It’s no secret that Steven Seagal has been churning out films straight to the home entertainment market for years as opposed to his past big screen releases. While there was a rough patch at one point, he has had a few come out recently that were not too bad. His latest, Absolution once again teams him up with Vinnie Jones as well as Byron Mann, but does it bring the action he is known for or will it be a step back towards the lower quality films of his past?
Absolution follows a contract killer who encounters a girl on the run from a mob boss with powerful political ties and is torn between protecting the girl, and remaining loyal to the government agency that hired him for the mission. Seagal and longtime collaborator director Keoni Waxman have built a formula together that sometimes works and sometimes not so much. While this film is a pretty by the numbers action flick it still works on some level. Anyone that watches movies like this for anything other than the action side is fooling themselves before they ever hit play. The acting is average at best with most of the cast and Seagal plays the same character he plays in every film. His biggest issue these days is that without cranking up the volume it is near impossible to hear him since he tends to speak really quietly. This has always been the case, but as he has gotten older it’s gotten quitter. Stepping away from the volume issues, as mentioned before the real reason to watch a Seagal movie is the hopes to see him unleash his Aikido skills on a wide variety of the criminal element and he does just that. Most that have watched him over the years will see a lot of the same techniques, but anyone that knows anything about martial arts will enjoy seeing him do his thing more so than hoping for wider variety. He does what he does and to expect anything else is silly. Sharing the fighting duties is Byron Mann who does a good job with it. He adds a different element to the action that helps to give the variety that some may be looking for.
The story is pretty straight forward and nothing that hasn’t been done a hundred times over in some fashion. Let’s be honest, these films are for a specific audience and those that rush out to watch them are more than likely going to enjoy it just to see Seagal do his thing. Those looking for the next great action film will likely be sorely disappointed. This is far from his best film, but it still continues his trend of putting out simple fun action films and hopefully he will eventually score that next Above the Law again in the future, but until then be get your Seagal fix when Absolution hits DVD and Blu-ray on July 7th.