Absolution is yet another bad movie in an arsenal of bad movies over the past decade for Steven Seagal who continues to mumble through his lines and looks utterly uninterested in the material, not that the plot is anything noteworthy, however. This is typical DTV fodder and will be in the cheap bin in no time.
Lionsgate | R – 96 min. – $19.99 | July 7, 2015
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
There are few surprises in cinema and Absolution is no different, it’s yet another direct-to-video release starring Steven Seagal with the pre-requisite cameo-like appearance from the once bad-ass Vinnie Jones, downgraded to being Seagal’s bitch based on the final “fight” between the pair.
The story, such as it is, is rather basic. John Alexander (STEVEN SEAGAL) is a veteran contract killer often working black ops assignments for a variety of employers. His latest takes him to Ukraine where he and his partner Chi (BYRON MANN) are to take out an Afghan national — with a loud mouth, an eye for the ladies and a drug habit — is attempting to procure stealth technology for the Iranians. Alexander and Chi manage to make their way through a plethora of guards and take this man out rather easily.
With the mission complete, and a delay in getting their exit route out of the country, John and Chi lay low not by staying inside the safe house but instead going to a swanky restaurant where upon John intercedes when a young woman, Nadia (ADINA STETCU), who recently escaped a torture chamber where she and her sister were being beaten, is being chased by some nonspecific goons working for the torturer who turns out to be the boss of this region (VINNIE JONES). With the help of Chi, the three make their way out of the restaurant and against his better judgment, takes her with him to the safe house. So much for keeping a low profile.
The remainder of the movie finds Alexander, Chi and Nadia, along with a man named Sergei who is a longtime associate of Alexander’s, outrunning and outgunning a variety of goons and thugs working for The Boss (that’s all he’s credited and known as) going from place to place with no real plan in place other than to fight, well, Seagal’s stunt double fights while Seagal himself merely walks around half-assing it. There are a couple obvious twists but otherwise it’s a really, really, dull paint-by-numbers thriller that didn’t have the courtesy of being so bad it’s good. It’s generic.
Absolution was co-written and directed by Keoni Waxman and marks his sixth collaboration with Steven Seagal which included Force of Execution, Maximum Conviction and A Good Man, none of which were particularly good, even by B action movie standards. This latest addition is no different from the others showcasing an aging star seemingly couldn’t care less about not only the material (which in itself is weak anyway), character, acting or stunts. Although I never considered Seagal to be a principally ‘good’ actor, at least his movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s at least showcased his charisma and impressive stunt work, both of which have been missing over the course of a decade if not longer.
The supporting cast isn’t great though Chinese actor Byron Mann (“Arrow”, The Man with the Iron Fists) was easily the best thing out of this mess of a film. Where Seagal lacked charisma, Mann oozed it displaying his prowess for doing his own stunts (at least it looked like it) and there came a point I wish the movie centered on his character; and he’s not a half bad of an actor.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
This release comes with a matted, title embossed, slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director Keoni Waxman, Actor/MMA fighter Josh Barnett (Colt) and Producer Binh Dang sit down for a decent and semi-lively track offering up bits of info on the production. The trio keep up good pacing with few silent moments.
Behind the Scenes of Absolution (15:01; HD) – This featurette covers some of the basics with BTS footage and interviews discussing the characters and plot.
Cast Interviews (47:01; HD) are merely extended footage shown in the BTS featurette.
Trailer (1:39; HD)
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Absolution drop kicks onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture quality is rather strong with good color balance while detail levels are sharp and there didn’t appear to be any flaws like banding, artifacting or pixilation.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The movie comes with a standard but effective 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which showcases the action scenes well enough while dialogue levels remained consistently clear and strong throughout. It’s nothing I would call amazing or reference quality, even if the movie was even average, but it gets the job done.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, Absolution is yet another bad movie in an arsenal of bad movies over the past decade for Steven Seagal who continues to mumble through his lines and looks utterly uninterested in the material, not that the plot is anything noteworthy, however. This is typical DTV fodder and will be in the cheap bin in no time. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate has good video/audio transfers and there’s an OK amount of bonus features all things considered.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.