I never saw "Exit Wounds" when it came out instead I ended up watching it after having waded through many of Seagal's direct to video monstrosities and in doing so I was kind of impressed when I finally watched it. It is only because those direct to video movies are so bad that "Exit Wounds" turns out okay, well that and a cast with some recognizable faces, because in truth it is no different to any other Seagal movie. The big man plays a "Dirty Harry" style cop who breaks the rules and goes after corruption within the police force; he beats up punks when they try to break into his car and battles various bad men in a variety of action scenes. But because Seagal is doing much of the action, the production looks like it is done on a bigger budget and we have the likes of Tom Arnold and Anthony Anderson in the supporting cast it is bearable.
After breaking all the rules to save the Vice Presidents life, no nonsense cop Orin Boyd (Steven Seagal - The Glimmer Man) finds himself transferred to the rough 15th precinct where his rep for being a lone ranger and rule breaker precedes him. With his chops bust when ever he does anything wrong by Chief Mulcahy (Jill Hennessy) Orin soon finds himself busted down to traffic cop duties. But at the same time he is on to something as he suspects there is corruption within the precinct when it comes to drug deals. But how deep does the corruption go and who can he trust?
In honest truth "Exit Wounds" is a routine cop movie, an action thriller full of typical Seagal scenes. So whilst we may have the semi-intrigue of police corruption and dodgy drug dealings what we get is routine from a big action opening and a bigger climax to the scene where Orin deals with 5 armed punks trying to break into his car. Now on one hand it is a bit boring because whilst this storyline mixes action with humour thanks to both Tom Arnold and Anthony Anderson it only delivers what you expect from a Seagal movie. But on the other hand compared to many of Seagal's other movies it almost seems great.
What certainly helps matters is that "Exit Wounds" doesn't come across like a cheap production and all the action from the big explosive scenes to the hand to hand combat all impress. It helps that director Andrzej Bartkowiak doesn't resort to cheap tricks by shooting action in darkened rooms and so we get to enjoy the intricacy of the combat as well as the stunt work during the chase scenes.
Now as for the acting well Seagal as Orin basically walks through the movie looking incredibly relaxed which with the semi humorous tone of the movie sort of works. But DMX plays his part well and you could say as drug dealer Latrell Walker he's just acting cool but there is more restraint to it than that, almost a business like quality to his characterisation to make Latrell a badman but one we are never entirely sure of. Plus the numerous recognizable faces which include Bill Duke, Bruce McGill, Isaiah Washington, Jill Hennessy and Eva Mendes certainly makes it more entertaining than the usual anonymous cast.
What this all boils down to is that "Exit Wounds" ends up not half bad. It is just a routine Steven Seagal movie but one which is a lot better than those direct to video movies which would follow.