Review by: Fusion3600
Posted on: January 28th, 2012
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Plot: What’s it about?

Andrew Wyke (Michael Caine) is a novelist with a rather eccentric lifestyle, which includes living in a state of the art, beyond secure mansion. Wyke’s wife has left him for another man, a young actor named Milo Tindle (Jude Law). While the two have run off to be together, Wyke has refused to finalize the divorce arrangements. As such, Tindle returns to speak to Wyke and convince him to do so, so everyone can move on with their lives. As confident as Tindle is, even he isn’t sure he can persuade Wyke, but when Wyke agrees, the trouble really begins. While Wyke agrees to what Milo asks, he also makes a proposition of his own, one which makes Milo choose between important elements. Soon enough, the two men are engaged in a tense, dangerous game of one upmanship, but who will survive this lethal encounter?

The straightforward plot has become a rare beast, as plots loaded with twists and turns have become the norm. I don’t mind twists, some films use them to elevate the story or shed light on certain plot points. Even if used as a sheer shock element, a good twist can enhance the movie, to be sure. But as seen in Sleuth, when the story focuses more on twists that actual plot, the results aren’t as memorable. In truth, I was done with the twists in Sleuth halfway through the movie, I had enough and hoped that soon, a more coherent approach would fall into place. Instead, the film trudges on and with no real plot to fall back on, it simply has to push out more and more twists. While the performances from Michael Caine and Jude Law are enjoyable, the story here is wafer thin and you never connect to care about the characters. I wasn’t a massive fan of the original Sleuth, but it looks like a minor masterpiece when compared to this misfire of a remake.

Video: How does it look?

Sleuth is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The visuals here don’t look great, but they look good. I noticed a lot of noise throughout, nothing major, but still distractions. This is such a new release and with a dual layer disc, I just didn’t expect to see this level of noise. Aside from that, the image is very good, with bold colors, accurate contrast, and impressive depth. The level of detail is superb in most scenes, though some do come off as soft. Even so, the image provides some pop and while a little inconsistent, I still found this to be a good presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option offers an active, effective soundtrack. The nature of the material holds back the track at times, but the tense atmosphere allows the speakers to come alive. As the tension mounts, the audio follows suit and makes sure the mood matches. This is done through the music of course, but also via skillful surround presence that draws us in, then keeps us on the edge of our seats. No issues arise with dialogue, so all the sharp back and forth exchanges sound flawless. This disc also includes Spanish and Portuguese language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I know the film business is overcrowded with people overly impressed with their own work, but do we need two commentary tracks of them patting themselves on the back? In the first track, Branagh and Caine tells us how wonderful the movie is, then in the second, Law reminds us how lucky we are to see such a great movie. All three seem so delusional, as if the story’s twists were unique and effective, which simply couldn’t be more false. Lame stuff and a total waste of time. This disc also includes two brief featurettes, both promotional in nature.

Sleuth (Blu-ray)
Kenneth Branagh
89 min.

  • (2.35:1)
  • Video Codec: AVC
  • Audio: Dolby TrueHD
  • 1 Disc Set
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy