Steven Seagal is back - meaner, leaner and ready for some action. Although it's more like he's ready to share the action -- with few young bucks.
Seagal plays hard-edged Detroit detective Orin Boyd, whose unorthodox methods to catch the bad guys generally leave him in hot water. After single-handedly saving the U.S. vice president from a terrorist attack and unfortunately blowing up too many things in the process, Boyd is relegated to the dregs of all Detroit divisions - the 15th Precinct. There, with the help of his no-nonsense commander (Jill Hennessy) and his naïve partner, a by-the-book cop (Isaiah Washington), he discovers how truly corrupt the precinct is when several kilos of heroin and cash turn up missing. Boyd finds an unlikely ally in drug-dealing crime lord Latrell Walker (DMX), who is falsely accused and becomes the main target. The two men must team up together to expose the deep-seated conspiracy within the police department. Of course they do.
If you are a fan, it's great to have uber-cool Seagal back on-screen. He took a break from his action fare over the last few years but has returned looking as buff as ever. However, this time around he magnanimously shares the screen with a few young actors, who take on as much - or perhaps even more - action than the big man himself. Hip-hop star DMX struts and preens with the best of them, and Seagal seems almost amused having the young actor take over some of the dirty work. Good-guy cop Washington (Romeo Must Die) lends a helping hand while big guy Anthony Anderson (also in Romeo Must Die) does a nice job playing DMX's henchman. Hennessy is fairly wasted but it's refreshing to see a woman playing a tough police commander.
This isn't a warm and fuzzy film. This isn't a groundbreaking drama. This is a Steven Seagal action movie, where the characters will not discover hidden secrets about themselves and become better people. If you are aware of this fact, then the film doesn't disappoint. Seagal films have occasionally risen above the standard beat-'em-up, blow-'em-up fare. The best example may have been the intriguing Under Siege, like Die Hard on a U.S. Navy battleship, where his I'm-king-of-the-world attitude wasn't as prevalent. In Exit Wounds, Seagal is finally older and maybe a little wiser, realizing his own limitations. The film even makes fun of itself (Seagal actually takes an anger-management class). Yet ultimately, we know what this film is all about -- the fight sequences, the guns, the explosions - leaving room for little else.
For a genuine "Steven Seagal experience," Exit Wounds is the movie to see.