Run Time: 85 minutes
What to Expect: ‘Undisputed 2’ director Isaac Florentine collaborates with Martial Arts star Scott Adkins for the eighth time
Out of the five films Scott Adkins starred in 2020, Seized, a new action film by Isaac Florentine is by far the best and most engaging. This movie features some hard-hitting fight choreography.
Set in Baja, California, Mexico, Richard (Scott Adkins) leads a quiet life as a widower with his moody teenage son, Taylor (Matthew Garbacz). Richard lives in a beachfront home and works as a security consultant. Things change for him when he is shot by a tranquilizer dart, rendering him unconscious. When Richard wakes up, he receives a video message on his cell phone. The attached video clip shows his son tied up in a damp, cramped room on a dirty mattress. Richard then gets a call from a cartel boss called Mzamo (Mario Van Peebles), informing him that Taylor has been kidnapped.
Mzamo wants Richard to kill off rival drug cartels in Baja. Richard used to be known by the nickname “Nero”, a top assassin for British intelligence. If Nero refuses this assignment, Taylor will die by way of carbon monoxide poisoning. Mzamo also sends Nero a package containing a bulletproof vest, knives, and multiple assault rifles to aid him on his mission. Nero/Richard now has to return to his violent roots and eliminate cartel members while figuring out how to rescue his son.
Seized delivers on the action front. Director Isaac Florentine does not employ ‘shaky-cam.’ All fights are edited by Alain Jakubowicz with clarity and keep spatial awareness in mind. Fighter choreography by Art Camacho is excellent as well. A highlight is a fight scene where Adkins has his hands tied behind his back and uses leg kicks to dispatch of two lethal assailants.
Acting-wise, Scott Adkins gives his standard performance, not reaching the heights of his previous role as Cain Burgess in Avengement (2019). Mario Van Peebles plays a Mexican cartel boss, using a peculiar accent that borders on parody. However, Peebles still gives an entertaining if hammy performance despite being saddled with a lame script. He does not reach Gary Busey levels, however.
At a brisk 85 minutes, Seized does not overstay its welcome and has more than enough action to keep genre fans satisfied. While Seized is not Isaac Florentine’s best or most compelling film, it warrants a digital rental or physical copy purchase. Adkins deserves better and bigger projects.
– John Matrix