Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Am I dreaming?  Could this really be true?  Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Big Rotund himself, Steven Seagal, actually in a straight to DVD /VOD action movie together?  For the love of all that's holy it is true and to surprise of no one the Action Movie Title Generated 'Maximum Conviction' is awesome.  Depending, of course, on how one defines 'awesome'.  That's kind of key when using that word because some people's definition of 'awesome' could very easily be another person's definition of 'really shitty'.  That's all I'm saying.

Cross (Seagal) and Manning (Austin) are a couple of hardcore badasses given the completely mundane task of shutting down some kind of SuperMax prison facility.  Cross just brought in a couple of transfers to hole up at this facility in the completely hot Ms. Samantha (Steph Song) and the even hotter Ms. Charlotte (Aliyah O'Brien) who are awaiting transfer, but he doesn't care about them.  He just wants to shut down the prison and go home.  Just so you know almost nothing in this movie makes any kind of logical sense, say like anything having to do with Ms. Samantha being arrested and dropped off at a prison considering she's holding CIA top secret information.  Nothing will make sense, and do not try to make sense of it.

Unfortunately Cross and Manning cannot go home because the jerk off Warden says they can't leave until the hot chicks leave, so now they are sad.  Fortunately, CIA strongman Agent Blake (Michael Pare) has arrived to take the hot chicks away.  He even has paperwork to make it all legitimate and stuff but the jerkoff warden says his paperwork ain't done right.  The warden is going to wish he hadn't said that.
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Now we have an all out, balls to the wall siege on our hands as Agent Blake has a virtual army of indistinguishable, heavily armed, masked gunmen in this facility… wait, why are they wearing masks when their leader isn't wearing a mask?  Damn, there I go again asking stupid questions when obviously it's so the same stunt guy can get shot by Seagal upstairs, pummeled by Austin downstairs, step on a landmine over there and get riddled with gunfire over here.  Regardless, Blake has this throng of men on board to snatch the info being held by hot chick Samantha, we're not trusting hot chick Charlotte, and the only thing standing between Samantha's and certain death is Cross and Manning.  Or in other words Blake and his goons don't stand much of a chance.  Wait… would you need a battalion of armed men just to pick up one scared hot chick?  Oh damn, there we go again!  Stop it! 

Moving along… worse still for these faceless thugs is that Cross had his hardcore crew of hardasses on standby, just in case a crew of faceless, heavily armed thugs by chance happen to attempt to steal a hot chick from a prison about to be decommissioned.  Who knew?  Roll with it Christopher.   Just know that there will be shootouts and fist fights galore and the eventually the hard ass Cross, who is the top billing star in this movie, will get to battle the special ops, special forces badass that is Agent Blake.  It will be a battle for the ages.  And if by battle I mean Agent Blake's face is going to do serious damage to Cross's fists, elbows and nearby walls, then that's what I mean.

Clearly what we have here when approaching 'Maximum Conviction' as a work of viable cinema is the resultant expectations of expected returns.  That's a bunch of syllables Christopher, but what does it mean?  It means, quite simply, that if you watch a lot of Steven Seagal movies or Stone Cold Steve Austin movies then 'Maximum Conviction' should undoubtedly satisfy your narrow scope when it comes to cinematic entertainment.  However if your scope is wider and you prefer more of an intellectual challenge when it comes to your valuable movie moments, and by widening intellectual challenge we are talking Dr. Seuss level, then you may be disappointed by 'Maximum Conviction'.  The choice is purely all yours. 

The basic premise is pretty simple.  Bad dudes want hot chick, good dudes must kill them to save hot chick.  Anything in support of this ridiculously simple premise is complete and total nonsense and we accepted that early and often.  We also accepted that we had a very difficult time deciphering Mr. Seagal's vocal style which I can only call ebonical jazzy mumbling.  While I didn't understand what the hell Seagal was saying 90% of the time, most of the characters he was talking to answered by rephrasing what he said in response which did make it easier on us.  We also have to accept that the most vibrant, electric, charming and talented actor in this film was, by far, Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Stone Cold might lack range, meaning I'm not having him play Lord Banquo in the latest retelling of 'Macbeth', but my man plays mean, pissed off, oversized and ugly probably better than anyone working in movies today.  I mean that. 

The action in this action thriller is hit and miss, featuring some decent action sequences mixed with far too many scenes of people slowly stalking the halls while holding guns in a menacing way, and director Keoni Waxman didn't do all that great a job in putting his audience in the frame of mind that our heroes were ever in any kind of danger.  From the first time we saw Stone and Steve we know those faceless goons were toast, and nothing in this movie ever changed that feeling.  And if I'm Michael Pare I'm none too happy that I was portrayed as such a weak bitch-ass sissy in this movie.  Unlike our star at least Pare looks like he lifts a weight every now and then so maybe they should've let him land a couple of punches.  At least. 

All that being said we did enjoy our time spent with 'Maximum Conviction' because it met and maybe even slightly exceeded our admittedly kind of low Resultant Expectations.  Expectations that will no doubt vary from user to user. 
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