Starring: Steven Seagal, Steve Austin, Michael Pare, Ian Robison, Aliyah O’Brien, Steph Song, Michael Adamthwaite, Bren Foster, Toby Levins, Dean Redman, Richard Stroh
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Take Steven Seagal, add an ex-wrestler, shove them in a prison, and you have MAXIMUM CONVICTION, a fairly run of the mill guns and guys action film which may not be perfect, but it does have moments that stand out. The plot sees Seagal and Austin as black ops security officers, currently in charge of decommissioning a prison. Before that, they have to babysit two female prisoners, with mysterious backgrounds. The waste truck is owned by Trojan Waste, with a picture of a wooden horse slapped across the side. No prizes for guessing the inevitable outcome. Still, referencing Greek literature is a step up for straight-to-DVD action movies.
Austin and Seagal are on fine form, never having to emote much but getting plenty of henchmen to smack about. However, it must be said that it appears Seagal needs a little extra help from the editing team when it comes to his fight sequences. Austin is his likable gruff self, but he never has much to do, and it just felt as though Austin’s Manning and Seagal’s Cross could have been just one character.
MAXIMUM CONVICTION may be incredibly formulaic, but it adds pinches of spice to the tired recipe. The bad guys always seem as though they are on the back foot. Some would argue that this removes excitement as the heroes aren’t working to overcome a particularly dangerous threat, but it was more fun seeing the villains having to overcome problems. Many of the side characters reactions were also quite unexpected, such as the refusal to comply in hostage situations.
This is the sort of film that would have been huge in the mid-90s, before the superhero boom. Unfortunately, times have moved on, and unless you’ve stepped away from the action genre for some time, you’re unlikely to find anything new and exciting here. It was an enjoyable 90 minutes, but where were the cheesy lines and excessive gore? It’s the simple things that could have elevated MAXIMUM CONVICTION into a genre must.