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Renée Elise Goldsberry
"Force of Execution" is the story about a crime lord torn between his legacy and his desire to get out of the life of crime that has built his empire, when a new player to the scene tries to use the town anti-hero's network to climb to power. The only friend the crime lord has is his assassin protégé who has troubles of his own. An epic battle of under bosses and crime lords. Only one will come out alive. Written by
Middling Seagal effort with some decent fight sequences
Seagal's best days are now far behind him, but he's made a niche for himself in the DTV market. FORCE OF EXECUTION, while not one of the better movies he's made, is at least watchable and has some good action to boot. This time around, Seagal is Alexander, a crime boss with a past in government special ops. He runs a southwestern town with an iron fist, to be sure, but backed up with a code of honor. Martial artist Bren Foster plays Hurst, Alexander's chief hit-man and a protégé of sorts. They are joined in the cast by Ving Rhames, an up-and-coming gangster and Danny Trejo as a bar owner with a few tricks up his sleeve. The event that sets the plot in motion is a hit that goes bad, resulting in Hurst's "retirement," and the severe injury of his hands. Meanwhile, Iceman (Rhames) maneuvers around Alexander in order to take control of his territory, climaxing in a showdown between the two gangs. First, the good parts. Seagal is playing a type of character that he doesn't usually play, an antihero of sorts in a movie populated solely with lowlifes. There is also some decent martial arts on display, but mostly from Bren Foster. Seagal is relegated to doing his usual chops and take-downs when he isn't just using firearms. Finally, Ving Rhames gives the best performance in the movie as Iceman, lending credibility to his role as a gangster and delivering some great improvised dialogue. The rest is mediocre at best. The basic plot is paper thin, and not enough time is spent developing the three main characters. Most of the dialogue scenes are corny discussions about honor and respect, tough talking without any purpose other than to make the characters seem tougher. As far as the technical aspects go, director Keoni Waxman opts for the currently in-vogue shaky-cam, and some of the editing choices obscure the action. While this was most likely to conceal stunt doubles in some shots, it makes the action hard to follow in places, especially with Seagal. Fortunately for Bren Foster, they pulled back the camera a little bit so you can see him work. Overall this should be enough to placate Seagal fans, but everyone else should just stay away.
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