Shocked that this movie made almost $20
million last weekend--ranking it first in movie ticket sales
nationwide--I realized that I had to get in on what the people were
talking about. And, with that as my reasoning, I dragged Gordon,
Kristin "K-Mac" Hollingsworth and Terry "Minty" McDonnell to the
movietheque to check out "Exit Wounds."
Look, if you've seen the preview, you can
probably already guess what this movie was about. Plus, it stars
Steven Seagal, one of the worst action movie stars in the history of
cinema. And, even with these low expectations, "Exit Wounds" is not
the standard-issue piece of shit that most of these films can turn
into. Seagal plays Orin Boyd, a cop that is reassigned to the
Detroit Police Department's worst district even though he saves the
Vice President of the US in the opening scene. (Why this is the
case, or how the Vice President didn't step up and say, "Thanks,
Orin, for saving my hide," is beyond me.) Upon reassignment, Boyd
discovers a ring of crooked cops led by Michael Jai White ("Spawn",
"Universal Soldier: The Return") and must take out those cops with
the help of a possible heroin dealer (rapper DMX). This plot only
serves to have a number of quality extras get mowed down in violent
fashion on the way to its conclusion.
Seagal is not bad, DMX is pretty decent in
all of his scenes, and in general, I can honestly say that the
acting doesn't really suck in this film. This, my friends, is the
first big surprise of the movie, and the only surprise of the
movie. Everything else is beyond predictable; you probably can
guess that Seagal's cop partner in the film is black, holding to
stereotype rule 3.0.922: all white cops must have black partners.
There are not one, but two strip club scenes, which give us ample
time to sample the latest in striptease apparel and the finest
breasts Hollywood can buy. The soundtrack has rap songs that
play whenever there are scenes of the inner city, and house/techno
music whenever there are scenes in a dance club, strip club, or of
car chases. And, being a Steven Seagal movie, about a dozen bad
an inwardly broken arm,
an inwardly broken leg, and/or
a horrifically shattered kneecap.
I have to admit, the movie does have some
pretty spectacular death scenes, and so many people get impaled, run
over, thrown through windows and demolished by heavy machinery that
you are sure to turn away during at least one of these death
scenes. But, for good measure, lots of folks get hit with handgun,
shotgun and machine gun fire and a whole lot of people get their ass
whooped. This movie's resemblance to
"Romeo Must Die" is more than
coincidental, especially given that DMX and co-star Isaiah
Washington were both in that Jet Li flick from last year.
Most alarming about this movie is its
indulgence to snatch from the most stolen-upon trend, in my mind, in
the history of movies. That trend is to steal as much or as little
as possible from "The Matrix." "Romeo Must Die" suffered a similar
problem; although 99% of the movie is based in reality, these
characters seem to be able to bend the physics model to fight other
characters only when their life depends on it. "Exit Wounds" is no
different, and it nearly ruins its end fight scenes...Michael Jai
White is fighting against Seagal and he literally flies over Seagal
at one point with a sword, eliciting laughter from everyone in my
audience. Seagal even pulls a Remo Williams (for the few of you
that have seen that old Fred Ward action classic) at one point: a
character is holding a gun to Seagal's head, fires it...and, as the
bullet is coming out of the chamber, Seagal moves out of the way!
He moved out of the fucking way!!!!!
After he moved, he kicked the gun out of the
guy's hand, pulled a Matrix-esque double kick while putting one hand
on the ground, came back up and snapped the bad guy's leg in half
before cuffing him. It was ridiculous. Why do so many movies want
to steal from "The Matrix"? It isn't even action movies any more
that do it; comedies of all shapes and sizes have been stealing from
it mercilessly since it came out in April of '99 and I'm just
getting sick of it. Go back to stealing from "Pulp Fiction" and
I'll be a lot happier.
Anyway, the movie is very entertaining
because it is so bad at times, but overall, this is not a bad way to
spend $5 on a Saturday afternoon. Terry, Gordon and K-Mac all
thought it was Matinee material. And, as K-Mac pointed out, you
should note that DMX does not show his stomach muscles here, so you
ladies out there needn't see this movie if you were hoping for some
DMX nude shots. However, he does through a mean roundhouse kick,
and he has a ridiculous little trick that he pulls with his belt and
a shotgun near the end of the film.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard