Maximum Risk

Jean Claude-Van Damme and co-star Natasha Henstridge

Director Ringo Lam on Maximum Risk
"I had been wanting to make a Hollywood picture for a long time and so, when the chance came, I took the challenge and started working on it. I started meeting the producer, he gave me the script and I read it and found it quite interesting. Then I worked together with him on the script and finally the studio gave us the green light and we started shooting it. It was a good experience."

My views on Maximum Risk
Maximum Risk is Ringo Lam first and so far,only Hollywood film. Lam said in an interview that he signed a one-picture deal with Columbia Pictures and has no intentions to work in Hollywood full-time unlike fellow director John Woo Thus,it's pretty difficult to predict when will Ringo Lam make another Hollywood picture plus the fact Maximum Risk did pretty bad in the box-office.
Maximum Risk is said to be Jean Claude-Van Damme first film which he shares the top billing with a female co-star but bringing a female lead in really didn't help especially when the female actress turn out to be Natasha Henstridge. Natasha who considers taking off her clothes as acting has acting abilities that could rival Van Damme. Coupled with the fact that none of the other supporting actors (including Paul Ben-Victor who seems to have a reputation for playing slimeballs like he did again in The Corruptor) could do any better and you got one of Ringo Lam's worst film to date. Maybe this is just the producers' plans of hiding Van Damme's bad acting, by surrounding him with even worst actor.
Besides the bad acting, Maximum Risk also suffers in the plot department. Maximum Risk tries to be different from the rest of Van Damme films by having an "intelligent plot". Sticking Van Damme in a straight-laced action flick works but try putting him in a plot as complex as Maximum Risk and the result is disaster. I could forgive this bad movie if it has impressive non-stop action sequences like in Full Contact but it didn't. Fortunately,the action set-pieces, though far and few are still pretty impressive.
I remember watching this film at the cinemas and feeling sorry for director Ringo Lam. A brilliant film-maker like Ringo Lam deserves to work on something so much better than this, which he did in the following year with his Hong Kong classic, Full Alert.

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