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Maximum Impact Review

October 1, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Alexander Nevsky Maximum Impact
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Maximum Impact Review  

Maximum Impact Review

Alexander Nevsky– Maxim Kadurin
Kelly Hu– Kate
Mark Dacascos– Tony Lin
Mathias Hues– Ian
Tom Arnold– Barnes
Danny Trejo– Sanchez
William Baldwin– Man in Shadows
Evgeniy Stychkin– Andrei Durov
Alphonso McAuley– Nathan Robinson
Keith Powers– Special Agent Vance
Bai Ling– Scanlon
Polina Butorina– Brittany Jacobs
Madison Moore– voice of Brittany Jacobs

Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Screenplay by Ross LaManna

Distributed by Unified Pictures

Not Rated
Runtime– 109 minutes


Maximum Impact, directed by Abdrzej Bartkowiak, is star Alexander Nevsky’s biggest, most technically polished movie to date. While ostensibly an independent production, Maximum Impact looks like a slick, big budget Hollywood movie from a major studio. It has big explosions, a big cast, and big hopes. Unfortunately, what Maximum Impact doesn’t have is a good story. The script, by Rush Hour mastermind Ross LaManna, is a bloated mess filled with too many characters that we don’t care about and a plot that should have been streamlined. It’s watchable and kind of fun, in a way, and despite its limitations it shows that Nevsky has what it takes to make big movies (he’s charismatic, funny, and he can do action). Hollywood should get on that because it’s missing out on a major opportunity.

Maximum Impact has Nevsky as Maxim Kadurin, a rookie Russian FSB field agent (he’s a seasoned pro at sitting at a desk) that’s tasked to work with the American Secret Service (Kelly Hu’s Kate is the lead American agent) when the American Secretary of State (Robert Jacobs, as played by the great Eric Roberts) comes to Moscow for a secret summit meeting or some sort. When Secretary Jacobs’ granddaughter Brittany (Polina Butorina with the voice of Madison Moore) is discovered as a stowaway on his private diplomatic jet, Maxim and Kate are tasked with watching her, too. While the situation is a bit of a stretch on the joint team’s resources, Maxim and Kate should be able to handle it. She’s a teen girl, how difficult can it be to watch her? What Maxim and Kate don’t know is that Brittany has been communicating with Russian pop star Chernov (I think that’s his name, and I don’t know who played him) and that’s why she’s in Moscow.

So Maxim and Kate take Brittany to a big hooha mall in Moscow to shop and whatnot, and it’s there that they lose her. See, Chernov planned to meet her there and then run off and do the things that teenagers always do in these kinds of situations (sort of like a teen version of First Daughter). When Maxim and Kate figure out that Brittany is gone, they assume that she’s been kidnapped and try to find her. They try to keep their investigation on the QT as they don’t want their superiors to know that they allowed a teen girl to get the best of them. That wouldn’t look good for anyone.

Now, while all of that is going on, former TV star turned international terrorist Tony Lin (Mark Dacascos) and his henchman Ian (the immortal Mathias Hues) are in town to, at first, shoot down the Secretary’s helicopter using illegal rockets. When that plan goes to shit, they concoct a new scheme on the fly to kidnap Brittany when they realize that she’s in town. They show up at the mall when Maxim and Kate have Brittany at the mall and fail to kidnap her. They don’t fail later on, although it’s hard to say that at that point they had much of a plan.
So why is all of this going on? Apparently, there are mega rich assholes who want to destabilize the world economy by first tanking Russia’s money. A mysterious rich guy played by William Baldwin is sort of the lead rich asshole and is the guy that Lin and Ian directly work for.

