The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart Blu-ray Review: A Fitting Farewell

Created by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, The Venture Bros. ran for seven seasons on Adult Swim over 14 years and developed a passionate cult following. As noted in my review of The Complete Series, it “started as an adventure series spoofing Jonny Quest, and evolved into a heady dramedy about characters trying to find their place in the world.”

The seventh series concluded in 2018 and an eighth and final season was announced. Unfortunately, news broke in September 2020 that the series had been cancelled months prior as they writing new episodes, which was disappointing as there were open storylines, such as were Dr. Venture and his supervillain nemesis, the Monarch, brothers. Fans were vocal with their ire on social media and Adult Swim claimed they still wanted more, which sounds like PR nonsense since they had cancelled it. Then in May 2021, a Venture Bros. movie was announced, which would conclude the series.

Following the events of “The Saphrax Protocol,” Radiance has a few storylines running through it. Hank Venture has disappeared after leaving the hospital. His fraternal twin brother Dean feels responsible for driving him away because he got caught having an affair with Hank’s girlfriend Serena. Dean seeks help from the Order of the Triad, led by Dr. Orpheus. Hank has left New York and searches for the woman he believes to be his mother, taking him to the original Venture compound in Colorado.

Dr. Rusty Venture is launching a line of personal HelperPods, but there’s a problem with the software causing the devices to levitate. He doesn’t care and refuses to push back tomorrow’s launch date. He expects a quick fix and a hike in price so he doesn’t lose money on them. Before his team can correct the issues, a hacker sets off a different launch.

Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is working to identify the Monarch’s relation to Rusty because the Guild of Calamitous Intent’s bylaws won’t allow him to go after Rusty if they are related. Conveniently, the Monarch runs into Mantilla, his former girlfriend Debbie, who leads the villainous group Arch, who has been poaching other Guild members. She offers to make Monarch’s villainous dreams come true.

Publick and Hammer do a masterful job with the script. The plot threads tie together nicely and offer a few surprises that will answer questions that fans have had since the beginning. The roster of characters is wide yet they remain unique figures and act believably throughout. Publick and Hammer also deserve kudos for their voice work for many of the characters.

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Colors pop in bold hues. Blacks are inky and whites are accurate. The image delivers strong contrast and the details from the characters’ thick black borders to the various background details across many settings. The picture is clean and free from digital blemishes.

The audio is available in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Dialogue is clear. Sounds can be heard positioned and moving across the front channels. Composer JG Thirlwell’s score, the diegetic songs, and the effects from the action sequences can be heard across all five channels. The subwoofer delivers great support to the effects and music, especially during the launch.

Extras include two commentary tracks by Publick and Hammer, one labeled “Jackson and Doc Answer Fan Questions.” They are both filled with behind-the-scenes information and the typical tangents the duo are known for. Hodgman & Friends (50 min) is allegedly a TV show playing in the seat backs of NYC cabs (only in the outer boroughs). John Hodgman, a member of the voice cast, interviews Publick and Hammer and asks questions, which are the same questions dealt with the audio track.

The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart is a fitting farewell to one of the best TV series of the century. However, it’s not a stand-alone adventure; it’s the final chapter (so far?), so it likely isn’t the best entry point into the Venture Bros. saga. As disappointing as it is that the series has come to end, this movie brings welcome closure. The Blu-ray delivers a very good high-def presentation and comes with a poster of the cover.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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