Ridley Scott’s epic modern-day warfare drama Black Hawk Down smashes onto 4K Ultra HD. So, how does it fare on the format? Is it heavy on goodness, or does it come up a little skinny?
The story: Based on actual events from 1993, 160 elite US soldiers are dropped into Somalian capital Mogadishu, tasked with capturing warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, who has declared himself president. Instead of the operation going smoothly, however, the squad is assailed by hordes of heavily-armed Somali revolutionaries, and face one full-on firefight and a desperate struggle just to get the heck out of Dodge alive.
Possibly the most powerful and enveloping account of modern day warfare, Black Hawk Down remains as astonishing an experience as when it first released, with Scott almost making the viewer an embedded witness to the appalling things that can happen during such operations.
“Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that sh-t just goes right out the window.”
The 4K disc: Black Hawk Down comes to the 4K Ultra HD format with a stunning, native 4K transfer that will impress even the most cynical of viewers. The flawless vision is almost forensically detailed at times, with a usually almost imperceptible wash of talcum-fine grain that’s only slightly more noticeable in a couple of darker shots. Speaking of which, black levels are basically perfect here, with the HDR push to the brightness range resulting in realistic representations of both the brightest day scenes and the darkest of night. We’ve used a lot of superlatives here, but we believe that they’re warranted. This one goes in the 4K demo section of the pool room.
The sonic side doesn’t let things down for a second. A powerful Dolby Atmos mix has been created for this release, and is at it from the outset as the sound of choppers engulfs all channels. In other scenes, bullets ping around your head and explosions rock the subwoofer, yet amongst all of the insane din of battle, dialogue remains clear and easy to comprehend.
Save for the fact that both the theatrical and eight-minute longer extended cuts feature, no extras are included on the 4K disc. The enclosed standard Blu-ray, however, does deliver three audio commentaries and a documentary, The Essence of Combat: Making Black Hawk Down.
Release date: May 8
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.