Plot: What’s it about?
Orin Boyd (Steven Seagal) is always prepared to go to extremes, if it means that’s how he catches the crooks. But his hot to trot approach has caused a lot of damage over time, so even though he is often successful in the field, he is still berated by his bosses. Such is the case when he overcomes massive forces to prevent an assassination, one which could have involved the loss of powerful politicians. He managed to bring the targets out of harm’s way, but he used unusual and dangerous methods, so he ends up demoted…to being a simple traffic cop. It seems odd to him of course, but he does as he is told and even enrolls in anger management courses, but finds they only make him even more frustrated. He makes a new friend in talk show host Kenny Wayne (Tom Arnold), but also runs into some crooks, who lead him on a chase toward an unknown fate. As time passes, Boyd becomes convinced of internal corruption within the police force, but he’ll need some evidence and of course, that won’t be an easy task. But sometimes help comes from unexpected places and in this case, Boyd needs all the help he can get, to be sure.
After the solid success of Romeo Must Die, producer Joel Silver and director Andrzej Bartkowiak have teamed up once again, with a lot of the same elements intact. In addition to the returning producer/director tandem, Exit Wounds has the same outrageous action approach as Romeo Must Die, as well as some of the same cast members. DMX, Anthony Anderson, and Isaiah Washington all return from that film, to once again work for Silver and Bartkowiak. But this is really a return vehicle for Steven Seagal, who lost the long hair and trimmed down a bit, but still knows how to kick a whole lot of ass. I have to say, Exit Wounds surpasses all of my expectation as an action flick, even if it lacks in the writing department. Sometimes an action movie just needs balls to the wall thrills and that’s the case here, as Exit Wounds more than delivers on that front. Add in some great humor, a brisk pace, and some cool special effects, and we’re talking about one fun, wild ride. No, this is not a thinking man’s movie, but it is a very cool and entertaining action flick, which is all it needs to be and then some.
Although he was once a smash success in action movies, Steven Seagal has fallen down the ladder a ways, to be sure. After a trip through direct to video land, Seagal returned to the big screen with Exit Wounds, which did some solid box office business. Seagal even lost some weight and lopped off his trademark ponytail, but he is still the same Seagal, no doubt about it. His style isn’t a perfect match for Exit Wounds, but he does well enough, unless the effects crew messes around, as evident in a couple scenes. I know his performances have left a bad taste in some folks’ mouths, but I like some of Seagal’s pictures, so I am glad to see him back. You can also see Seagal in such films as Above the Law, Under Siege, On Deadly Ground, Marked for Death, Hard to Kill, and Out for Justice. The cast also includes DMX (Romeo Must Die), Anthony Anderson (Big Momma’s House, Urban Legends: Final Cut), Tom Arnold (True Lies, Animal Factory), and Jill Hennessy (I Shot Andy Warhol, Dead Ringers).
Video: How does it look?
Exit Wounds is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a terrific visual effort and while some small flaws surface, the results are still top shelf. The only issue I have is in one of the later chase scenes, when the contrast sometimes lightens too much, but that is an isolated incident, and a minor one at that. Aside from that sequence, this is a flawless transfer and as such, deserves much praise and a high score. The colors have a bright look when needed, but usually remain natural in hue, as intended. This film has a dark visual style and it looks excellent here, thanks to clean, smooth black levels that produce deep black shades, but never obscure detail at all. As I mentioned, this is not a totally flawless visual presentation, but it comes pretty close and as such, I doubt anyone will be disappointed here.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is an action packed flick with all the needed elements, so you know this soundtrack has real potential, which it more than meets and then exceeds. I knew this would be a great track, but I was impressed and then some, as this one really sparks all the channels. The surrounds explode with impact effects, including some powerful bass and intense directional presence, on a very regular basis also. This movie has tons of shootouts, chases, fights, and other action scenes and this track never misses one, always coming in with immersive, well textured audio presence. The bass heavy musical soundtrack adds even punch, but dialogue remains crisp and never gets buried in all the other elements.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This isn’t a fully loaded disc, but it has some nice supplements and is by no means a bare bones release, to be sure. The main feature is a behind the scenes featurette, but it runs under twenty minutes and is more of a promotional tool. Still, it has some decent interviews and such, though nothing too insightful. Another brief featurette follows star Anthony Anderson around for a day during the shoot, but is mostly just for laughs. A few pieces of real behind the scenes is found here, but this is mostly just for humor’s sake, I think. This disc also includes a music video for DMX’s No Sunshine, some talent files, and the film’s theatrical trailer.