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Maximum Risk (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

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Originally filmed as "The Exchange" but during post-production, Sony felt that people wouldn't get the subtle title. Sony wanted something that sounded more like an action film. A new title "Bloodstone" was selected. Sony even used this title to promote the film in several industry publications, but they ultimately felt that the new title lacked the urgency and excitement of a Jean-Claude Van Damme film. Ultimately "Maximum Risk" was selected.
Ringo Lam, an Asian movie director, directed this, as his American debut. John Woo, also an Asian director had an American debut film, Hard Target (1993). Both starred Jean-Claude Van Damme.
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In some of the international trailers for the film, Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) tells Alex (Natasha Henstridge) that he is a "contractor". She asks "You're a hitman?" to which Alain nods. In the released film Alain's occupation is a policeman.
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This was Jean-Claude Van Damme's first starring film under his contract with Sony Pictures.
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It was Jean-Claude Van Damme's idea that Asian action director Ringo Lam direct this film, as his American directorial debut.
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"Maximum Risk" was a box-office disappointment in the U.S., but performed well in Europe, grossing almost 40 million dollars.
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After a string of successful theatrical action movies in the early 90s, "Maximum Risk" was one of the first movies starring Jean-Claude Van Damme to skip theaters and be released direct-to-video in many countries. This became the fate of most of van Damme's movies that came afterwards, with a few exceptions such as The Expendables 2 (2012).
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The subway scene in "Maximum Risk" was actually shot in both NYC and Philadelphia. The foot chase on the street and subway stairs was filmed in the real Brighton Beach Station in Brooklyn, NY. However, the platform scenes were filmed at Philadelphia's Berks Market-Frankford Station with Market-Frankford Subway Cars dressed up in "Q Train" stickers to represent the NYC Subway. When Van Damme's character falls between the tracks, he's back at the actual Brighton Beach Station again.
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Although the film was rated R in the United States and 18 in the United Kingdom for violence, language and sexuality, the film was given the M mature rating in New Zealand and M15+ in Australia.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The film bares a couple of similarities with another action mystery thriller - Total Recall (1990): Alain leaves Niece and goes to New York City by using Mikhail's passport. The cab driver Davis Hartley drives and drops off Alain at the Bohemia nightclub where Alex works. Alex thinks Alain is Mikhail. Ivan's goons attack Alain outside the nightclub, but they fail. Alex turns up outside Alain's hotel room and they flee from the hotel when Ivan and his goons turn up and they pursue Alain and Alex to a strip club, which Ivan and his goons open fire. Davis helps Alain and Alex getaway in his taxi cab. Alain discovers Mikhail quit the Russian mob and that he betrayed Ivan and the Russian mob and Alain receives a recorded message from Mikhail instructing him to take down Ivan, Pellman and Loomis.
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