Exit Wounds Blu-ray Review
“What am I, a sh*t magnet?”
Exit Wounds Blu-ray Review
The fallen-from-grace action icon’s only decent post-2000 film.Beyond his bone-crunching opening salvo of nineties hits, the most watchable Seagal entries remain the ones which not only boasted some decent action sequences but also had a fair amount of comedy value, intentional or otherwise. Exit Wounds, thankfully, falls squarely into this category.
Its increasingly ludicrous story sees Seagal’s tough cop, Orin Boyd, transferred to the worst 'precinct in the city' as punishment for single-handedly saving the Vice President’s life from armed terrorists (I’m not sure, but maybe he’d have gotten a better deal if he’d let the VP get killed...). It’s not long before Boyd is getting into trouble again, uncovering a string of crimes which may be associated with a group of corrupt cops working within the department. The difficulty comes in figuring out who is good and who is bad...
Seagal’s first foray into wire-fu action is a pretty fun ride, boasting a string of competent action sequences and hard-hitting fights.It’s the unintentional humour, however, that really helps sustain your interest when the ‘generic action movie’ feeling starts to set in. There are dozens of hilarious touches in the film(no matter what his character does – no matter how many people he saves and criminals he apprehends – he always seems to get busted down by his boss), many of which are ironic given Seagal’s off-camera falling star at the time, and the notion of pairing the stoic action icon with a bunch of dumb-thug proto-50-Cent rappers and irritating loudmouth comic stars was undoubtedly a stroke of genius, as it actually makes him more endearing.
It’s just a shame he didn’t capitalise on the surprise sleeper success of the film by making the intended sequel, The Honour Farm, about cops in prison, and instead put the final nail in his Hollywood coffin with the silly PG-13 actioner Half Past Dead, ironically also set in a prison. Exit Wounds remains his swan song to success.
What is Exit Wounds Blu-ray Picture QualityExit Wounds hits UK Region Free Blu-ray complete with an excellent 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen. With one of the biggest budgets ever allotted to a Seagal film, the production looks glossy and stylish throughout, and is lensed competently throughout.
You can debate the merits of the film itself, but it sure as hell looks great in High Definition.
Detail is generally impressive, clinically observing everything from facial nuances and skin textures to clothing weaves and set subtleties. Seagal may not have been in the prime of his life, but looked better than he had done in years, and better than he has ever done since. Defects appear non-existent – there’s no overt edge enhancement, no excessive DNR application, no banding or blocking, and any freeze-frame softness soon dissolves in motion.
The colour scheme is broad and vibrant, picking up the colourfully-lit sets and vivid tones. Black levels are strong and rich, allowing for decent shadow detail, and there is a suitably stable level of grain pervading the piece, leaving this an excellent, demo-quality presentation with very little to complain about.
How Does Exit Wounds Blu-ray SoundOn the aural front things are bombastic as all hell – as you’d only expect from this kind of actioner – right from the get-go, and the film seldom lets up, bombarding you with frenetic fight sequences, shootouts, and explosions at every turn, and peppering the connective tissue with growling sports car engines and a stomping soundtrack headlined by co-star DMX himself, unsurprisingly.
Not exactly noteworthy for its subtlety, the accompanying audio track perfectly suits the action dynamic.
Dialogue is presented clearly and coherently throughout – even Seagal’s infamous mumbles appear to remain audible – delivered largely across the fronts and central channels, and dominating the piece in the few instances where action and soundtrack play second fiddle.
Effects are myriad, from the thunder of the mounted gatling gun during the opening helicopter assault to the high-pitched buzz of the circular saw; from the electric sting of the tazer-competition to the crash-and-bash of a couple of thunderous car chase sequences. Gunshots strike out throughout your living room, explosions rock your sofa, and the atmosphere of the nightclub sweeps into your home. The score provides the majority of the LFE input, which is certainly welcome, and overall this is a very good audio presentation, perhaps lacking the kind of precision that you’d expect from a demo rendition, but thoroughly engaging nonetheless.
Exit Wounds Blu-ray Extras
On the one hand, you seldom expect this kind of action movie to boast any substantial extras – certainly few Seagal vehicles have anything beyond a trailer – and so the semi-decent main Making-of Featurette and its satellite accompaniments make for a nice exception to the rule, but, on the other hand, there’s nothing new here beyond what adorned the original DVD release of the movie.
Far more than just bare bones, but nothing beyond what was on the DVD.
The Making of Exit Wounds runs at nearly 19 minutes in length and boasts the usual plethora of cast and crew snippets, padded out by no end of promotional clips from the main film itself. There are some behind the scenes glimpses and a little interesting background, but the Featurette is something of a time-capsule, produced at a time when clearly the high hopes and aspirations of the filmmakers – which were, in the short term, rewarded – were not blessed with hindsight.
A Day on the Set with Anthony Anderson offers up a further 9 minutes with the loudmouth heavyweight, should you wish to waste more time with him; and the disc is rounded off by a DMX music video and the movie’s original Theatrical Trailer.
Is Exit Wounds Blu-ray Worth BuyingExit Wounds gave Seagal one final hurrah, offering up a fast-paced jaunt into the post-Matrix but pre-Bourne (i.e. pre-shaky-cam) world of martial arts action movies which certainly injected some much-needed adrenaline into his stagnating film career. Despite the fact that, in terms of a comeback, it was something of a false start, there’s a fair amount to enjoy here, with the intentionally – and unintentionally – comic touches providing entertainment even when the action lets up.
Excellent video and audio make this a great release for fans of Seagal's last semi-decent action flick.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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