Exit Wounds

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This article is about the 2001 film. For other uses, see Exit Wounds (disambiguation).
Exit Wounds
Exit Wounds (movie poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Produced by Joel Silver
Screenplay by Ed Horowitz
Richard D'Ovidio
Based on Exit Wounds by
John Westermann
Starring Steven Seagal
Music by Damon "Grease" Blackman
Jeff Rona
Cinematography Glen MacPherson
Edited by Derek Brechin
Village Roadshow Pictures
Silver Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s)
  • March 16, 2001 (2001-03-16)
Running time 101 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[1]
Box office $79,958,599[1]

Exit Wounds is a 2001 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, and starring Steven Seagal and DMX. The film is based on the book of the same name by John Westermann. The book takes place on Long Island, while the film is set in Detroit. Steven Seagal plays Orin Boyd, an urban police detective notorious for pushing the limits of the law in his quest for justice. Although the story is set in Detroit, many goofs in the production make it apparent that most of the movie was filmed in Toronto, Ontario;[2] Hamilton, Ontario[3] and Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This was Steven Seagal's last movie to be distributed by Warner Bros.

It is the second of three films directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and produced by Joel Silver (preceded by Romeo Must Die the year before and followed by Cradle 2 the Grave two years later) that focus on martial arts based action in an urban setting with a hip-hop heavy soundtrack and featuring many of the same cast (such as DMX and Anthony Anderson).


Orin Boyd (Steven Seagal) is a cop in Detroit's 21st precinct, who saves the Vice President of the United States (Christopher Lawford) from a right-wing Michigan militant group trying to kill him. As Boyd saved the Vice President's life by disobeying orders and killing all the militants, Captain Frank Daniels (Bruce McGill), who is also a long-time friend of Boyd, is forced to transfer Boyd to the 15th precinct — Detroit's worst precinct.

Boyd's new captain, former internal affairs officer Annette Mulcahy (Jill Hennessy), knows of his reputation, and she tells him that she will not tolerate it. Annette sends Boyd to an anger management class, where he meets Henry Wayne (Tom Arnold), the high-strung host of a local talk show called Detroit AM. Boyd comes across local drug dealer Latrell Walker (Earl "DMX" Simmons) and his fast-talking sidekick T.K. Johnson (Anthony Anderson) doing a shady deal with a man named Matt Montini (David Vadim). After a brief fight, Walker and Johnson escape, while Boyd arrests Montini and discovers to his surprise that Montini is a cop and has been working undercover trying to nail Walker and Boyd just ruined the sting, which does not sit well with Montini's musclebound partner Useldinger (Matthew G. Taylor).

Sergeant Lewis Strutt (Michael Jai White) — one of the most decent and respected cops from the precinct — steps in to cool things down when Boyd gets in a fight with Useldinger. After Boyd stumbles upon the theft of $5,000,000 worth of heroin from evidence storage, Boyd and his new partner George Clark (Isaiah Washington) begin focusing their efforts on Walker and T.K. Intrigued by what little they have on Walker, they investigate why he has been visiting Shaun Rollins (Mel Jason "Drag-On" Smalls). Henry discovers that Walker is not a drug dealer; instead he is a computer expert and billionaire whose real name is Leon Rollins — he is Shaun Rollins' brother. Boyd confronts Leon, who explains that a group of corrupt cops needed a fall guy for a deal gone bad and pinned it on Shaun. It is further revealed that Strutt is corrupt and that he is the leader of the group of corrupt cops, which includes Montini and Useldinger. Leon and his friend Trish (Eva Mendes) have been videotaping the activities of Strutt's gang, hoping that it might help prove Shaun's innocence and get him out of jail.

Boyd meets Mulcahy at a parking lot to inform her what he has uncovered. However, Montini, Useldinger, and some other corrupt cops try to kill Boyd and Annette. Mulcahy is killed in the chase and Boyd escapes. Boyd calls Frank and tells him that Strutt will be having a meeting at a warehouse, in about an hour, to sell the stolen heroin. Strutt plans to sell it to Leon and T. K., not knowing that Leon is working against him. Frank promises that he will be there with some backup.

