, extremely violent, and a ton of fun for those looking for nothing more than a good popcorn flick at the movies. There's nothing under the surface with Sisu, but that surface-level playing field is an absolute blast even if nothing makes sense.
Helander made an imprint on audiences with his dark Christmas movie a few years ago that felt original and allowed for both the horror and family-friendly genres to coexist. That film, Rare Exports, is still a beloved piece of cinema to anyone who's viewed it. Big Game might have had a great cast but was ultimately forgettable. Now, Helander aims his sights on WWII with some brutal, yet cartoony violence that is guaranteed to make anyone yell for joy as a gold prospector encounters those nasty Nazis along his way.
It's clear that John Wick and Inglorious Basterds were big influences in Sisu, but there's also a First Blood element to the film as well where a man minding his own business is forced to rage on in acts of brutality when provoked that is amped up to eleven due to PTSD. Those other films mentioned have wonderful character development, and a great narrative with layers of story to unpack. With Sisu, there is nothing of the sort. It's just about a simple man, traveling with his gold who kills Nazis when they try and stop him.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Sisu exacts its revenge on 4K + Blu-ray + Digital code via Lionsgate. The two discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features the main protagonist in his gear, revving up to take out nazis. There is an insert for a digital code.
Sisu has a fantastic 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision HDR enhancement. This is a gorgeous-looking video presentation that mixes those steely blue colors with fiery orange visuals. The color palette at the film's beginning is steeped in various shades of blue as the sun rises. There are rich elements of gold in the image that stick out. As the film plays on, the golden amber colors shine through and more primary colors reveal themselves. Green grass, wilted brownish vegetation and silver dirt roads are impressive here. The massive amounts of red blood splatters perfectly and contrasts nicely with the green uniforms. Orange and yellow explosions of fire light up the screen perfectly as well.
The Dolby Vision upgrades serve these nuanced colors well, especially in the darker sequences where the black levels are inky and bold. There are no signs of crush or murky shadows. The skin tones are flawlessly natural. The detail is ultra sharp and vivid that reveals amazing closeups. Individual hairs on the actor's faces, dirt, mud, wrinkles, facial pores, and ripped threads in the wardrobe all show up nicely. Droplets of blood and gooey parts of muscle, flesh, and bone are impressive when they are practical. The use of CGI also never comes across as soft. This is a wonderful-looking 4K picture, one that shines on the biggest screen imaginable with no video issues to speak of.
Oddly, this release sports a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix in English. Yes, the film is in English, but the lack of a Dolby Atmos track is jarring since the movie is made for those big action sequences that make use of the excellent audio space. Frustratingly it's available in Atmos on streaming services like VUDU and iTunes. Still, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is impressive. The sound effects are boisterous and loud throughout. Tanks and airplanes draw up some expansive noises with a wonderful low-end of bass.
The landmines that go off also bring a big rumble to the soundscape. Debris falling down, weapons being discharged, gun blasts, and physical punches all pack a powerful bite. Other noises of birds and dogs barking sound great too. Mild noises of the wind, distant footsteps, and more all allow the surround speakers to voice some exquisite sound effects. The score always adds to the suspense and inspiring theme of the movie and the dialogue is clean and clear. There are no audio issues to speak of.
There are 36 minutes worth of extras here, both of which are great behind-the-scenes footage mixed in with cast and crew interviews. They may be brief but these are worth the watch.
- Indestructible (HD, 25 Mins.) - A remarkable set of interviews with the cast and crew who talk about how the movie got made, the tones and themes, budget, revenge, and superheroes. There are some quick sequences of behind-the-scenes footage.
- Pushing The Boundaries of Reality (HD, 11 Mins.) - This strictly covers all the visual effects of the film and how the filmmakers used them to blend in with the practical effects.
Sisu is an action-packed gem of a movie even if it's all surface material. But hey, if it means taking out nazis and getting gold, what more fun could anyone want really? Explosions, check! Dog sidekick, check! Murdered nazis, check! This movie has it all. The 4K video with Dolby Vision looks amazing and the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix sounds great, even though it should have been a Dolby Atmos track. The extras are worth watching too. Highly Recommended!
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