In a world where paperback pulp action heroes exist, Mack Bolan is too busy and Remo Williams the Destroyer is with a different agency, so you are left with Jake Speed, who is reluctantly on the case of a woman abducted by white slavers and the beautiful sister out to rescue her. Unfortunately, Jake Speed tends to lean on the slow side when it comes to his adventures, so the film itself could hardly be called an action romp.
Clocking in at 100 minutes, Jake Speed takes way too long to get to the good stuff, which is mainly John Hurt in the role of the villain Sid. Once Hurt is on screen, the film becomes much better, but by that time we are nearing the end. That isn’t to say the film is terrible, as there is still good to be had in this lighthearted ’80s flick. Moments of humour pop up (a terrible yet oddly catchy African rendition of the song “She’s a Maniac”) and the chemistry between lead actor Wayne Crawford and actress Karen Kopins is on point. It’s also nice to go back and watch a film where the good guys are guaranteed to win both the day and the girl, no matter what is thrown at them. With Jake Speed, you at least can expect that and a smile or two.
Arrow Video releases Jake Speed on Blu-ray with solid audio and video, but it lacks in the special features department. It features only two interviews, one with director Andrew Lane that clocks in at roughly 21 minutes. The second feature is roughly 12-minutes and is with producer William Fay, who goes into more detail about some behind the scenes shenanigans they got into. With some of the leading cast sadly having passed away, the lack of interviews is probably something Arrow Video couldn’t help. Still, extra feature junkies have been warned, this is a light package.
The included booklet has this say about the video and audio:
Jake Speed was restored for this release by Arrow Films. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with mono audio.
The original 35mm interpositive was scanned in 2K resolution on a Lasergraphics Director Scanner at EFilm, Burbank. Picture grading and restoration was completed at Pinewood. The grading was completed on a DaVinci Resolve and picture restoration was performed using PFClean software. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches and other instances of film wear were repaired or removed through a combination of digital restoration tools and techniques. Some instances of wear remain, in keeping with the condition of the film materials. The audio was remastered from the original magnetic reels.
All materials were provided by Lakeshore Entertainment.
Please check out our gallery for a better look at the video transfer.
Gallery: Jake Speed (Arrow Video Blu-ray) Screenshots
Here are the Jake Speed screenshots from Arrow Video's Blu-ray.
• NEW 2K restoration of the film from the original 35mm interpositive
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• NEWPaperback Wishes, Cinematic Dreams, a new interview with co-writer/producer/director Andrew Lane (HD; 21:01)
• NEW The Hard Way Reads Better, a new interview with producer William Fay (HD; 12:00)
• NEW Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Jake Speed meanders through scene after scene until it finally introduces John Hurt as the scene-stealing villain. It's here the film picks up, but only to end so abruptly. However, for people that enjoy the film for the good-hearted flick it is, Arrow Video has you covered with a solid audio and visual experience that lacks in the extra features.