Exit Wounds


Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Written by:Ed Horowitz, Richard D’Ovidio
Starring: Steven Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington, Anthony Anderson, Michael Jai White
Released: April 19, 2001
Grade: C

Okay, the film stinks but it wasn’t like you didn’t already know that.  I’m still in shock having just visited the Internet Movie Database and discovering that Exit Wounds is based on a novel!  Can’t say I’ve actually read it (or even heard of it) but from what I saw on screen, it must have been a very loose adaptation.  I’m sure the book had more that just car chases and gruesome action.

Steven Seagal (aka Orin Boyd) saves the vice-president in a blaze of glory after a huge shootout with a militia group.  Instead of the praise he expected to receive, he’s demoted for having stepped on the toes of the Secret Service and stealing their thunder.  Now in the 15th Precinct (as low as it gets), he’s still out to settle unfinished business on the streets.

He discovers a drug dealer by the name of Latrell Walker (DMX) who is setting up something big and is getting help from inside the ranks.  It seems there are corrupt officers getting a slice of Walker’s pie in return for police protection.  So just who can Boyd trust?  Pretty much no one so he takes the law into his own hands and brings down the whole cartel (crooked cops and all).

Like any porno, the plot is secondary to the action.  That doesn’t excuse the film but at least you know what you’re getting when you see a film like Exit Wounds.  Personally, I found it pathetic but that’s because I had no desire to see it.  However, there were audience members cheering and clapping as Seagal blew things up and butchered his victims.  It’s all in fun but be forewarned that it is more violent than you’re usual action film.

Seagal may be a great action lead but he can’t act and will be left with roles like this until he either dies or retires.  He lacks the wit of an Arnold Swarzenegger but he’s definitely got more pizzazz than a Jean Claude Van Damme or Dennis Rodman (that’s not saying much).  He just walks around looking serious, talking tough and always finding a way out of impossible situations.  For example, in Exit Wounds, he manages to escape from a moving car despite being handcuffed and surrounded by 4 armed men.  Don’t ask me how.

You can forget the “wounds” because all I was looking for was the “exit”.  Then again, I was stupid enough to go through the “entry” and deserved the punishment I endured.  If I haven’t convinced you not to see this film then I’ll give you one final piece of advice that should provide proof without a shadow of a doubt - Tom Arnold is a co-star.