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When a contract killer (Steven Seagal) encounters a girl on the run from a dangerous mob boss (Vinnie Jones) with powerful political ties, running a human trafficking operation, he is torn between protecting the girl, and remaining loyal to the government agency that hired him.

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Absolution movie full length review - "There's a big difference between a real warrior and a wannabe"

For their sixth feature-length collaboration, Steven Seagal and director Keoni Waxman stick with the formula that had served them well for their last two pictures.

Like FORCE OF EXECUTION and A GOOD MAN, ABSOLUTION features more fights, a recognizable supporting cast, and a beard for Steven?but it's not as good. This is a decent action flick, but while it has all the right components, it's missing the energy of its recent predecessors. It's worth watching if you're a fan, but it's much more of a middle-of-the-road outing for the Buddhist Bonecrusher than I would prefer.

The story: A mercenary hit man (Seagal) becomes involved in a corrupt operation between the government and the underworld when he rescues a young woman (Adina Stetcu) from a vicious mafia boss (Vinnie Jones).

In all fairness, I did not particularly enjoy the expanded storyline, but someone who has no problem with it might rate the film higher than me. A cornerstone of the plot involves Vinnie Jones' character as a sadist who kills trafficked women in his personal torture chamber; this isn't HOSTEL by any means but it is sadism purely for sadism's sake, and it makes for probably the worst role that Jones has ever played. Adrina Stetcu, playing his surviving victim, is a damsel who needs to be saved multiple times by Seagal and ultimately falls for him despite his relatively cold attitude towards her. This is a pretty cynical film, for sure...though it isn't without its light moments. There's a laid-back sense of humor for most of the runtime, and Seagal seems to enjoy teaming up with his on screen partner Byron Mann. This isn't BELLY OF THE BEAST, but the two have decent chemistry.

Like Bren Foster and Victor Webster in the two films before this one, Byron Mann fills the role of a nimbler cohort to take the heat in half of the fight scenes. Of the nine full-length brawls, Byron leads five and the adrenaline is clearly on his side. Both Seagal and he are guilty of some doubling throughout, but particularly Mann's fights provide some thrills; I enjoyed his showdown with ex-UFC champ Josh Barnett more than I thought I would. Seagal is serviceable and even reaches into his repertoire to pull out some moves from his heyday, but overall, the brawls could use some better choreography. Vinnie Jones' single fight is particularly disappointing.

This movie constitutes the third installment in Seagal/Waxman's "Alexander" trilogy, but it does not tie the story lines together any more than A GOOD MAN did. ABSOLUTION can easily be viewed as a standalone film, but if you were to watch only one of the three most recent Seagal vehicles, it should not be this one. While not such a big step down that I'd be amazed if Steven regained his composure with his next film, this one's still a minor disappointment for this fan and should definitely be approached as a rental.