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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Trouble in Paradise

Seized (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

man on phoneBritish expat Richard “Nero” (Scott Adkins) leads a quiet life as a security consultant in Rosarito, Mexico. He resides on the beautiful beach with his circa fifteen-year-old boy Taylor “T” (Matthew Garbacz). He misses his deceased wife but doesn't talk about her. Taylor gets taunted in Inter­national School for being an orphan, and being devoid of any information about it he retaliates with punches. The (female) principal calls his dad to complain. Richard promises to have a chat with his son.

At the behest of Richard's former special forces superior Donovan (Steven Elder,) an ambitious Cartel jefe Mzamo Lascano (Mario Van Peebles) has kid­napped T to force Nero to do his signature wet work on the competing cartels. It's a matter of shaky trust whether he will actually get his son back should he survive the mission(s).


royal flushDo you recall one of Kenny Rogers's songs concerning a chance meeting with “The Gambler” on a train, who offered the passenger this advice: “Every hand's a winner/ And Every hand's a loser”? The refrain of the song goes:
You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This gambling man's wisdom is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A grey­hound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie we have Nero whose skill set is needed to save his boy, and what­ever ethical compromises needed had been made long ago in another life.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. After all the cartels have been wasted, the last man standing is Mzamo him­self. You figure Nero would just kill him at this point, but Mzamo points out that bad as he is he's still a man of his word who agreed to release the boy once the job was done. While he's alive, they're under his protection, which won't be the case with his inevitable replace­ment. Better is the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

We have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” In the movie school policy is to just walk away from trouble if one can avoid it. Punching the other fellow might not be the best option. If Taylor is kicked out of this elite Inter­national School, he'll end up in the Mexican one where he'll be taunted worse for being a Gringo. Better is the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When Nero has hit a place and the federales are on their way or he has ignited a gang war, he makes a dash for his get­away car. Good plan, that.

The gambler gave the advice:
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.
It's best not to let down his guard completely.

Production Values

” (2020) was directed by Isaac Florentine. It was written by Rico Lowry and Richard Lowry. It stars Scott Adkins, Matthew Garbacz, and Mario Van Peebles. The protagonist Adkins displayed a full range of emotions. Steven Elder's villain exuded evil. Young Garbacz's kidnap victim was his own person—full of surprises. The cartel members were buffoons, like a south-of-the-border branch of rednecks. In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Van Peebles played the half-wit who herded them all. Karlee Perez played his fighting moll whose girlie punches were enhanced by full-throated sound effects. Adkins's martial arts were balletic as his opponents waited their turn to get drubbed, and their bullets were stopped by the flimsiest of furniture. Don't you just love movies!

MPAA rated it R for violence throughout, sexual material/nudity, and language. The top­less pole dancers were muy provocative. It was filmed on location in Baja California, Mexico. The writers were not shy about sacrificing plot for action. The dialogue didn't rate high either, but the scenery was appealing.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

“Seized” was sooo derivative, but a lot of people just love this stuff. Me, I'm easy to please. This would make a good movie break from your violent video games.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Men's Groups. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. Web.