Reviews, REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — January 17, 2018 at 10:23 am

REVIEW: Maximum Impact (2017)


By Tim Tal

Every time Alexander Nevsky is making a movie, people are hoping for the better. After all, there’s a great cover, promises about “a lot of action”, a bunch of well known actors involved… And somehow, Nevsky manages to kill all these hopes as soon as a film starts.

Similar to a superteam without playing strategy and proper coaching.

“Maximum Impact” stars Nevsky as a FSB agent Maxim (Russia’s Federal Security Service), who teams up with US Secret Service Agents (Kelly Hu, Tom Arnold) to catch a bunch of terrorists (Mark Dacascos, Matthias Hues), who plan an attack in Moscow during an important meeting between the US Secretary of State (Eric Roberts) and the Russian minister.

Among already mentioned actors, there is Danny Trejo, William Baldwin and Bai Ling in small parts.

The film was shot by Nevsky’s Czar Pictures in Moscow, and the production values are very good. Unfortunately, whatever was spent on car chases and actor paychecks, resulted in poor performance in everything else.

The story (with Nevsky’s involvement, according to end credits) is filled with so many “below the belt” jokes and silliness that you’d be facepalming yourself every ten minutes.

Here are some examples:

  • – Tom Arnold plays a Secret Service Agent (!) who keeps complaining about his urge incontinence (sudden and strong need to urinate), and makes jokes about his prostate.
  • – Mark Dacascos’s character “Tony Lin” is a former TV star from Germany, who is, sort of, famous for his lousy TV series “Shaolin Cop”. How did a former martial arts TV star became an international terrorist is beyond me. Lin sometimes forgets he’s “a terrorist” now, and at one point gets mistaken for “Jet Li” and “Lou Diamond Phillips” on the street. Hilarious. And Pathetic.

But that’s not all. Throw in some propaganda, some politics about the US looking to slap sanctions on Russia, “crash Ruble”, and how it can all be solved by jointly catching two idiot terrorists – and you got yourself a Nevsky action film.

Speaking of action, there isn’t much of it anyway. A few poorly directed fights, a couple of car chase scenes, and a couple of dull “final fight” scenes. Long story short – when Kelly Hu is the best looking fighter on screen – imagine how the rest look like.

Highlights of the film:

  • – Alexander Nevsky couldn’t act to save his life. Seriously.
  • – Kelly Hu looks stunning, fights better than most men in this film.
  • – Eric Roberts is great. Even in a bad film like this.
  • – Why Danny Trejo is in this film? He gets to make out with a cute girl and shoot some guns with his shirt off.
  • – Speaking of girls – the film does have some great-looking females.

The most disappointing thing in the whole film is that Nevsky is in the center of it all. He’s like a magic pill if you want to ruin a film.

And that’s because Dacascos has some really good films under his belt, same is with 90’s action films bad guy Matthias Hues. Same with Kelly Hu, Tom Arnold and the others. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak directed such well known action films as “Cradle to the Grave”, “Doom”, “Romeo Must Die”, “Exit Wounds”.

So, without Nevsky – they’re good. Partner them with Nevsky – and the film is a total flop.

Nevsky is the only one, who, despite having money and resources, and is able to assemble a good cast (yes, he gets credit for that), – still cannot make a worthy film.

The verdict is simple. “Maximum Impact” delivers little to no impact at all.


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