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Maximum Conviction

And minimal competence.

Rod Lott October 23rd, 2012

In Maximum Conviction, Steve Austin forever speaks like there’s a pinch of Skoal eating through the corner of his bottom lip, but I have no idea what’s going on with Steven Seagal’s accent attempt: Southern? Cajun? Ebonics? An overly phlegmy head cold? Your guess is as good as mine, and unfortunately, I’ve seen the movie.


The two Steves — one formerly stone cold, the other once hard to kill — star as tough-talkin’ former black-ops partners at a "high-risk extraction" prison that’s so "dark military," the local police don't even know the place exists. Therefore, the fuzz won’t be any help when rogue military man Michael Paré (The Lincoln Lawyer) and his troops infiltrate the place with guns a-blazin’, looking for two female detainees. (To satisfy as many viewer fetishes as possible, the ladies are Asian and Mexican.) Like a family dog, one of the the women is implanted with a chip — this one packed with secret financial information worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million.

A standard action setup, to be sure, yet executed with a minimal level of competence by director Keoni Waxman (who helmed Austin’s much better Hunt to Kill). The script he’s working with makes next to no sense; even the throwaway quips sound assembled via fridge-magnet poetry: "I got a better idea: Why don't you fuck your mama and one of your pet poodles?"

Says Paré toward the end, "This isn't about patriotism, or the flag. This is about money." And he’s exactly right, but woe be to the renter who expects something on the level of Austin’s Expendables gig — you won’t get anywhere near that much fun, although Bren Foster (TV’s Days of Our Lives) does impress with his martial arts moves.

If you make it through the whole tired exercise, the ending threatens hints at a sequel. Don’t you dare, Waxman! "Remember, man, it ain't over 'til we're dead," says Seagal, who looks as if he’s getting too damn close. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
The Expendables: Extended Director's Cut Blu-ray review    
Hunt to Kill Blu-ray review   
The Lincoln Lawyer DVD review    

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