Seized (2020)

Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine reunite for the first time since Close Range and once again, Adkins finds himself in a terrible situation that forces him into action.

Nero has had it rough since the death of his wife. Living in Mexico as a security expert, he has had an estranged relationship with son Taylor since the passing. When Nero learns Taylor has gotten into a fight, he tries to help Taylor, but things are not easy. When Nero is knocked out by a mysterious assailant, he learns that Taylor is missing. He soon received a call from a mysterious man who is revealed to the kidnapper.

The kidnapper, Mzamo, wants Nero to complete three tasks. They all involve three separate drug cartels. The mission is to eliminate them and if he succeeds, he will get Taylor back. As Nero, who is revealed to be an ex-soldier, does the jobs, he grows increasingly concerned for Taylor. When the third cartel nearly takes his life, Nero narrowly escapes but he’s not taking any chances. He plans to go after Mzamo, who may be in trouble himself with someone else trying to horn in on his business.

After 2015’s Close Range, the prolific duo of director Isaac Florentine and martial artist/actor Scott Adkins shifted to where Adkins would work mainly with Jesse V. Johnson, delivering such great films as The Debt Collector franchise, Savage Dog, and Avengement. For this reunion film, it feels more like a combination of Close Range and 12 Rounds in terms of plot and action. However, it is not without its flaws, but it is ultimately forgivable.

Adkins’ role is once again that of a dad who finds himself in hot water and has his child kidnapped (like Legacy of Lies) and is forced into a situation he never intended to be a part of. In this case, the victim is his teenage son Taylor, played by Matthew Garbacz, who starts out kind of tepid but gradually showcases an emotional range as the film progresses. It is once Adkins’ gets that phone call from the mysterious Mzamo that we get to see him in action. Using a combination of firepower and his martial arts skills, stunt coordinator Larnell Stovall and fight choreographer Art Camacho (a legend of 90’s American B-movie films) attempt to make Adkins look good, but there are issues with some of the camerawork. Adkins does get to fight former UFC champ Uriah Hall in the all-out final rumble.

As Mzamo, who is cornering on the drug business, Mario Van Peebles is actually one of the high points of the film. He really gives it his all, accent and all along with sporting a cowboy hat. It is as if he is really having fun with his role. As for Karlee Perez’s Alanza, she is more than typical eye candy. When the script calls for it, she does display a tough side to things. While the film is straightforward, the film takes quite a turn in the third act and it leads to an even bigger war with Adkins caught in the middle.

Seized has a few minor flaws, but it is a pretty decent Scott Adkins film with Mario Van Peebles stealing the show as his son’s kidnapper. Some decent action marred by some familiar technical issues is a bit of an issue, but overall, this is an okay Adkins film.

WFG RATING: C+

Lionsgate and Grindhouse Entertainment present a Premiere Entertainment Group production in association with Arramis Films and Bondit Media Capital. Director: Isaac Florentine. Producers: Elias Axume and Rafael Primorac. Writer: Richard Lowry. Cinematography: Ivan Vatsov. Editing: Alain Jacubowicz.

Cast: Scott Adkins, Mario Van Peebles, Karina Perez, Matthew Garbacz, Steven Elder, James Bennett, David Fernandez Jr., Justin Nesbitt, Luis Gatica, Uriah Hall.

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