Executive Decision (1996) Revisited: Action Movie Review

There is nothing quite like a 1990s action movie. Before the days of Marvel Studios, The Fast Saga and Dwayne Johnson, action movies were the domain of R-rated stars like Van Damme, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Stallone, and…Steven Seagal. For a decade or so, Seagal reigned at the box office that baffles me to this day. His steely Clint Eastwood delivery coupled with some martial arts acumen helped elevate action flicks like Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Above the Law, and Under Siege to classics of the genre. I will let our sister series Reel Action dive into some of those films, but here at The Best Movie You Never Saw we are going to take a look at 1996 gem Executive Decision featuring Steven Seagal, Kurt Russell, and Halle Berry.

Executive Decision began development as a project at Paramount Pictures in the early 1990s and was a hot project from screenwriters John and Jim Thomas, the scripters of Predator and Predator 2 before going on to write Wild Wild West in 1999 and 2001’s Behind Enemy Lines. The duo worked with producer Joel Silver to develop Executive Decision before the sale to WB. Warner Bros saw Executive Decision as potential box office gold and sold Paramount a film they thought was in deep trouble. At the time, Warner Bros was struggling with rewrites and casting on a film they thought would be perceived as too similar to 1988 hit Rain Man. So, Paramount gave up Executive Decision and instead inherited Forrest Gump. Based on the the final box office grosses for the two films, I wonder who got the better end of the deal.

This episode of The Best Movie You Never Saw was written by Alex Maidy, edited by Edward Clark and narrated/produced by Chris Bumbray. Check out previous episodes below:

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.