Steven Seagal is back! Surprisingly, this time he's a renegade cop who plays by his own rules, has a complete lack of respect for authority figures, and enjoys kicking ass. Though it seems extremely unlikely, Seagal soon finds trouble at a Detroit police precinct. Trouble in the form of... CORRUPTION! That's right, dirty cops everywhere you look! Difficult to imagine, isn't it? Seagal plays Officer Orin Boyd, and gives us just what we've come to expect, as he gleefully dispenses his own brand of squinty-eyed justice.
If you've seen any of Seagal's other films, like Out for Justice, Hard to Kill, or Above the Law, then you know the score here. Exit Wounds is Seagal in classic battle-mode. The only problem is that the rest of the movie can't seem to decide what to do with him. Seagal's vigilante cop formula only provides for so many variations, and Exit Wounds tries to use them all. He's the cop who does good, but is reprimanded for not following established procedure. He's the cop who is ordered to attend anger management therapy for his volatile temper. He's the cop who gets busted down to directing traffic. He's the cop who is saddled with an unwanted partner. Most of these cliches serve primarily to show Seagal in silly situations. Along with that self-depricating humor comes Tom Arnold and, as we all know, including him in any situation automatically makes it very silly indeed! Exit Wounds attempts to juggle the funny stuff with an extremely violent action story involving drug dealers, conspiracies, and double-crosses, and the results are, at best, mixed.
Though I didn't plan to mention acting in this review, I was quite impressed with rap star DMX. He has an unquestionably strong screen presence, very natural acting style, and could probably have a successful career as a dramatic actor. His was the standout performance in this film, though I admit, considering the other talent involved, that wasn't too difficult a task to accomplish.
Additional Exit Wounds highlights include car chases, gunfights, explosions, more gunfights, and Steven Seagal going medieval on everything and everyone. So, for action-buffs and hardcore Steven Seagal fans there's enough to satisfy. To all others, enter Exit Wounds at your own risk!
Directed By: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Starring: Steven Seagal, DMX, Tom Arnold, Isaiah Washington,
Anthony Anderson, Michael Jai White, Bill Duke, Jill Hennessy
MPAA: Rated R (Violence / Language / Nudity)
Running Time: 117 Min.
March 21, 2001
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