Force of Execution
features Steven Seagal’s best work in years. Too bad the movie doesn’t match his off-the-wall performance. Since his fall from theatrical screens Sates-side, Seagal has complied a seemingly unending stream of forgettable titles. This is yet another confused crime thriller with little in the way of comprehensiveness or originality. Ving Rhames, who is much too fine of an actor to be trapped in such trite, does all he can as a conniving ex-con gangster now back on the streets to stir up a gangland war. B-movie stable Danny Trejo also makes an appearance, in what seems like the dozenth time he’s costarred with the Aikido master. Seagal, sporting a becoming set of whiskers, channels his inner Brando to play the head of an organized crime ring. He’s the kind of underworld boss that spouts zen wisdom, but will still have his protegé beaten to within an inch of his life for disobedience.
The story is so convoluted that after the double crossings and shifting loyalties of major characters in the first act, it became virtually impossible to follow the intentions of the players populating this lame thriller. This is the official synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: “A crime lord who sits atop a powerful underworld empire longs to go straight, putting his faith in his conflicted hit-man protégé as an ambitious young player plots his rise to power.
” You know a movie is bad when even a vague studio press release adds clarity. A prison assassination gone awry puts the life of the hit-man (Bren Foster) in jeopardy, leading to his eventual banishment and downfall into substance abuse. Crippled for his errors and downtrodden the assassin forms an unlikely bond with a short-order cook (Trejo) who works in the kitchen next to his run down apartment building.
Meanwhile we have Sasha Alexander (Seagal) stowed away deep within his fortified compound in New Mexico, idly passing the time by showing off his extensive gun collection to his well equipped security staff, including ex-heavyweight champion and UFC legend Frank Mir in a rare and odd cameo.
There isn’t much to say here, I feel as if I’m beating a dead horse. Seagal is the main attraction but his scenes are limited. Bren Foster proves charismatic and athletic but once again he is sidelined in favor of a plot-line that wouldn’t have been deemed worthy of The Wire. Even director Keoni Waxman seems be growing tired of the genre, his lethargic staging and shot selections are noticeably off from his earlier work.
Director: Keoni Waxman
Stars: Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Ving Rhames