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Force Of Execution (Blu-ray Review)

Force-Of-ExecutionThe man won’t do an Expendables movie, but he’ll be the first in line for middle of the road DTV movies.  This is probably because he wants the lead.  He is Steven Seagal.  A once, I think it’s fair to say “fad” action star in the 90s who had never was able to rekindle the success of his powerhouse Under Siege.  He managed a brief comeback in the early 2000s with Exit Wounds, but since has been hanging out in straight to video land with playing the villain in Machete being the exception and not the rule.  While The Expendables franchise might not be that great of a series of films (I like the 2nd one, but kind of yawned through the first), it’s by and large Star Wars in comparison to what he’s been doing, including this new film Force Of Execution.

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Film

Steven Seagal plays Alexander Coates, a mob boss in New Mexico who is an ex-government agent.  When a hit in a prison goes wrong, Coates allows the person who was supposed to be hit and his men to all but kill his own hitman.  This turns the hitman, Roman into an on the edge drunkard.  However, he begins to gain back his esteem when protecting a friend.  And when a man named “Ice” challenges Coates for control of his criminal empire, Roman finds himself pairing up with the man who pretty much left him for dead.

The picture above is what I imagine the type of look I had on my face was while watching this.  Force OF Execution is a lazy, boring and generic straight to video action movie, in a time where that’s not such a bad thing.  The DTV action film market is in the midst of a golden age that is finally starting to grab some acclaim.  And here we are with this slug of a movie that is the kind of stereotype people have come to expect from these movies.  What it has over its competition is some star power, but what degree is the big names of this film actually a draw?  Seagal has his cult fan base, but really, it should be dying off by now.  Does anybody see a movie because Ving Rhames is in it anymore?  And I love Danny Trejo, but he’s in everything.  What you have in this one is a past his prime action star that’s pretty much just showing up and not doing any sort of work that would make you think he “still has it”.

Seagal does his normal schtick he’s been doing for years where he just stands in place and fights guys that come running at him, never himself moving.  He’s also got a weird, country if you’d call it, accent that proves really odd and bad throughout.  And there’s nothing worse than a man with bad facial hair.  There was a time when the man’s films were either genuinely enjoyable or goofy enough to like them.  I think he’s really doing the same thing, but its just far past its prime and boring because…well it’s the same thing.

Bren Foster makes a nice little appearance here, but the film is hampered by the fact that they try to force this film to be Seagal’s.  His character is the real star of the film, but he almost feels too shy and second fiddle for us to really get on board.  This guy needed to be the clean focus of the movie instead of the aged, past expiration date action hero.  While both Seagal and Rhames looked bored, Danny Trejo brings a lot of fun here.  He’s the only person who seems to be giving an effort and does his best to put some life in this movie.  That’s one of the biggest reasons I am big Trejo supporter, no matter the esteem, the budget, the studio, the director, the glory…Danny Trejo will give you 500%.

I’d like to be able to enjoy this maybe on a mindless action level, but the film slugs around and tries to be way too serious with everything.  The action provided is neither innovative or well done.  I’m really not into the guy standing in the middle while guys come running to him to be punched.  In a time where films like Undisputed III, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and the Ninja franchise are becoming the norm and receiving all of the “best stuff you’re not watching/don’t know of” acclaim, this star grabbing one could be kind of hampering to them.  So, I guess that’s what I have to say.  There really is a lot great stuff in the DTV action market the past so many years, this is far from being one of them.

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Video

While I wasn’t a fan of the content, it at least was presented nicely.  The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC picture was incredibly detailed down to Steven Seagal’s attempt at growing a Van Dyke.  The skin tones are all consistent and the textures are all visible and look almost as if you could touch.  The only problem comes from some scenes looking way too dark.  The blacks are just at one super dark level (although you can make out pinstripes on Seagal’s coat) where you can’t see individual levels of shade, its just straight black.  It’s a minor qualm with an otherwise good picture.

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Audio  

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is just good enough.  There’s nothing spectacular about this track setting it apart.  For an action film it could be louder.  Gunshots are fine but they don’t really blast as you see in some really stellar tracks.  The dialogue is okay but kind of a in this kind of soft muted sense to it.  There’s not a whole lot of speaker interplay.  Overall, like I said, its serviceable, but for a DTV action movie they need to do something to set themselves ahead.

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Extras

Included with the Blu-ray is a DVD copy of the film.

Force Of Execution: Behind The Story (HD, 17:14) – This look at the making of the film features cast and crew interviews, discussion on writing, the acting process and some videos of the onset fight choreography and insight into crafting the action scenes.

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Summary

Anchor Bay provides a solid presentation of a generic movie.  It’s got a surprisingly lengthy and in depth behind the scenes video to add.  But after this movie, do you really want to know more?  The movie slugs by and does nothing special.  It’s a film that just purely exists; it’s nothing interesting and doesn’t even really have a scene or bit of note to remember.  Ask me in a few weeks about this one and I’m going to have a hard time recollecting anything other than who was in it.  This is one of those films that challenge you to keep from checking your e-mail, Facebook, Twitter while watching.  As if you were planning to do watch this in the first place, steer clear of it.


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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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