With strong leads Seized rises above standard DTV action features, assisted also thanks to a decent script. This is an action film with more to it as it tries to bring a twist to the kidnapped love done of a former Special Forces agent. Come for the action, but stay for the ridiculously funny dialogue.
Nero (Scott Adkins), a former Special Forces agent who has moved to a quiet beach town to raise his son. He is awakened by a phone call and message from a mysterious voice (Mario Van Peebles) telling him his son has been kidnapped. To save him, Nero must wipe out three dangerous crime syndicates, leaving no survivors. The clock is ticking and Nero can’t waste any time or make mistakes, or he’ll lose his son forever.
To let you in on what kind of film we have on our hands here. Seized brings us a small but rather enjoyable moment is when Taylor is practising his fighting skills. Instead of having the camera still to show the obvious comedy of it all. The camera instead follows Taylor’s punches as if he is in an actual fight. It is a small thing but shows the confidence and light-hearted nature Isaac Florentine is bringing to Seized. Similarly in the writing and conversations between Nero and Mzamo, there is obvious anger and rage. But, when a father of a kidnapped boy yells “He likes the crusts cut off his sandwiches, alright you prick”. It becomes very hard to not love the hell out of this film for the sheer audacity of allowing moments like that happen.
Adkins as ever is great here and while he isn’t given enough action, he can do what he does best and that makes it look astounding. He was given a strict that gave his character a bit more to do emotionally and on occasion he does strain with his narrow range. He is still believable as a father wanting to do anything to keep his son safe from harm.
The line of the film from Van Peebles? Go Call of Duty on those Mother fuckers. Outstanding. It is also apparent that Van Peebles truly enjoyed saying the word Vamos as every few lines he is saying it. Van Peebles is also helped by being given a character with fat more meat to him than a stereotypical villain. He runs a cartel, but wants to take over all of Northern Mexico, or at least that region to also do some form of good. He is seemingly a terrible man wanting to also do some good things. Thus never trying to harm Taylor and trying his best to keep his word in keeping him safe. He provides the audience with a great character and if they’re somehow isn’t a sequel where for some reason these two have to join forces then what are we even doing here?
There is some disappointment with the action scenes in Seized as they are simply too short until the final act. The first two missions Nero has to accomplish appear to be too easy and by the time the audience gets into the scene. Iit is already over, or they have cut away to the far cheaper reactions from the cartel in the beachside mansion. It would have been better to have something a tad more to get our teeth into regarding this as we know the talents of everyone involved in that they can give us something exceptional. Though with these missions hand to hand is not truly required if Nero has to eliminate everyone he views as a threat. He most likely would be a broken man before he even got near the finale. So there is at least warrant for the decisions made.
This brings us to the fight choreography which has been better in other films for Adkins and Florentine. But what we get is still very effective with the hard-hitting never-ending. Short and sharp, these are fight scenes are felt and indeed there is more gun action here than you would normally see. It appears as if some of the budgets were sacrificed for the story and in truth. That isn’t a bad thing considered how solid the story and script is.
Without a doubt, Seized is a great DTV action film. It has a storyline that you can get engrossed in and with Mario Van Peebles a villain that you love to hate. Just a shame that there isn’t just a bit more to the action to elevate it to be something a bit more.
Dazzler Media presents Seized out now on DVD & Digital
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