The Denzel Washington ’90s Crime Thriller On Max Is Completely Wrong And Needs Fixing

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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These days, it feels like Denzel Washington is really having a moment, especially after his film The Equalizer 3 has proven to be such a hit on streaming. We decided to go down the Denzel rabbit hole and ended up streaming Ricochet on Max, but to be honest, we had trouble appreciating the acting and storyline for one simple reason. The aspect ratio is completely wrong for most of the film, and this is just the latest example of Max doing the various films in their library dirty.

Ricochet’s Aspect Ratio

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Before we delve into all the details about this Denzel Washington film, let’s address the streaming elephant in the room: what’s wrong with Ricochet’s aspect ratio? In short, the version streaming on Max is in the incorrect aspect ratio (1.85:1), something that is glaringly obvious when you view the handful of scenes that are in the proper aspect ratio (2.39:1). This effectively cuts off some of what was filmed, which adds an extra level of annoyance on top of the occasional distracting shift between different ratios.

A Fun Movie Nonetheless

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The good news is that if you can get past the annoyance and distractions courtesy of Max, this Denzel Washington film is quite solid. The plot of Richochet has him playing a district attorney in Los Angeles who must deal with a criminal that he helped put behind bars who is now out for revenge. When you know who plays this crazed killer, you’ll understand why this movie is so surprisingly good.

John Lithgow Is Amazing As The Villain


The bad guy tangling with Denzel Washington in the movie is played by John Lithgow, whose performance as a single-minded criminal is likely to leave you breathless. Back when the fourth season of Dexter came out, fans commented on how surprising it was to see a comedic actor like Lithgow embrace his inner serial killer. In Ricochet, he delivers that kind of chilling performance yet again, and he’s surrounded by awesome supporting actors, including everyone from Ice-T to Jesse Ventura to Whitney Houston (making her uncredited cinematic debut).

Too Bleak For Dirty Harry

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To further put this Denzel Washington film in context, it was originally written to be a Dirty Harry film, but Clint Eastwood himself passed on it because he thought it was too bleak. Fortunately, critics didn’t find the movie too bleak to enjoy: on Rotten Tomatoes, Ricochet currently has a 74 percent critical rating, meaning the film is “certified fresh.” Audiences who enjoyed the film were able to vibe with it long after the credits rolled thanks to the single that Ice-T recorded simply titled “Ricochet.”

Watch For The Ricochet

In this movie, Denzel Washington gives it his all, and John Lithgow makes for a perfect cinematic foe. We understand if anyone wants to tap out due to the weird aspect ratio, but if you’re willing to put up with it, then Richochet is a film worth streaming on Max. Just don’t blame us if you end up binge-streaming Ice-T songs for the rest of the day after you hit the credits.