22nd Sep2017

‘Maximum Security’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Corbin Bernsen, Louis Mandylor, Jocelyn Osorio, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Eddie J. Fernandez, David Fernandez Jr., Luis Gatica, Steven Dell, Mauricio Mendoza, Geoffrey Ross | Written by Benjamin Budd, Scott Windhauser | Directed by R. Ellis Frazier

maximum-security-dvd

Jack (Lundgren) is a former CIA contractor who now oversees a team of elite thieves. One night in a small Mexican town, they flawlessly execute an intricate heist. On the way to a lucrative payout the Mexican authorities suddenly apprehend them. When the authorities bring them in, Jack finds himself face-to-face with Agent Price (Bernsen), his former CIA handler. Agent Price informs Jack that he s being sent to La Muerte, a high-tech, impenetrable fortress. La Muerte operates as a black site for high profile detainees from Mexico’s war against the Cartels. No one knows where it is…or that it even exists, and those who enter do not leave the facility alive. The vault in La Muerte contains $50 Million owned by North Mexico’s most infamous Cartel kingpin. Agent Price offers Jack his freedom, in exchange for the money in the vault. Jack agrees. But before breaking out of La Muerte with the money, he must first break his team into the prison.

Sounding remarkably like a low-budget cross between Escape Plan and Prison Break, Maximum Security is another DTV outing for Lundgren who – this time – at least actually stars in the film, rather than cameoing briefly just so the film can piggy back the name recognition (Alien Hunter I’m looking at you!). The film comes from the duo of Benjamin Budd and R. Ellis Frazier, two names you might not instantly recognise, but who have been slowly chipping away at careers within the action genre – working together on films like 2013′s Dead Drop and not one but TWO Gary Daniels flicks: Misfire (2014) and Rumble (2016), which has also made its home entertainment debut recently via Netflix.

And I’m telling you this why? Well, like most action aficionados becasue of thise involved I have higher than normal expectations for Maximum Security; especially given that you have two filmmakers who have experience in the genre AND one of the biggest names in action cinema (yes, Lundgren still, to this day is a big name star, despite mainly working in the DTV arena these days), working together on a film that has – for the genre – a healthy budget of $6 million dollars. So were these expectations met? Well…

In a word. No.

Let’s get straight to the point. As an action movie, Maximum Security commits the ultimate sin. There’s hardly any action! In fact, there’s more talking, more machinations and more standing around waiting than any action. Which means only one thing. This film is dull. VERY dull. Though I can see why Lundgren would take a film like this – it allows him to mumble his way through a script that asks very little of him and he no doubt collected a hefty paycheck (probably where most of the $6mil budget went) for headlining. When there is action however, the film gets worse! A lot of the fights are badly choreographed and look like they HAVE been choreographed, with slow, deliberate moves making sure the director gets the shot he wants rather than making the fights look natural; and it would seem – on the surface – that no one, apart from Lundgren and Isaac C. Singleton Jr., has previously has any on-screen fight experience…

Even at just under 90 minutes, Maximum Security was a chore to watch, making this an easy pass even for hardened Lundgren fans.

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