Sight and Sound - 07/01/2003
"...Paul directs with confidence..."
An undercover FBI agent, Sascha Petrosevitch (Steven Seagal), takes bullets for his buddy, Nick Frazier (Ja Rule). Nick figures Sascha for dead until the two are reunited again on duty at New Alcatraz (a hellish, high-tech version of the now-defunct prison). At New Alcatraz, criminal mastermind Lester (Bruce Weitz) is set to be executed. Lester knows the whereabouts of a fortune in gold, but isn't talking. With only hours to live, Lester takes a meeting with Sascha, just as corrupt prison official Donny (Morris Chestnut) and his gang (including Nia Peebles) raid New Alcatraz by helicopter and take Lester and a Supreme Court justice hostage. Highly energetic action scenes pay respect to the films of John Woo, and director Don Michael Paul makes many tasteful choices in the film's editing and music.