Boyd and Daniels show up, just in time as the deal goes sour and Strutt reveals that he knows Leon's true identity. Although Boyd and Frank confront the group, Strutt calmly tells Frank to keep Boyd under control and Boyd realizes that it is Frank who is behind everything. Frank reveals that the reason he became corrupt was because he felt that his annual 40,000 dollar salary wasn't enough because he risked his life everyday and is about to shoot Boyd (to prove to a taunting Strutt that the operation is his) when Clark blows open the door and barges in with backup, including police chief Hinges (Bill Duke) and a shootout ensues. During the gunfight, Boyd is shot in the back (but survives due to wearing a bulletproof vest) by Useldinger, who is about to finish off Boyd, but George comes just in the nick of time and shoots Useldinger several times, killing him. Frank unsuccessfully tries to escape and is killed when Hinges shoots him four times with a shotgun. Boyd decides to go after Strutt, while Leon decides to go after Montini. Boyd reaches Strutt and the two fight with cloth guillotines, after which Strutt grabs a case full of money and runs up to the roof, where a helicopter is waiting for him. As the helicopter is taking off with Strutt hanging on to the ladder, Boyd manages to hook the bottom of it onto a metal pipe protruding from the roof. This causes the ladder to break and Strutt falling from the helicopter and landing onto another metal pipe that kills him. Leon finds Montini and the two start a brutal fight. Montini gets the upper hand in his fight with Leon, after he damages Leon's vision with clothing dye powder. However, Leon eventually wins the fight after he stabs Montini in the leg with a knife and impales Montini in the neck with a spike on a weight rack, killing him.

At dawn, Leon gives Hinges the videotape that proves the corruption, hoping that the tape will help prove Shaun's innocence. Hinges thinks that the courts will not care about the tape, so Hinges had Shaun released from county about an hour before. Boyd decides to stay with the 15th precinct with George as his partner, and T. K. becomes Henry's television co-host.


This film reunites actors DMX, Isaiah Washington, and Anthony Anderson with director Andrzej Bartkowiak, who they first worked together with on the earlier film Romeo Must Die.

Accident on set[edit]

Stuntman Chris Lamon died of head injuries on August 23, 2000, six days after a stunt went wrong on the Exit Wounds set in Hamilton, Ontario. A van was being towed along a street upside-down as part of a chase scene; he was supposed to roll safely out, but apparently struck his head. Another stuntman suffered a concussion in the same incident.[5]


Exit Wounds debuted at No.1 at the box office, grossing $19 million at North American theaters from Friday through Sunday.[6] It was considered a surprise hit movie, as it grossed over $50 million in America and almost $30 million throughout the rest of the world.

It was hailed as Seagal's big "comeback"[7] but critical reception was mixed to negative.[8] Critics praised the film's action scenes and stunt work, however they criticized the film's location errors, clichéd script, poor acting and dialogue. It currently holds a 32% rating out of 65 reviews on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes,[9] with the critical consensus "It probably goes without saying that Exit Wounds is loaded with plotholes and bad dialogue. Critics also note that Seagal has aged rather badly."

Looking back on the film in 2013 during her The Place Beyond the Pines promotional tour, Eva Mendes (who plays Trish) labeled the film "terrible".[4]


A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on March 20, 2001 by Virgin Records. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.


  1. ^ a b "Exit Wounds (2001)". Box Office Mojo. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  2. ^ "Torontoist - Reel Toronto: Exit Wounds". Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Internet Movie Database - List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b "Eva Mendes". The Daily Show (New York: Comedy Central). 2013-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Stuntman Dies on Seagal Film Set". ABC News. 
  6. ^ "DMX Tops Weekend Box Office". MTV. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  7. ^ "Exit Wounds Thriller Makes Healthy Debut at No. 1". The Los Angeles Times. 2001-03-19. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  8. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (2001-03-17). "FILM REVIEW; A Cop as Good as His Manners Are Bad". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  9. ^ "Exit Wounds". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Mexican
Box office number-one films of 2001 (USA)
March 18
Succeeded by