On Deadly Ground (1994)

R   |    |  Action, Adventure, Thriller


On Deadly Ground (1994) Poster

A mystical martial artist/environmental Agent takes on a ruthless oil corporation.


4.6/10
20,983

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  • Billy Bob Thornton in On Deadly Ground (1994)
  • Shari Shattuck in On Deadly Ground (1994)
  • Steven Seagal and Ric Waite in On Deadly Ground (1994)
  • Steven Seagal and Sven-Ole Thorsen in On Deadly Ground (1994)
  • R. Lee Ermey in On Deadly Ground (1994)
  • Joan Chen and Chief Irvin Brink in On Deadly Ground (1994)

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11 February 2002 | bob the moo
Eco-action movie that preaches a mixed message
Forrest Taft is a trouble shooter for Michael Jennings' oil company. When the rig foreman comes to Taft with tales of faulty equipment Taft looks into it and finds Jennings is rushing the rig, compromising safety in order to drill within a 13 day deadline before the oil rights revert to the Eskimos. Jennings kills the foreman and frames Taft for industrial terrorism, bringing in mercenaries and the FBI to stop him. With Taft saved by the Inuits and taught the way of the bear he arms himself to stop the rig drilling.

In Seagal's debut as director he is given clear reign to base a story on a muddle of mysticism and environmental concern. The story is pure cod but it allows him to not only battle evil oil corporations but actually do physical battle with them. For half the film Seagal `dances with wolves' before he dumps all thoughts of spirituality, arms himself with a cabin full of weapons and does battle with the mercenaries as he tries to blow up the oil rig - he conveniently ignores the environmental damage done by this!

The action is the usual unimaginative stuff where Seagal does moves on baddies who come at him one at a time. He's starting to look a little old and out of shape here, but if you like his fighting generally then this is OK. It's a little hard to swallow when he takes on a elite group of soldiers but I suppose that if you're watching this type of film then you're happy with whatever you get! Once the film ends we are treated to a straight lecture on the environment and big business - it is full of open statements and sweeping requirements with no real practical solutions. Unlike his fights he doesn't hit the target once.

Seagal is as usual a terrible actor - only one facial expression, terrible one-liner delivery and generally no talent. Here, he shrouds himself in smugness and native American mysticism making it even harder to accept him. Caine has a laugh, hamming it up as the oil baron, but it's not a performance one could describe as good in any sense of the word - his American accent keeps changing to Cockney and back again! The rest of the cast are neither good or bad - they don't really have the material to do anything with - but it has a load of `name' actors. John C McGinley is alright, Ermey does what he always does (but has done better) and Billy Bob Thornton is in there if you keep your eyes open!

Overall it's slightly worse than most Seagal's films because of the environmental message being unsubtly rammed down the audiences throats. However if you like his fighting then there's maybe 15 minutes of enjoyment to be had here.

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Genres

Action | Adventure | Thriller

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