Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, starring Steven Seagal and DMX
I'm not ashamed to admit it, I've sat through a few Steven Seagal movies in my time. I've even enjoyed some of them. But that was when I was 16 and I prefer to think I've moved on since then. Steven however, like the guy you went to school with who still insists on giving you Chinese Burns every time you meet, is still up to his old tricks.
Playing against type, Seagal is maverick cop Orin Boyd (which sounds uncannily like 'orange boy', drawing attention to his onscreen tan) a man whose hands-on, safety-off approach to law enforcement finds him demoted from Detroit detective to pavement plodder. And his new beat is bad news: he must attend anger management classes with middle aged men, take softly, softly orders from a lady boss and share a locker room with cops on the take (although we are never quite sure which is worse). Can he sort out the city's ills within 100 minutes? Answers on a postcard please to Predictable Ending, PO Box…
This is the perfect airplane film, not because it would pass the time on a four-hour flight but because even if the engines drowned out the dialogue completely, you'd still understand every scene. With a plot that can be roughly described as 'Serpico' for people who never outgrew 'The A-Team', Seagal beats and bangs up Detroit single-handedly, shopping both the cops and robbers and still finding time for the odd comedy one liner in-between kicks to the groin.
All this would be somehow enjoyable if there had been even a petri dish of chemistry between himself and real life bad boy DMX (playing a drug pusher with a hidden agenda), instead they meet, scowl, throw a few punches and don't set a date for a rematch because they know with a script this creaky they're bound to run into each other again in ten minutes' time. The highest compliment you can pay 'Exit Wounds' is that it's one of the few films from Hollywood that lives up to the tag line on the poster: "This is gonna hurt".