ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  andrzej bartkowiak

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  action

LENGTH  -  101 minutes

RELEASED  -  14 march 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  warner bros.

OFFICIAL SITE  -  exit wounds

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $33,000,000
exit wounds - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from exit wounds at

buy the dvd from exit wounds at

a renegade detroit cop must get to the bottom of a heroin heist, where everybody looks like the bad guy.

the entire budget for this film was 25 million dollars. in his heyday, steven segal used to earn 15 million a performance.


picture from exit wounds

picture from exit wounds

picture from exit wounds


two out of four possible stars

Steven Seagal has gone through a few ups and downs in his career, but just when it seems he'll never recover from his latest bad movie, he makes an entertaining action film that reminds his audiences that he was once a big time action star. Exit Wounds is one of his better efforts, thanks mostly to a workable formula and some good supporting performances. Seagal's character must traipse around the streets of Detroit to find out who's behind the theft of a large amount of heroin and finds many clues that point him in the direction of rapper-turned-actor DMX, who plays a typically shady character.

This film's biggest success is in keeping to the standard formula that made Seagal famous in the first place: entertaining action flicks. Lots of guns and violence, which Seagal's fans flock to en masse whenever he gets it right. The movie has a few twists and turns, like any good cop movie, and keeps the action factor present in nearly every scene. In fact, the action in this film supercedes any real conversations between the characters. What is said between Seagal and his costars is purely padding for the sequences when Seagal has to get out his gun. Unlike some of his more contemplative films, where many scenes show him engaging in some kind of meditative Asian acrobatics, Exit Wounds hits the ground running and never stops to reload.

But the bullets don't exactly last until the end of the film. It's like all the energy of the plot present in the first half hour or so ebbs somewhat for the next hour in favor of a few fight sequences. Now, this isn't an unusual occurrence for an action film, but when the plot does pick up again, it's almost too late. Like the film misses the boat in the middle somewhere and spends the rest of the time playing catch up. Whether this lack of real plot development should be considered a failing though, is probably subjective. This film was made as an action vehicle for a quite prolific man of action films and the material fits him like a well made suit.

This film also sports a big-name rapper in its supporting cast, an aspect, which has been made popular in the last half decade because of the many acting gigs turned in by the hip hop world's rich and famous. DMX, aka Earl Simmons, makes a clean transition from song to acting in Wounds and adds a strong performance to the film which keeps its failings in story at bay. DMX's ability in front of the camera is better than expected, given his short acting resume. His performances on the music stage no doubt prepared him for his move into film and with only a few films under his belt, he is able to command a strong presence opposite an action star known to take up much of the screen. DMX and Steven Seagal aren't opposites, per se, but they do compliment one another well here.

Another co-starring actor in this film, who gave a good ancillary performance, was Anthony Anderson. His performance made the film more complete in its ability to take the viewers' minds off the lack of character development. Anderson's joking manner was a good substitute for actual brains. Anderson, who also starred in Romeo Must Die with DMX, added a much needed comedic element to Exit Wounds which kept the picture from becoming the depressing mess that too many action films fall into.

The moment a filmmaker decides to forget the fun in a movie, the film's value is decreased mightily. Real life is full of comedic moments and even in serious times, laughter is usually present. And the comedy is not forgotten in Exit Wounds. Anthony Anderson, who has seemingly made it his stock in trade to be the comedic sidekick, comes through with a strong performance, which bodes well for his future endeavors.

What keeps this film from becoming a success on all fronts is its failure to bring an intelligent script to the table. All the actors in this film prove time and time again that they are an interesting bunch of performers to watch on screen, and had the screenplay been something innovative, this film could have advanced the careers of all involved. Currently, Exit Wounds is a project which will attract and satisfy all of Steven Seagal's fans, but which probably won't widen his fan base.

DMX will undoubtedly bring in some viewers who are fans of his music, and will probably keep those fans for whatever his next project will be. This film falls into the familiar trap of having more action than brains, but that only decreases this film's value for potential new fans of the genre or the actors. Action fans and Seagal fans will be pleased with this effort, but those seeking a more intelligent picture will have to just leave their brains at the door and enjoy the martial arts.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs warner bros. 2001
home | archive | ratings | links | photographs | about | contact