Some folks like to sit back with a nice, chilled glass of wine and subject themselves to beautiful and incomprehensible films like "The Tree of Life." Others, like myself, prefer to crack a beer open and watch a couple of patriotic guys cracking jokes and cracking skulls all for the amusement of me and my beverage.
"Maximum Conviction," out Nov. 6 on Blu-ray and DVD, teams up action stars Steven Seagal and Steve Austin as they fight to take back control of a Guantanamo Bay-like prison they have been hired to shut down after a group of bad guys break in looking to kidnap a hostage so they can get a code to get a bunch of money from ... it's a MacGuffin folks. C'mon.
Although, I doubt director Keoni Waxman or any of the makers behind "Conviction" really know what a MacGuffin is. They just know they need an excuse for Seagal to chop some throats and shoot some guns and Austin to body slam some guys.
Speaking of body slamming and gun shooting, that is where this movie shines. Seagal is one of the only stars gracing the screen who actually knows how to legitimately look when you shoot a weapon, especially a rifle. That authenticity rubs off on his co-stars and his director because the militaristic movements and weapon handling all looks more well handled than most big blockbusters. Messing up things like that can truly take you out of the moment.
The grueling parts of "Maximum Conviction" are the same as any Seagal film. When the film tries to build itself up and create things like character and story, it just feels cringe worthy. Watching Seagal and Austin act together when they are not holding knives or guns is the equivalent of ... well, nothing. It cannot be compared to anything. It really needs to be seen to be believed. They both stand completely still, Austin spits out dialogue like he's daydreaming of the upcoming stunts and Seagal does his usual whisper things with an occasional Louisiana accent thrown in.
But who cares about story when you're watching something like "Conviction?" Right? All you need to know is that Austin's got some great fight scenes, Seagal is still kicking ass in his unusual but surprisingly enjoyable Seagal way and the gunfights are way cool.
Waxman pulled off just what he needed to pull off: the best Seagal flick he could (which I realize isn't saying much, but I'm easy to please when it comes to guns, patriotism and kicking ass).
The Blu-ray combo pack includes a commentary track by the director and one of the producers, a behind the scenes look, some interviews and a look at the film's two big stars. The interviews are good and the behind the scenes look is actually worth your time as it shows star and producer Seagal mapping out every gunfight in the movie.
So, if you've got a couple cold ones in the fridge and an old rifle that needs cleaning, you know what to do. And if you're scouring the internet for the latest on Terence Malick's next film ... please stay away. Stay far away.