When making a direct-to-video Steven Seagal film, it’s probably best to have a really simple good vs. evil plot that people can follow. That’s kind of a good rule of thumb for any movie, but when expectations are already low, you don’t want to put any hurdles in front of your audience, like, “Who is that guy?” and, “What the hell is going on?” Sadly, I asked those questions many, many times during Force of Execution, a film that does a convincing job of looking complicated when in fact it might not make very good sense.
Stephen Seagal stars as Mr. Alexander, a crime boss with a fleet of hit men at his disposal. When he sends Roman Hurst (Bren Foster) in to do a prison hit, the whole operation goes horribly awry and then…well, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you what happens next. Hurst winds up on everyone’s shitlist and some sort of turf war breaks out between Mr. Alexander and The Iceman (Ving Rhames). Essentially banished from the world of organized crime, Hurst strikes out on his own to seek vengeance and establish his own identity. Danny Trejo steps in a as an ex-con turned restaurant owner and serves as a renegade ally to Hurst.
There is a lot of street talk, and a good deal of fighting/shooting/action to make you think you’re watching a real movie. It *feels* like a real movie, but the substance just isn’t there. Who do we root for? Why do we care? What exactly just went down? The answers to these basic questions remain a mystery as the movie unfolds, making for an atmosphere of action and badassery that distracts from the total lack of character development and plot.