Exit Wounds

After nearly three years of absence from American theaters, Steven Seagal returns. Apparently, those three years did not yield any new knowledge about making movies. Instead of returning renewed or changed for the better, Seagal merely chopped off his ponytail. He still has his squinty eyes, and still has his bouncy swagger. Exit Wounds is the exact same formula that Seagal and other action heroes like Van Damme perfected, dropkicking themselves into near obsolescence. There is a thin story hidden somewhere amidst the blazing guns with unlimited ammo, bare breasts, and endless fights and car chases. Exit Wounds is a book by John Westermann, adapted by Ed Horowitz (On Deadly Ground) and Richard D'Ovidio (13 Ghosts). There is a sequel, but hopefully it will not be made.

Seagal (Get Bruce, The Patriot) seems stuck in a Romeo Must Die reunion. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak, actors Isaiah Washington Anthony Andersen, and actor/rapper DMX are all alums and are all here. The upside is that it will attract fans that would otherwise ignore Seagal, who plays police officer Orin Boyd. Boyd is brash, reckless, and independent. This lands him in the 15th precinct, a dangerous inner city district. He quickly begins to suspect police corruption, and goes about trying to root it out. Thanks to the generous advertising, it's really no secret that he teams up with Latrell Walker (DMX, Backstage). Initially, Boyd goes after Walker, who appears to be a drug dealer. Walker has his own reasons for ferreting out police corruption, but they are hokey.

Yet there is something therapeutic, no, narcoleptic, about watching a movie like Exit Wounds. The action is decently done. It skirts the line between being barely believable and far-fetched (where exactly did those swords come from?). And since it is a movie about police corruption, it will almost certainly end up with Seagal and one or two allies against a multitude of foes. Just turn the brain off, and sit back and watch the pretty things explode. It is pointless watching Seagal. His acting is, as always, mediocre. At least he plays off his strengths by not speaking much. And people always make a big deal about DMX. As an actor, he does have a presence. But he needs to do more than sneer and look menacing. Andersen (See Spot Run) alternates roles between amusing and annoying. He is the latter here. Washington (True Crime) is the best of the bunch. He shows some humanity and emotion, but that may just be his role.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 41 minutes, Rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity.

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