Maximum Risk (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Maximum Risk (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a French cop whose colleagues make a startling discovery -- a man named Mikhail, who was killed in a high-speed chase with police, looks exactly like him. Curious about the stranger with his face, Alain is told by his mother Chantal (Stephane Audran) that Mikhail was in fact his twin brother, whom her poor family was forced to give up at birth. Alain wants to know more about the brother he never knew, but the more he learns the more troubling the news becomes; it seems that Mikhail was involved with gangsters, corrupt FBI agents, and a gang of drug dealers. In order to avenge his brother's death and get to the bottom of his sad story, Alain assumes Mikhail's identity and travels to New York City, where to maintain his cover he takes up with Alex Minetti (Natasha Henstridge), Mikhail's tough-as-nails girlfriend, before finding himself hip-deep in danger with Mikhail's associates. Maximum Risk was the first American film from noted Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam, whose City on Fire has often been cited as a key inspiration for Reservoir Dogs.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Daniel Petrie Jr, Larry Ferguson, Eric Small
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 30, 2001
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Frank VanKeeken
as Davis Hartley
Frank Van Keeken
as Davis Hartley
David Hemblen
as Dmitri Kirov
Donald Burda
as Nicholas
Rob Kaman
as Morris
Denis Costanzo
as Innkeeper
Carlo Rota
as Bohemia Bartender
Joe Pingue
as Bohemia Doorman
Hugh Thompson
as Bohemia Doorman
Gloria Slade
as Airline Steward
Jackie Richardson
as Large Woman
Ed Sahely
as Desk Clerk
Martine Pujol
as Cleaning Lady
Dan Duran
as Reporter
Raymond Accolas
as Bank Manager
Kedar Brown
as Tough Teen
Claire Cellucci
as Yuri's Girlfriend
John Bayliss
as Kirov's Butler
Henry Gomez
as Cab Driver
Louise Naubert
as Secretary
Phillip Wotton
as Sebastien's Driver
Jean-Pierre Galleri
as Paris Police Detecti...
Stephan Müller
as Paris Fireman
John Nelles
as Nervous Passenger
John Pearson
as Guard Sargeant
Sharon Bernbaum
as Assistant Bank Manag...
David Christoffel
as Bank Security Guard
Branko Racki
as Vladmir
George Kash
as Man in Private Room
David Turner
as Inspector No. 2
Veronique Diehl
as Mother at Villefranc...
Alain Phillip
as Morgue Attendant
Christine Manning
as Woman in Vault
Charles Drummond
as Officer at Bank
Bruno Magnes
as Innocent Driver
Danny Lima
as Guard No. 3
Lon E. Katzman
as Bodyguard
Ed Queffelec
as Bodyguard
Ron Van Hart
as Ivan's Bodyguard
Brian Kaulback
as Ivan's Bodyguard
Armin Konn
as Petrie
Sveltlana Medianik
as Club Bohemia Singer
Andrei Smal
as Club Bohemia Band Me...
Alexander Kanewsky
as Club Bohemia Band Me...
Mikhael Ziskine
as Club Bohemia Band Me...
Andrei Denga
as Club Bohemia Band Me...
Arkadij Kaplan
as Club Bohemia Band Me...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Maximum Risk

Critic Reviews for Maximum Risk

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (12)

It's a visceral delight that refuses to be deterred by niceties of plot or character consistency and prefers sweat to emotion.

Full Review… | July 8, 2008
Top Critic

A standard Van Damme pic, competently assembled but with little of the manic edge found in director Lam's Hong Kong movies.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There are so many car crashes in Maximum Risk that Van Damme ends up playing second fiddle to an ever-expanding salvage operation.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Lam not only handles the bravura action set pieces with ease but also a capable international cast as colorful and varied as the film's many locales.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It just simmers down, becoming an embarrassing exercise in the pointless and predictable.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Action flicks should be fun, and this one is a bloody bore.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Maximum Risk


A cop (Van Damme) just found out about something new. He's had a twin brother all these years and didn't know it, but the bad part is that he just found out by finding his twin's dead body. Little does this cop know that his twin brother was a Russian agent. Since he looks just like the person that just died, everybody around town thinks he's someone he's not. When it comes to the mafia and FBI agents, this just might spell trouble.
Like he did in "Double Impact", Jean-Claude Van Damme once again plays the role of twins, although not as much this time around. "Maximum Risk" might be a bit shallow on plot depth, but who cares? Van Damme movies are known for their great stunts, action, and especially the fighting sequences, and let me tell you, there is A LOT of each in this movie.

The stunts, special effects, etc. come together as one to make "Maximum Risk" a fast paced, suspense filled adventure that all Van Damme fans should watch.

It might not be one of his top five movies, but if you're a fan of other Van Damme movies, then checking out "Maximum Risk" isn't that big of a risk to take. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2002.

Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

Typical Van Damme plot line envolving murder and revenge but in the hands of Lam its is just about ok. There are some really nice action sequences here that really look good and slick involving cars and leaping about in front of trains hehe the stunts make the film really as the cast are kinda lame in their acting.
Better than the usual stuff Van Damme produces these days and probably one of his last good films.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Alain Moreau is a cop in France who cannot believe his eyes when a murder victim is the spitting image of him. He confronts his mother and learns that she had had twins but had to give one of them up. Wanting to solve the murder of his estranged twin, Alain follows a trail that leads him to a New York that is cold and full of snow and finds himself sucked into his brother's world where he finds himself with his brother's beautiful girlfriend all over him. However Alain also inherits his brother's problems some of which include Russian gangsters who want to kill him.

This film wastes no time in getting the plot established and flying Alain into his first fight as quickly as possible and I can understand why this was the case. The plot is thin to say the least and it is best not to apply too much logic to any of it because the whole thing is an excuse for Van Damme to just do the things in this film that he does in all his films. This includes speaking in a strange accent, being naked with a beautiful female co-star and kicking people in lots of exciting ways. All these boxes are ticked here and as such it does what you would expect from a Van Damme film and it will depend on the individual viewer whether or not that gets you interested or sees you running the opposite direction. For me it is somewhere in the middle because I accept the bad and in return veg out in front of a dumb action movie. The plot gets no better and every time it needs to add story to create more action you can almost see it straining with the effort.

The action is mostly pretty good although it was a bit disappointing to see how Ringo Lam had toned down the style for his first American film; only here and there did the film get close to the mayhem in the action that he is known for. Van Damme is quite good though, for course he is a clunky actor and here he seems to have had his charisma filtered out but in the action sequences he is a marvel ? very athletic and impressive and his physical presence helps a lot. Henstridge takes care of the "co-star who will get her tits out" requirement of the film but other than that she could have been anyone. The Wire's Ben Victor is so-so and yet I found it ironic that he had his last big scene in a cooler full of dead pigs because he had spent so much of the rest of the film surrounded by big hams too ? Grenier in particular comes to mind.

Overall then this is a solid Van Damme film with all the plusses and minuses that one would expect. The plot is poor and the acting leaves a lot to desire but the action is fun even if I was hoping for more from Lam.

David Ladd

Super Reviewer

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