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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sisu (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


An ex-soldier who has become a gold prospector near the conclusion of World War II finds gold and is hunted by Nazis who want to steal his riches.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Nearing the end of World War II during the Lapland Wars, a former Finnish soldier, Aatami (Jorma Tommila), known for his high kill rate of Soviet soldiers and legends of him being immortal, has become a gold prospector. Alone with his dog, he finds a vein of gold and strikes it rich, but he is set upon by Nazi soldiers who want to steal his wealth. He soon finds himself hunted by a group of Nazis, led by a brutal SS soldier, Bruno (Aksel Hennie).

Sisu is like the Finnish answer to John Wick – it is brutal, it is fast paced, and it defies logic at times in the most glorious of ways. Take for example a scene where Aatami is hanged by Nazis. One would expect him to be dead. Even the Nazis who hanged him left him behind as dead. Coming exactly when it does in the film, you can guess already, he is not dead. He comes back with more of a vengeance. There are high-flying scenes in airplanes that defy both physics and logic.

The minimalist script and predictability of the film, which is segmented into chapters that telegraph what is to come, are boosted by the cinematography and the adrenalin fueled soundtrack. The audio engineering for this film also helps to make for a wild ride.

Sisu is not the sort of film one needs to think to long about. This is the kind of film where you need to shut off your mind, eat your popcorn, and simply enjoy the chaos, the staggering gore, and the hint of camp that the film puts forth.

  • Jorma Tommila in Sisu (2022)
  • Aksel Hennie in Sisu (2022)
  • Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, and Onni Tommila in Sisu (2022)
  • Jalmari Helander in Sisu (2022)
  • Jorma Tommila in Sisu (2022)
  • Jorma Tommila in Sisu (2022)
  • Aksel Hennie in Sisu (2022)
  • Mimosa Willamo in Sisu (2022)
  • Sisu 4K Ultra HD Combo (Lionsgate)

The Video

Sisu arrives in a 2.39:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement from Lionsgate. There is nothing to complain about with this presentation. The gritty action drama looks very filmic and cinematic, with an organic looking texture, nearly three-dimensional shadow detail, and the Dolby Vision, apart from the wider dynamic range, brings a lifelike appearance to the various explosions and fires. The color palette does not ‘pop’ much given the muted look of the film, but some specular highlights standout a bit and the presentation of sunlight and so on has a natural brightness.

The Audio

Sisu comes with a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this mix, it is engrossing, dynamic, makes very good use of the surround channels, and has deep low end. The issue I have with this release is – where is the Atmos mix that was designed for the theater run of the film? Or where is the Atmos mix that is available on the digital version of the film? As great as the 5.1 mix is, Lionsgate has dropped the ball here not including the Atmos audio mix.

The Supplements

Sisu does not come with much, but there is over a half-hour of featurettes delving into the making of the film and its visual effects.

  • Digital Code
  • Blu-ray w/feature film in HD and bonus features
  • Indestructible: Making Sisu (1080p; 00:24:26)
  • Pushing the Boundaries of Reality: The Visual Effects of Sisu (1080p; 00:10:49)

The Final Assessment

A brutal action film out of Finland that will satisfy the needs of moviegoers that like their action white-knuckled, their stories fun, and exposition be damned. The production translates well to the 4K Ultra HD disc from Lionsgate, but the lack of including the available Atmos track is perplexing.

Sisu is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo July 11, 2023, from Lionsgate

  • Rating Certificate: R (for strong bloody violence, gore and language)
  • Studios & Distributors: Subzero Film Entertainment | Good Chaos | Lionsgate | Lionsgate Home Entertainment
  • Director: Jalmari Helander
  • Written By: Jalmari Helander
  • Run Time: 91 Mins.
  • Street Date: 11 July 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1000 nits
    • MaxFall: 490 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English Descriptive Audio | Spanish DD 5.1 | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | French | Spanish

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An ex-soldier who has become a gold prospector near the conclusion of World War II finds gold and is hunted by Nazis who want to steal his riches.Sisu (4K UHD Review)