Maximum Risk

Maximum Risk

Original Theatrical Poster
Directed by Ringo Lam
Produced by Moshe Diamant
Written by Larry Ferguson
Music by Robert Folk
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Edited by Bill Pankow
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • September 13, 1996 (1996-09-13)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[1]
Box office $51.7 million

Maximum Risk is a 1996 American action thriller film directed by Hong Kong director Ringo Lam in his American directorial debut, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Natasha Henstridge. The film was released in the United States on September 13, 1996.[2]


Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a cop in Nice, France. Alain is at a funeral that is being held for a fellow cop, when Alain's partner Sebastien (Jean-Hugues Anglade) shows up, and requests for his presence at a crime scene. When they arrive, Sebastien shows Alain a dead body of someone that looks exactly like him. They discover that his name was Mikhail Suvorov, who was born on exactly the same day Alain was. As it turns out, Mikhail is the twin brother Alain never knew he had.

Tracing his brother's steps back to New York City, Alain discovers that Mikhail was a member of the Russian Mafia, who was chased down and killed when he attempted to get out. Of course, now Alain is mistaken for Mikhail, who was also mixed up in a series of affairs concerning the FBI and the Russian mafia. With his only real ally being Mikhail's fiancé Alex Bartlett (Natasha Henstridge), Alain sets out to avenge his brother's death, which is complicated not only by the Mafia, but by two corrupt FBI agents.



The film was originally known as The Exchange, then it was retitled Bloodstone.[3] Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer]], better known for Scary Movie and their other parodies, performed an uncredited rewrite on the film.[4]


Maximum Risk opened on September 13, 1996, at the number one spot at the box office, taking in $5,612,707 in its first weekend, and made a final domestic tally of $14,502,483.[5] The film performed better overseas, enabling the film to earn back double its budget.[1]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 28% of 32 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 4.2/10.[6] Leonard Klady of Variety wrote, "It's a visceral delight that refuses to be deterred by niceties of plot or character consistency and prefers sweat to emotion."[7] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote that the film depends too much on car chases, which end up dominating the film.[8] Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times wrote, "From start to finish, 'Maximum Risk' presents spectacular stunts choreographed and coordinated by Charles Picerni and some hair-raising, stomach-churning automotive chases attributed to Remy Julienne, the French master of the art."[9]

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "a solid, fast-moving action-adventure" in which Van Damme "does some of his best acting yet".[10] Conversely, Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Van Damme's acting, which is "hobbled by a weak script that even veteran Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam can't salvage".[11]


  1. 1 2 "Maximum Risk". The Numbers. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  2. "Jean-Claude Van Damme". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  3. Hal Hinson (March 30, 1996). "Hooray for Hong Kong! Hollywood Looks East". The Washington Post. p. B1.
  4. Patches, Matt (January 31, 2014). "Surely They Can't Be Serious? - The unlikely rise of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Hollywood's majorly hated, hugely successful kings of the modern-day spoof". Grantland. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  5. "'Risk,' 'Fly Away' Draw Top Spots at Box Office". Los Angeles Times. 1996-09-16. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  6. "Maximum Risk (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  7. Klady, Leonard (1996-09-16). "Maximum Risk". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  8. "Maximum Risk". The Washington Post. 1997-03-11. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  9. Van Gelder, Lawrence (1996-09-14). "Maximum Risk". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  10. Thomas, Kevin (1996-09-14). "'Risk' Lets Van Damme Show Some Depth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  11. Stack, Peter (1997-03-14). "Van Damme Tries to Act and Fails". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
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