Now, to me, it would have made more sense to just cut to the chase and have Lin and Ian have as their primary objective from the very beginning the kidnapping of Brittany. The movie doesn’t need the whole “Russian pop star” subplot at all. The movie also doesn’t need any of the characters like Alphonso McAuley’s Nathan Robinson or the guy playing the paparazzi or the people at the gossip website. They movie just spends far too much time with them and they’re just not interesting. Tom Arnold’s Barnes partner really isn’t needed, either. Arnold plays a sort of grizzled Secret Service agent and Kate’s mentor, but we don’t see him in action. All we see Barnes do is complain about having to go to the bathroom a lot. That’s funny once but only once. Every other time is just annoying.

The movie’s action is generally well done and exciting (I’m a big fan of the car chase scene), but the movie’s violence is just weird. We get plenty of vicious neck snaps and bullets to the head and a bit where a guy gets his thumb cut off, but none of it feels right. The movie should have either toned some of that down or done more of it. As the violence exists now it’s just… uneven. That’s the best way I can explain it.


Now, don’t get me wrong, Maximum Impact is not a disaster. The movie has issues but it’s still very watchable. The main cast is excellent. Nevsky is terrific as Maxim Kadurin, the FSB agent that has to figure out how to save the world. His natural screen charisma oozes off the screen, and he shows that he can handle both action and comedy like a seasoned pro. When he isn’t onscreen the movie suddenly becomes less interesting, which is a sure sign that we have a major star on our hands. As I said in my intro, it’s high goddamn time that the major studios take a look at Nevsky because there’s major box office potential there.

Kelly Hu does a great job as Kate, the lead Secret Service agent that has to work with Maxim. She’s put through quite a bit while on the job, including a blonde makeover, but she shows that she can kick ass with the best of them.

Mark Dacascos goes full weirdo as Tony Lin, the former TV star turned international terrorist. He’s an arrogant jerk throughout the movie but, at the same time, you kind of like him. I would have definitely watched his kung fu cop show if it was, in fact, a real show. His best scene is the one with the German tourist that thinks he’s Lou Diamond Phillips. It’s hilarious.

The immortal Mathias Hues also shows his funny side as Ian, Lin’s henchman. He isn’t quite as goofy as Dacascos, but he gets some big laughs. Ian also breaks plenty of necks, a Mathias Hues cinematic staple, so at least he doesn’t disappoint there.

Engenly Stychkin does an interesting job as Maxim’s partner Andrei Duvov. Everyone in Russia seems to know about Andrei and his exploits as a badass Russian cop, although when we see him he’s getting his ass kicked. And that’s how he is for the majority of the movie, a guy everyone knows and is scared of but doesn’t seem to justify his reputation. His best scenes are when he is in front of a computer, either at the office or in the mobile crime lab that he “borrows.”

Danny Trejo shows up as Sanchez, a major drug runner in Russia. He isn’t in the movie all that much but he does have some nice scenes, like the one where he wields a gigantic handgun and says “Say hello to my little friend.” Yes, it’s cliché as hell but it still works.

And then there’s Eric Roberts as the Secretary of State Robert Jacobs. Roberts seems more engaged here than usual, and it’s nice to see him with a big smile on his face most of the time. Check out the man’s recent filmography. You won’t see that very often (a smile, I mean).

Maximum Impact could have and should have been better than it is. The script needed another rewrite and a streamlining. As it exists now it’s just too convoluted for its own good. It isn’t a disaster, though. It’s still very watchable and has some good action in it. The movie also shows, and I can’t stress this enough, that Alexander Nevsky is a major star in the making. Maximum Impact shows that he can handle a big movie. So come on, Hollywood, what the heck are you waiting for?

See Maximum Impact. It isn’t perfect, but it is a watchable action comedy. It’s worth tracking down and checking out.


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: At least 15.

Explosions: Several.

Nudity?: None. There should have been, though.

