Jean-Claude Van Damme: one of those stars that sells movies, is well known, but can't deliver a convincing role or be in a fun movie. The one exception is Timecop, which had the story, the acting, and the action, all the while maintaining what sold Van Damme movies: his fighting. Van Damme is not that great of actor, but he's a good fighter, and every movie he's in puts people to the test: Will the fun fighting style shadow the bad acting, or will the bad acting shadow the fighting?
Van Damme's acting skills are evident in Maximum Risk; to talk as clearly as possible, he pronounces every word a little too forcefully, a little too slowly, and a little too unconvincing. His fighting skills are not all that evident, although they do appear in parts. Most of the time, though, he's just punching, which one can see in any action movie. The majority of Maximum Risk is just a typical action movie, minus some, but it has some redeeming parts. Of course, I can't pick out any in particular, which either says something about my memory or the impact the scenes had on me.
The most stick-out part, and the reason I chose to see this film in the first part, was Natasha Henstridge. The deadly alien from the cheesy but fun and sexy thriller Species, Maximum Risk was her chance to show if she had any acting talent. In Species, she spoke less than showed off her naked body, so I was curious how she would do. She did alright, but didn't get that much exposure in Maximum Risk, except for when she took off her clothes. I realize now that, by stripping in her premiere movie, she has set the path for the rest of them.
Acting was pretty poor, the action wasn't anything spectacular, and story was meager, but Maximum Risk kept my attention alive.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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