Cop Orin Boyd stumbles on a nexus of crooked cops and drug dealers. Fifty kilos of heroin go missing, and everyone clams up. Enter crime lord Latrell Walker, who may hold the key to the conspiracy.
Only a reckless punter would have put money on corpulent action hack Steven Seagal's release from DTV purgatory. However, via a combination of undeniably smart action moves and a hitherto absent sense of stoic self-deprecation, Seagal is once again back on form. That is, of course, a strictly relative term. But if you have any lingering affection for the old war horse, then you will welcome Exit Wounds as you would an old friend.
In fact, even if the appeal of Seagal's bread-and-butter offerings (Hard To Kill, Marked For Death et al) eluded you, Exit Wounds still has much to recommend it. It's a stylish, efficient action thriller with the requisite quota of dark undertones, strong supporting characters (rap star DMX in particular) and balletic flo-mo violence. It's unlikely to win any awards for originality, but in this particular corner of the genre that's hardly an impediment.
Moreover, if it does stir memories of The Matrix or Romeo Must Die, you can be sure the effect is purely intentional - producer Joel Silver had a hand in both, and Romeo (which also provides some cast members here) was director Andrzej Bartkowiak's debut feature.
This was the first fruit of Seagal's timely alliance with both Silver Films and Warner Bros, and it's a tribute to how seriously all concerned were treating his comeback that there was suddenly buzz about an Under Siege 3 around the time that this was released. Seagal is in better shape than he had been in years here, and if his hair is still ludicrous, he has at last stopped taking sartorial tips from both Willie Nelson and Fu Manchu. He is no Keanu, but at least he seems to have accepted that. And if this is anything to go by, he's back in the race - even if he is puffing a bit.
Surprisingly acceptable. A tautly-plotted actioner punctuated by regular bouts of ear-splitting gun play. Also, everybody is kung fu fighting - except, this being a Steven Seagal movie, it's probably aikido given the modish high-wire treatment. This also