Exit Wounds

Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Starring: Steven Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington, Michael Jai White, Jill Hennessy, Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold.
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Review by Evelyn Gildrie-Voyles <evy@filmhead.com>
March 19, 2001

If you are planning to see Exit Wounds, follow this simple advice: Buy tickets for another film that starts around the same time Exit Wounds ends. Go to the movie theatre early and sneak in to see the closing credits of Exit Wounds. During the credits Henry (Tom Arnold) welcomes TK (Anthony Anderson) onto his TV show, "Detroit AM". They then proceed to talk about sex, race, masturbation, and other topics of interest to an audience who has just sat through an hour and a half of dreck or who had the intelligence to sneak in just as the entertainment really kicks in.

This isn't to say that parts of the film aren't entertaining. There are some fun bits, (anything featuring Anderson or Arnold) and some of the action sequences are nifty. The film just isn't very coherent. Many of the scenes and side plots seem unconnected, and the main plot doesn't really start until midway through the film. The trailers also give away most of the movie so that the film's "surprises" aren't very surprising.

Steven Seagal plays Orin Boyd, a loose cannon super-cop who has trouble with authority and is transferred to a precinct that has a reputation for being uncontrollable. Soon after being transferred, Boyd crashes a supposed sting operation against Latrell Walker (DMX), a heroine dealer. But wait, everyone knows from the ads that DMX is a good guy and that all the cops except for Boyd and George, played by Isaiah Washington, are crooked! Sure enough, after about an hour it is revealed that Latrell Walker is really a rich internet genius who is using his technology to film police corruption and free his wrongly imprisoned brother. After this revelation the film finishes with a 30-minute action sequence that involves car chases and a sword fight as well as lots and lots of shooting.

The most surprising thing about this film is that some of the performances are very good. Anderson and Arnold are inspired. Washington does well as the decent, hard-working police officer and Michael Jai White is properly clean-cut and menacing as the deceitful cop, Strutt. Steven Seagal has always been -- and still is -- an awful actor. He also seems to be slowing down on the action front. Most of his fights scenes where blurred so it wasn't easy to tell how fast he was moving or exactly what he was doing. DMX moves well and looks great but he is just as bad as Seagal in the acting department. They both deliver their lines in soft monotone mumbles, which makes parts of the movie hard to understand. The faults of the leading men stand out against a background of good supporting actors. Maybe the film would have benefited from worse performances all around -- then the contrast wouldn't have been so great.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Exit Wounds (2001)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Exit Wounds (2001) -- VHS
Exit Wounds (2001) -- DVD
Exit Wounds, a novel by John Westermann -- Paperback
Exit Wounds: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc

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