DVD Review: The Mark

STUDIO: Pure Flix | DIRECTOR: James Chankin | CAST: Craig Sheffer, Eric Roberts, Gary Daniels, Sonia Couling, Ivan Kamaris
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 10/16/2012 | PRICE: DVD $19.99, Blu-ray $22.99
BONUSES: featurette
SPECS: NR | 98 min. | Action thriller | 1.33:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital stereo | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall


A good direct-to-DVD movie, in my view, is one that makes you say, “Hmmm, wonder why that never made it into theaters.” The Mark, distributed by Christian movie studio Pure Flix Entertainment, isn’t one of those.

Craig Sheffer and Sonia Couling in The Mark.

It’s lack of star power and obvious low-budget special effects mark this suspense actioner as earmarked for the disc bargain bin, despite a relatively engaging story. The ugly child of Executive Decision and the short-lived TV series The Event, The Mark pits corporate baddies against each other as they vie for a biometric microchip implanted in faith-less ex-Special Ops soldier Chad Turner (Craig Sheffer, TV’s One Tree Hill). The chip is mostly a McGuffin; specifically how it can alter humanity is never disclosed, although as the world moves toward economic collapse and a single currency and single government, it seems to be vitally important and will give the technology’s owner untold power.

As Turner travels from Bangkok to the G-20 Summit in Berlin, his flight is hijacked, the thugs try to find and subdue this human experiment, and the passengers mull a post-9/11-style revolt. Blood’s spilled, flight crew become targets, and the bowels of what has to be the world’s widest-body commercial airliner become impromptu hiding places. Meanwhile, the Rapture is afoot, adding a tacked-on mystical element to the goings on aboard the plane.

As pure action, this isn’t terrible – in this terrorism-savvy world there’s a feel good element whenever the good guys get the drop on the bad guys – and given the film’s $1 million budget, The Mark is reasonably competent, but a little more exposition would have gone a long way. In lieu of that, we get a trailer for The Mark 2, and likely a third installment to answer all the questions raised in this original. Therein lies the main problem: this doesn’t feel like a complete movie, just the pilot of a cable TV miniseries. I hazard to say most viewers won’t bother to seek out Part 2.

The sole special feature is a short behind-the-scenes featurette. However, the DVD comes in a cool sleeve with a lenticular image on the front…I guess that’s pretty special.


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About Gary

Gary Frisch has been contributing laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray reviews to Video Business magazine, Home Theater Magazine, Home Theater Buyer’s Guide, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and the DVD Guide for more than 14 years. He still has a collection of more than 40 laserdiscs, along with a working auto-reverse LD player, but thinks Blu-ray is da bomb and anxiously awaits the original Star Wars trilogy so he can buy it for the fifth time.