God heard your prayers. How else do you explain the pairing of Steve Austin and Steven Seagal in a direct-to-video movie? I mean, there's just no other way to explain how these two huge movie stars were put into the same movie and asked to beat people up as slowly as possible. Oh, what's that? The reason is paychecks? Oh, well that makes sense too.
The world of DTV action movies is a dubious one indeed. Usually good action movies are attached to a thing called a "big budget" which helps with the thrilling factor. Since the budget here is paper-thin and the Seagal-Austin duo can't even come close to the painstaking choreography of something like 'The Raid: Redemption', we're left watching two old dudes fight people slower than Seagal running a marathon.
What's the plot of this generically terrible action movie? Well, since you're so interested, let me tell you. From what I could gather between episodes of dozing off, is that Steele (Seagal) and Manning (Austin) are big-wig security contractors that have come in to close down a super-secret government prison. They were supposed to get the high-profile military detainees out of there and then go on living their boring DTV action hero lives. Only, things don't go according to plan. Do they ever?
Even though this is a top-secret secure prison, a team of mercenaries is snuck in through the back of a garbage truck and are delivered through the prison's garbage crusher. In essence it's an analogy for the movie as a whole: garbage. The mercenaries are here to obtain a prisoner of interest, Steele and Manning must prevent them from doing so. This in turn commences the 50, or so, minutes of mindless low-budget action scenes where the bad guys have trouble hitting anything with their machine guns, Seagal fights people with his patented fat-guy slow-motion martial arts, and Austin drops swears while dropping phony-looking wrestling moves on his enemies. Yeah, super exciting, right?
You know the drill. Like a video game the two highly-trained government guys rid the prison of terrorists one bad guy at a time, dispensing one-liners like they're going out of style. The only thing missing is Steve Austin pile-driving some poor soul and then crushing a couple beer cans between his immense fists.
Personally, I don't have a clue why they keep making these movies. Are there that many people out there that see a generic title like 'Maximum Conviction' on the shelf and say, "I've got to have that!" If the title doesn't sell them are there people out there that have been frothing at the mouth for and Austin-Seagal pairing? I just can't picture anyone with sense walking up to the cash register and paying cash for this (unless said person lost some kind of bet).
So, congratulations to the half a dozen people out there that were waiting with baited breath for this release. It's finally come. Now you can spends day after day watching Steven Seagal slowly waste away to nothing. You can watch Steve Austin grimace his way into obscurity.
Let me just leave you with the movie's tagline: "Maximum security. Maximum firepower. Maximum sleep-aide." Okay, you caught me. I added that last part. It doesn't make it any less true though.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
There's nothing much to report here. The movie is on a 25GB Blu-ray Disc. Comes in a DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack. And is coded for Region A.
Sure there is a lot of detail in Anchor Bay's 1080p transfer. When that camera gets right up close you'll be able to count every one of Steven Seagal's puffy pores and watch as beads of sweat trickle down Steve Austin's shiny dome. Even though the clarity of up close detail looks strong compared to other DTV releases, the fact still remains that 'Maximum Conviction' suffers from the same low-budget flatness that most of these types of movies suffer from. It's what keeps it out of the higher echelon of video scores.
While detail does look rather nice and well rendered, shadows present somewhat of a problem. The entire image lacks depth. Blacks are dark, but lack dimension. Faces and objects get lost in the shadows. Since most of the movie is set at night, or in dimly lit rooms, this is a bit problematic.
I didn't notice any compression problems, except for some negligible banding in a few black gradients. I was impressed that there weren't many digital artifacts or errant digital noise. Overall, one of the better looking DTV Blus I've seen recently.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio is all bark and little bite. It tries to overcompensate with itself. Gunshots arrive at ear-splitting volume. Gunfights are a cacophony of whizzing bullets pinging off metal objects since the bad guys literally cannot hit anything in this movie.
This aggressive audio mix features hard-sounding explosions that are accompanied with fast and fierce low-end sound. Dialogue sometimes gets lost in the fray as bullets fly and people scream. Whenever the gunfire dies down, dialogue can be heard intelligibly.
It's loud. It got that part right. The problem is the track doesn't feel as well mixed as other movies. There is a ton of emphasis placed on sound effects for guns and explosions and not enough attention paid to everything else. If you like loud movies this one will entertain you. If you like well-rounded mixes, then this isn't the movie for you.
So, I see you got this far in the review. Perhaps there are people that are interested in this movie (that, or you're really bored at work). In that case let's just say that this is another pointless DTV action movie with one has-been and one never-was. The audio and video are pretty solid considering its DTV roots. Still, there's nothing about this movie that is even remotely considered recommend-worthy. Just pass on by the next time you go to the movie store. There's nothing to see here.