Don’t Open That Door

There’s little interesting in The Doorman, a rather explicit Die Hard clone, set in a New York apartment complex. Ex-Marine Ali (Ruby Rose) rumbles with some cruel art thieves, protects a broken family, then cue happy ending.

Beyond the invincible Marine caricature – which to her credit Rose handles, albeit with cruddy editing – The Doorman’s memorable character is Max (Julian Feder). He’s obnoxious, at first. Whining to his dad, smoking pot, playing videogames; there’s hope the villains off him first. Then The Doorman allows him room, turning him from gung-ho, aggressive teen into someone realizing violence isn’t appealing in real life.

The Doorman simultaneously builds Marines as hyper-skilled, yet carefully adds consequence to those talents

Max is seen casually playing a generic made-for-this-movie videogame, sniping robots with glee. In one of his first meetings, he asks Ali if she ever killed anyone. When she responds yes, he snappily replies with a simple “Cool.” The difference is explicitly laid out by Ali after Max sees his first murdered body. “It isn’t like your videogames, is it?” It’s clever commentary in an otherwise aimless action movie.

Ali kills a lot of people. She knows how, and at one point, shoots at concrete, ricocheting the bullet into her foe. “Cool,” as Max says. Yet she suffers PTSD. She relives a failed mission to protect an American representative. The Doorman simultaneously builds Marines as hyper-skilled, yet carefully adds consequence to those talents. For Max, who sees combat as something projected by Call of Duty or other military game franchises, it’s like hitting a mental brick wall. Ali, undoubtedly, experienced the same thing.

Also in the cast, Jean Reno. He’s the criminal mastermind after priceless paintings, although connections to Germany and democratic history falter. Still, he’s Jean Reno, and he’s allowed one moment with co-star Rupert Evans to share fine wine, discuss high-class society, and explain his reasoning. The Doorman isn’t one for intelligent dialog – rather, shooting things – but that conversation grounds things for a moment until action spins back up.

Behind the camera, it’s Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura, notable for Versus and Godzilla Final Wars. He’s action-capable, but is clearly restrained by time or budget, if not both. There’s little room for him to add flair, and a creaky, sloppily composited rooftop battle between Rose and a corrupt cop ruins potential tension. That’s one of the final action scenes too, not exactly sending The Doorman off with class.

Video

Low light causes problems for this material. It’s unlikely Lionsgate’s disc is at fault, rather the digital source. Noise hits a few extremes, garishly affecting the imagery and weakening possible texture. A few stray artifacts appear more in line with Blu-ray encoding, yet this is mostly at the source (best guess, anyway).

A few anamorphic-esque cinematography touches aside, The Doorman appears clear. Sharp detail brings out facial texture, likely downsampled from a 2K source. Firm resolution keeps The Doorman consistent where possible, and a few standout shots more than exceptional, rather extreme in their precision. A few stock shots (a firetruck approaching, opening aerials behind the credits) stick out against the actual source.

Graded mostly for warmth, flesh tones follow, slightly elevated. Primaries hold, never vivid, if enough. Some scenes skew to dramatic monochrome as alarms splash red, a light brings in a dominant green, and the finish adds a firm blue. Otherwise, this looks covered in a typical orange filter.

Audio

Oddly, the Dolby Atmos demo/logo plays before the movie. The actual audio is only TrueHD 5.1 though. It’s fine, if unspectacular budget mixing, lacking range (and overall volume). Low-end elicits a minimal response from explosions, at its best during a flashback from a music sting; that’s the deepest rumble.

Gunfire punches marginally, and tracks well into the surrounds. A key sequence in a dumbwaiter shaft makes full use of the echo effect. Precise this is not, but sufficient.

Extras

A generic 12-minute making-of interviews the cast who explore their roles.

The Doorman
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

A pedestrian action flick that mostly wastes Jean Reno and Ruby Rose, The Doorman offers little beyond remaking Die Hard.

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