Maximum Risk (1996) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natasha Henstridge, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Zach Grenier, Paul Ben-Victor, Frank Senger directed by Ringo Lam Movie Review

Maximum Risk (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jean-Claude Van Damme in Maximum Risk (1996)

Van Damme on Another Quest

When a member of the Russian Mafia is killed during a car chase in the South of France, policeman Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme - The Quest) is shocked to discover that the man was his identical twin brother who he never knew existed because his mother gave him up as a child. Needing to understand not only who his brother was but what happened to him Moreau starts investigating with his enquiries taking him to America where he meets his brother's girlfriend Alex Minetti (Natasha Henstridge - Christmas Song). But he also meets a brutal Russian gangster and some crooked FBI agents which force him and Alex to go on the run.

What do you expect it's a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? I say that as I remember reading some extremely negative reviews of "Maximum Risk" when it came out. Now in fairness "Maximum Risk" isn't a great Van Damme movie, the storyline is the sort of convoluted drama you would find in a soap opera and the action is not as spectacular as you would hope. But for fans of Van Damme's particular brand of movies it is solidly entertaining.

Natasha Henstridge in Maximum Risk (1996)

Now I said that "Maximum Risk" is convoluted and it is a case that we are dealt to many characters who dirty up the story when in truth things are quite simple. And for all the storyline there is a sense of inevitably about it that it will come down to Van Damme with a pretty woman on the run trying to survive bad guys and get the truth. It makes all which goes before almost pointless especially as it is more convoluted than it needed to be.

But what disappoints is the action as whilst solid it is only ordinary with standard chase scenes and some typical Van Damme style martial arts action. You feel that there should be something more spectacular to this movie especially with it coming from director Ringo Lam.

What doesn't help matters is that in Van Damme you have an actor who is good when it comes to action but doesn't have too many levels when it comes to emoting a characters feelings. So when Alain is meant to be upset his look and mannerisms are no different to when he is meant to be inquisitive or happy. In fairness I don't think an actor with a more dynamic range would have made any more of the movie as it doesn't have the depth of writing to allow a more dynamic actor to really build a believable character.

What this all boils down to is that "Maximum Risk" is to be honest what I expect from a Van Damme movie especially one from the 1990s but it isn't spectacular and only a solid, yet convoluted action movie.