Stop me if you've heard this one? Steven Seagal, Ving Rhames, and Danny Trejo walk into a bar, fully armed with weapons and hell-bent on kicking ass and taking names. Yes, that is what you get with 'Force of Execution', a direct-to-video action picture that is a more "paint-by-the-numbers" type film than anything resembles a filmwith a cohesive story and relatable characters. But that seems to be the case with Seagal and Trejo these days (with the exception of the 'Machete' films).
'Force of Execution' runs at about 99 minutes, but feels like three hours with its long drawn out plot points and brooding characters who try to be so complex that they actually implode on themselves. The script just calls for to many twists and turns, that it takes you out of the film itself and fries your brain. If this action movie went the way of the actor's work from the 80s and 90s, then we would've had a much simpler film that would have been much more entertaining.
Seagal plays Alexander Coates, an ex-government agent who has turned to a life of crime. And not just any crime, we're talking the head of a criminal empire in New Mexico. Not exactly a light-weight. Coates sends Roman Hurst (Bren Foster, not Ben Foster), to take out a guy in prison. Once Hurst, Coates' right hand man', is in prison, he meets Ice (Rhames), who tells him the wrong target on purpose. Well this action sets things in motion for the rest of the film as Dante (Marlon Lewis) declares war against Coates for this mishap. Meanwhile the head of the drug cartel Jimmy (Trejo) shows up form time to time to help Hurst out.
The end result is a 'who will take control over the big criminal empire and who will be betrayed' type of action movie. The actual plot is a good setup, but its execution is off on every level. If the filmmakers wanted to make a revenge and betrayal flick, then they should have stuck with that story, but instead, there is scene after scene of useless dialogue, story, and character development that we don't need. And so the story doesn't push forward until the next action scene or until the end.
The dialogue is almost always laughable and full of cheese here, while the acting is just a step above that. We have seen all these actors do better. Bren Foster turns out the best performance with what he is given. The action scenes are done nicely with some nice ground and pound type moves, followed by some better than average gun fights, but it's all nothing to to write home about. Even though 'Force of Execution' has a title that would excite the avid action movie fan, and has a fun cast, this small film is better left collecting dust on the shelf unless you want to waste 100 minutes of your time.
'Force of Execution' comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It has its problems though. There are some halos and aliasing that pop up towards the start of the film, which is quite distracting, as well as some minor banding throughout. In the darker scenes, there is a bit of video noise too, but that doesn't quite hinder the viewing experience. But with a cheap and direct-to-video movie like this, the video presentation gets the job done.
Detail is quite sharp here, with well-defined closeups on the actor's faces that show all of their dirty facial hair and the fine stitching in their costumes. Colors seem to be well-saturated here as well. Black levels run deep and inky with the skin tones looking natural. While this release has some problems here and there, this is a decent presentation for this type of movie.
This release comes with a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix that sounds good. Dialogue is almost always crystal clear and easy to understand. In some scenes, atmospheric sounds and effects drowned out the dialogue, but there was no evidence of any pops, cracks, or hissing.
The gun battles sound nice, but don't pack as big a punch as I'd like to hear from an action film. The bigger action scenes certainly turn the volume up a bit, but never leaves you in suspense or thrilled. The ambient noises and sound effects do get some play in the surrounds, and the score sounds well balanced and always adds to a moment of suspense. Again, this isn't the best I've heard, nor is it the worst.
'Force of Execution' isn't a great film by any means. It tried to hard to be something more than what it was, and it ultimately failed. If they kept this simple, it would have been way better. With a good cast like this, I expected more from the movie as a whole. The video and audio have its problems, but are still better than average. The only extra has some funny moments too. Rent this one if you're a very curious fan.