Exit Wounds is the second feature film by director Andrzej Bartkowiak (his debut effort was Romeo Must Die). Synthesizing various images of maleness, he casts thuggish hip-hopper DMX alongside luggish action figure Steven Seagal.
Two screenwriters trawl John Westermann's source story to achieve a plot composed entirely of clichés: the “lone wolf” outsider cop (Seagal), with a tough-but sexy boss (Jill Hennessy), stumbles across departmental graft involving drug sales to a shady black entrepreneur (DMX). Exit Wounds is based on Westermann's hard-boiled crime novel much in the same way that Romeo Must Die contained a tale of Capulets and Montagues in its storyline, somewhere. The plot machinery is greased by gunplay, martial arts battles, car chases, and women in various stages of undress. Exit Wounds fulfills the standards of its genre, but not too much can be said of a movie in which a Ruff Ryder frontman delivers the most panache. Bartkowiak isn't a bad director. He's a decent director making bad movies.
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