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Exit Wounds

Starring Steven Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington, Tom Arnold
Screenplay by Ed Horowitz and Rich D'Ovidio
Based on the novel by John Westermann
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak

IN SHORT: State of the art special effect in an equally state of the art
incomprehensible story. [Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/ nudity. 117 minutes]

Oh, if Cranky were fifteen or sixteen he'd be raving about the incredibly cool special effects in the new Steven Seagal movie Exit Wounds -- pierced body parts, head injuries and more of that really shocking stuff that makes those of us who are far into our parenting years shudder and cringe in our seats. No, seriously. Totally state of the art things that we could swear we've never seen before in any genre of movie. We'd be tempted to make a list but we've never believed that the job of the reviewer is supposed to be the equivalent of spoil sport

And, except for the fact that we spent the first hour wondering what the heck was going on in the thoroughly incomprehensible construction that passes for a story, Exit Wounds might have been a great action flick. It isn't that we haven't sat through so many action flicks that we didn't know what was going to happen far in advance. With one exception, we did, and that sole exception surprised everyone in the sneak preview audience we sat with. We know it surprised 'em, 'cuz they were the kind of audience that didn't think twice about speaking out loud while the film was playing.

Normally we hate that. In this case, since most of 'em were asking their dates to explain what was going on, we didn't feel so bad.

Steven Seagal plays Orin Boyd, a detective on the Detective Police Force. He's a dedicated cop. Observant. Tough. Looks good in a suit -- an important point since industry buzz has it that Seagal was told by the producers to lose thirty pounds for this role. Would that the producers had spent as much time telling screenwriters Ed Horowitz and Richard D'Ovidio to work on the script. Boyd tends to find himself in situations requiring more than a modicum of violence, and it's gotten three complaints lodged in his file. The event that kicks off Exit Wounds gets him busted from Detective to Patrol Cop and transferred to the worst precinct in the city.We're not quite sure how a whistle toting street cop manages to get a detective as a partner. We're not even sure why a whistle toting street cop merits a partner, but Boyd is back doing that detective thing in no time so who cares if there's no rhyme or reason to his promotion. In short order we meet bad cop Montini (David Vadim), good cop George (Isaiah Washington), drug dealing bad guy Latrell Walker (DMX) and the overweight comic relief T.K. (Anthony Anderson). The fat guy gets busted, and escapes, early on. The next time Boyd sees him, rather than make a simple arrest, he destroys a nightclub and conducts an illegal search for evidence.

We should mention that, as part of his bust down to street patrol, Boyd is forced to attend some kind of "rage control clinic," at which he meets television personality Henry Wayne (Tom Arnold) who will later become vital to the story.

Vital, as in Wayne explains who everyone is and what everything means about two thirds of the way in. After that, everything makes perfect sense as we move on to the head bashing and body piercing. By that time, though, no one we sat with (ourselves included) gave a damn.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Exit Wounds, he would have paid...


The catch being: if you're fifteen, Exit Wounds may strike you as being slicker than sliced bread.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Andrzej Bartkowiak
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