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Maximum Risk

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Maximum Risk
Maximum Risk Poster.jpg
Original Theatrical Poster
Directed byRingo Lam
Produced byMoshe Diamant
Written byLarry Ferguson
Music byRobert Folk
CinematographyAlexander Gruszynski
Edited byBill Pankow
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 13, 1996 (1996-09-13)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$51.7 million

Maximum Risk is a 1996 American action thriller film directed by Hong Kong director Ringo Lam in his American directorial debut, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Natasha Henstridge. The film was released in the United States on September 13, 1996.[2]


Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a cop in Nice, France. Alain is at a funeral that is being held for a fellow cop, when Alain's partner Sebastien (Jean-Hugues Anglade) shows up, and requests for his presence at a crime scene. When they arrive, Sebastien shows Alain a dead body of someone that looks exactly like him. They discover that his name was Mikhail Suvorov, who was born on exactly the same day Alain was. As it turns out, Mikhail is the twin brother Alain never knew he had.

Tracing his brother's steps back to New York City, Alain discovers that Mikhail was a member of the Russian Mafia, who was chased down and killed when he attempted to get out. Of course, now Alain is mistaken for Mikhail, who was also mixed up in a series of affairs concerning the FBI and the Russian mafia. With his only real ally being Mikhail's fiancé Alex Bartlett (Natasha Henstridge), Alain sets out to avenge his brother's death, which is complicated not only by the Mafia, but by two corrupt FBI agents.



The film was originally known as The Exchange, then it was retitled Bloodstone.[3] Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, better known for Scary Movie and their other parodies, performed an uncredited rewrite on the film.[4]


Maximum Risk opened on September 13, 1996, at the number one spot at the box office, taking in $5,612,707 in its first weekend, and made a final domestic tally of $14,502,483.[5] The film performed better overseas, enabling the film to earn back double its budget.[1]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 29% of 34 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 4.2/10.[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[7]

Leonard Klady of Variety wrote, "It's a visceral delight that refuses to be deterred by niceties of plot or character consistency and prefers sweat to emotion."[8] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote that the film depends too much on car chases, which end up dominating the film.[9] Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times wrote, "From start to finish, 'Maximum Risk' presents spectacular stunts choreographed and coordinated by Charles Picerni and some hair-raising, stomach-churning automotive chases attributed to Remy Julienne, the French master of the art."[10]

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "a solid, fast-moving action-adventure" in which Van Damme "does some of his best acting yet".[11] Conversely, Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Van Damme's acting, which is "hobbled by a weak script that even veteran Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam can't salvage".[12]

See also

  • Double Impact, a 1991 action film which also has Van Damme playing identical twins.


  1. ^ a b "Maximum Risk". The Numbers. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Jean-Claude Van Damme". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Hal Hinson (March 30, 1996). "Hooray for Hong Kong! Hollywood Looks East". The Washington Post. p. B1.
  4. ^ Patches, Matt (January 31, 2014). "Surely They Can't Be Serious? - The unlikely rise of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Hollywood's majorly hated, hugely successful kings of the modern-day spoof". Grantland. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "'Risk,' 'Fly Away' Draw Top Spots at Box Office". Los Angeles Times. September 16, 1996. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "Maximum Risk (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "CinemaScore".
  8. ^ Klady, Leonard (September 16, 1996). "Maximum Risk". Variety. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  9. ^ "Maximum Risk". The Washington Post. March 11, 1997. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  10. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (September 14, 1996). "Maximum Risk". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  11. ^ Thomas, Kevin (September 14, 1996). "'Risk' Lets Van Damme Show Some Depth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  12. ^ Stack, Peter (March 14, 1997). "Van Damme Tries to Act and Fails". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 6, 2015.

External links