Force of Execution Blu-ray Review
Many people my age grew up, or at least spent a good deal of their 20’s, watching Steven Seagal create and sustain his own sub-genre of action films – I call it action-cheeze. With his depressed affect, his gravelly voice, and his supposed mastery of the arts martial he was a seminal action star. But of late he’s become kind of a joke, one that he doesn’t appear to get despite his involvement in lower and lower budget flicks that trade on his name more than his actual performances. FORCE OF EXECUTION is the most recent such entry in Seagal’s lexicon though this one has a slightly higher pedigree with supporting stars Ving Rhames (who I love despite his apparent love of these movies) and Danny Trejo. Okay, maybe not that much higher a pedigree.
FORCE OF EXECUTION is the story of a middle-aged assassin-turned-protege, Roman Hurst (Bren Foster who you might recognize if you’re a fan of soaps). Roman works for Mr. Douglas (Seagal), a kingpin in the seedy underbelly of an unknown metropolis (probably Los Angeles). Roman is very good at his job, but when he botches an assignment he ends up paying for it and completely loses the use of his hands. Roman basically disappears from sight after being ‘retired’ by his bosses actions, but he’s still no slouch (possibly the heir apparent to the Seagal/van Damme?). Of course Roman is called back to work when newly released crip Ice Man (Ving Rhames) starts to encroach on Douglas’s business.
According to the synopsis on www.imdb.com FORCE OF EXECUTION is actually supposed to be the story of Mr. Douglas. If this is the case the filmmaking is even more inept than you would suspect from actually viewing the movie. Seagal’s character is central to the plot but the movie is NOT about his journey, at least in any tangible way you would recognize. It does fit in with the director, however, seeing as almost all of his narrative features have been low budget affairs starring Seagal. In fact it appears he has made it his mission to single-handedly keep Seagal in the limelight. Would that these movies even had a pinky-finger’s worth of the filmmaking aptitude of his earlier pictures… but they do not and that is probably the exact reason you have never even heard of this film (until now).
Watching FORCE OF EXECUTION is kind of like watching a soap opera, full of caricatures and stereotypical heroes and villains. The pallette is dismal, probaby on purpose, resulting in a depressed tone that does little to enhance the actors or the story. You always hope filmmakers stop to think about what is in every single frame. I can’t help but believe this filmmaker was going through those processes but the result is a choppy mess, butchered in editing, with too many quick cuts and shaky cam shots. I hoped the movie would at least provide some entertainment value from Seagal, Rhames, and Trejo in terms of kind of a B-movie team-up but it fails even at that. Because of this FORCE OF EXECUTION reminds us constantly that we’re watching a (poorly made) movie.
The result of all these problems is fairly obvious, a train-wreck of epic proportions. With a poor script, terrible acting, awful cinematography and editing this is likely the worst movie I’ve watched this year. Most movies have at least some redeeming qualities but I wouldn’t waste time looking for any here. Literally the only bright spot in the movie is Trejo and this is only because for once he isn’t playing the Machete character he’s been riding since SPY KIDS. Pick anything else when you’re out and about… you’ll never get this two hours back.
FORCE OF EXECUTION BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1.78:1) The video presentation of FORCE OF EXECUTION is grainy and bland, matching Seagal’s affect and performance.
Audio: (Dolby TrueHD 5.1) The sound on FORCE OF EXECUTION is decent but nothing incredible. The mixing is pretty poor which results in a lot of playing with your volume controls to adjust.
FORCE OF EXECUTION: Behind the Story (17:14) This single behind the scenes featurette is the sole special feature on the entire Blu-ray. It’s pretty standard faire for a Blu-ray but I can’t think of any reason you should check it out.
FORCE OF EXECUTION also comes with a DVD copy of the film.