Doobage: A drug bust, big piles of shit, a brutal 4 on 1 brawl with neck breaking, crowbar to the back of the head, target practice, boxing training, a wicked punch to the gut, testicle punching, a fleet of cars stolen from around the world, office sex, social media hooey, some sort of criminal business deal done in the middle of the street in full view of the public, a bathroom that you need a special code to get into, bloody finger removal, more neck breaking, attempted rocket attack, celebrity gossip shit, chloroform, attempted kidnapping, car stealing, a neat high speed car chase, vegetable cart destruction, cardboard box destruction, a wild flip, phone throwing, a scoter ride, voice warm ups, phone stealing, an office brawl, hair cutting, a female brawl, cigar bullshit, donut eating, a janitor with a Rolex watch, a box filled with explosives, even more neck breaking, radiation hooey, drone hooey, a shootout, off screen sex, serious body throwing, neck breaking via belt, one arm interrogation, computer camera shooting, and a somewhat confusing but still funny ending.

Kim Richards?: Attempted.

Gratuitous: Alexander Nevsky, Danny Trejo as a crime boss, Danny Trejo taking Viagra, Tom Arnold, Tom Arnold boxing a woman, Kelly Hu, Mark Dacascos, Mathias Hues, Eric Roberts, a coffee spilling phone prank, Bai Ling, a picture on the wall in the background of Anthony Anderson as the President of the United States, Tom Arnold talking about having to pee as a result of his diet, German tourists that thing Mark Dacascos is Lou Diamond Phillips, a Russian army uniform that’s made in China, Grump International Plaza in Moscow, “Russian milk,” sniffing a severed finger, Tom Arnold doing a one eared elephant, apples, Mark Dacascos as Shaolin Cop, old fat guys wearing only towels, Alexander Nevsky lifting up a scooter with only one arm, Alexander riding in a scooter that’s clearly too small for him, William Baldwin, a final fight, and a revelation concerning the guy that can impersonate Eric Roberts’ voice.

Best lines: “Talking about bullshit, this place is filled with it. Literally,” “Are you the Hammer from Hell?,” “Pussies,” “Beverly Hills. I love that city,” “Who recalls what I said about handling the luggage with care?,” “Grampa! You’re going to Moscow?,” “Look at him. He’s huge. Who would be dumb enough to fight him?,” “I like good mimosa,” “There’s a missile coming your way!,” “Quit talking, start chalking,” “I’m not in the mood for that guy,” “In English. I’m Russian,” “You are one crazy bitch!,” “Sonofabitch! He’s got a bulletproof windshield!,” “Can you help me to remove the jeans? And the boots?,” “Is that blood?,” “You’re bugging our offices?,” “Ah, it’s the soccer ball titties guy,” “This is a locator beacon. That works the turn signals,” “I am not Kato,” “You messed with the wrong assistant, bitch!,” “Ugh. These pants aren’t doing my ass any favors,” “This was a $250 haircut!,” “One more smartass comment and I will knock your teeth down your throat,” “He knows we’re tracking him,” “Suck shit through your teeth!,” “I just graduated from whore school, and your mother was my favorite teacher,” “This is the best donut I ever ate,” “Oh, crap. I thought he was dead,” “Where’s Boris today? He has a sore throat,” “This is illegal restraint!,” “Worse than thinking with your dick is thinking with your gun,” “I need a crisis you moron!,” “Actually, Wolfgang Schmuck, there’s enough C4 in there to blow you back to Dumbshitistan!,” “Your size is no match for the lethal weapon that my body is. Why do bad actors talk too much?,” “Don’t give me a reason to hurt you! Please give me a reason to shoot you!,” and “Get an education, kids. Get your exercise.”

The final score: review Good
The 411
Maximum Impact could have been better and should have been better. It would have been better off with a more streamlined story and plot. As it exists now it’s a bloated mess filled with too many characters we don’t really care about. It’s still watchable, though, and it shows that star Alexander Nevsky can carry a big, slick looking movie. Nevsky has major Hollywood star written all over him. It’s high time that Hollywood figured that out. Maximum Impact isn’t perfect, but it is watchable, and if you’re an action movie nerd you should give it a chance. I think you’ll have a good time with it.