Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Wait… Steven Seagal, Danny Trejo AND Ving Rhames?  In the same picture?  That's amazing right there.  Amazing in the sense at how indiscriminate these three men are in their film choices and that this didn't happen years ago.  Nonetheless, here they are in the completely randomly titled 'Force of Execution' which means about as much to this movie even if they named it 'My Mom Likes Ice Cream'.  That title just doesn't sound all actiony and stuff.  This movie right here, with this kind of talent and with director Keoni Waxman in the drivers seat, a cat who has directed the last four Seagal's, none of which made me want to kill myself… there's no way this movie could be anything but awesome.  But alas… it was not awesome.  This makes me sad.

Today Mr. Seagal assumes the role of Mr. Alexander who… surprise… is a retired ex-special forces badass.  This time however, Seagal is a villain.  Kind of.  There really are no good people in this movie and I guess he's the least bad, but he's still some kind of gun dealing, drug dealing mobster.  I think Mr. Alexander might've told us this but Seagal was mumbling his lines even worse than usual this time around, to the point I actually had to turn on close captioning.

Mr. Alexander has a right hand man in Roman Hurst (Bren Foster), who is this films real star, and he is dispatched to do a job.  Note that Bren Foster is very impressive in this film.  Regardless, something goes wrong on this murder gig, mainly because Iceman (Rhames), the dude telling Roman who to kill, was giving him bad information, and now Roman has to be retired.  Not killed, just brutalized in the worst way.

Now this is the point where the narrative in this movie gets a little hazy for me.  Iceman gets out of jail and I think he starts working for Mr. Alexander.  In a way.  Or maybe not.  Regardless he starts putting pressure on the Mexican gang to do something, but I'm just not sure what.  We kind of have
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the same problem with Ving Rhames, one our favorite actors here at the FCU, that we had we Steven Seagal and his lines.  I mean we could understand with crystal clarity the words he was uttering, I just think I needed a translator to tell me what they actually meant.  Apparently Ice wants to 'consolidate power'.  That I understood while he was talking to his main man Dante (Marlon Lewis, who also good in this movie).  To do this Iceman has to kill Mr. Alexander.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  That Iceman is a funny guy.

Meanwhile, we still have the brutalized Roman to deal with, who is living on the streets now as a drunk.  He stays in some dive above a restaurant run by the lovely Karen (Jenny Gabrielle) who is in some way attached to Mr. Alexander, we're not sure how, and also at this place is the cook Jimmy (Trejo) who is actually a Curandero, or a Mexican Witch Doctor for those who don't hablan the espanol.  Why is he being a Curandero relevant?  Because it is. 

So a big fight looms where Iceman is going to break into the Alexander compound and take Mr. Alexander out.  One of the most poorly conceived raids ever.  My main thought, with this showdown looming, is if Ving Rhames is going to allow Steven Seagal to kick his ass on screen.  Michael Pare did.  Byron Mann did.  Gary Daniels did, Darren Shalhavi did.  Tommy Lee Jones did. Every main bad guy in every Steven Segal movie has.  Guess who's not a bitch?  Ving Rhames ain't, that's who.

So the problem with 'Force of Execution' is that its damn near incomprehensible.  True enough, we don't need much by way of a narrative in these dollar store action movies we love to watch, but we do need a little focus on what little narrative there might be.  Waxman was kind of stuck dividing equal time between Seagal, Rhames, and Bren Foster… Trejo was usually hanging around Foster… with most of these characters rarely on screen at the same time and all of them doing something different.  Foster was doing the broken drunk thing, who can still kick ass despite the fact he has no hands, Rhames on the other side of town consolidating his power and the speaking in cryptic craziness… 6-0 yo… neighborhood!  And I really don't know what Seagal was doing, let alone actually saying.  Sometimes he'd appear out of nowhere and mumble something to drunken Roman, sometimes he'd gather his men and show them his sweet gun collection, sometimes he'd pop up in the diner and beat up gang bangers, but most of the time he just didn't do anything.  At least until the eventual shoot out when he did everything. 

Still, the action was solid, the acting from the majority of the cast was decent, and Bren Foster reminds me of Scott Adkins like seven or eight years ago.  No, Scott Adkins isn't a mega star or anything today, but at least he rates being on the box cover of a straight to DVD movie and doesn't have to take a back seat to some aging superstar.  Bren Foster is impressive enough as a potential action star that soon he too might be able to start carrying these movies without dragging along Seagal, Van Damme, Lundgren, Rhames, Trejo or whomever else they need to front said movie.  Good luck Bren. 

Incomprehensible story line, indecipherable actors, decent action.  'Force of Execution'.  Whatever that means.
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