12 September 2005 | supertom-3
I've gone and watched a Seagal film again!
Steven Seagal is back! Here with his third film released this year. Of course as a one time fan who has become increasingly disgruntled I can say it comes as no surprise that this is pretty lame. Firstly the film made headlines because of apparent problems in production due to Seagal. He would turn up late on set, change the script, crew etc and generally cause problems for the director, Don E Faun Leroy (his lack of talent his trouble enough!). This also happens in their second collaboration the upcoming Mercenary which promises to be just as bad as this garbage. This also marks a big turning point in Seagal's career because this film is the first of his to really dig out the stock footage. There was a little in Ticker but this film takes the biscuit. They borrow bits from, The Order (A Van Damme movie, Seagals biggest rival in DTV movies!) No Code Of Conduct, Undisputed, and also an entire action sequence from the little known Peter Weller starring vehicle Top Of The World. Interestingly the car chase stolen from Weller's epic, made almost 10 years ago and ironically probably cheaper than this garbage, is actually by far the best action scene of the film. I was shocked enough when Dolph Lundgren had a brief stint in the stock action video world, which thankfully he has escaped from. Seagal though is the leader of the DTV action market currently, with Van Damme and Snipes his main rivals. Seagal still manages to sell movies and for the life of me I don't know how. Surely the fans must be getting bored of this awfulness, longing for a return to the likes of Above The Law. The story here is totally lame. In fact the film has so many plot holes it doesn't bare thinking about. For example at the end of a film there's a little girl that Seagal apparently knows at an orphanage who he gives a necklace to. Why I don't know but we never see her at all in the rest of the movie, or hear her mentioned. Seagal has a girlfriend in this movie who at the beginning of the film is with a psychic and she becomes haunted by visions, which by the end of the film are never explained and mean nothing. The film is so ridiculously glued together by a series of meaningless pap that it becomes headache inducing.. This is by far Seagal's dumbest movie! Seagal himself is as wooden as ever, however to his credit he doesn't get dubbed in this one as far as I could tell. Seagal does however feel the need to talk like he is a gangsta rapper, making me long for the days he would don his Brooklyn/Italian-American accent, in his classic early films. He also has a painfully unfunny double act with Treach, who I assume is a rapper. It is funny how producers seem to think that the combo of Seagal, plus hip-hop star seems to work, because his team up with DMX in Exit Wounds was his most successful film since Under Siege. Clearly though if no one has heard of the rapper, it won't work. This is an action film though and so the action itself must be judged. Unfortunately the action that didn't come form the NU Image back catalogue is strictly routine. There are a few small fight scenes with some classic Seagal aikido but when 90% is performed by his stunt double, who really does have a rigorous work out in this film, it really doesn't impress much. There are also some standard gun fights which really only have some nice violent and bloody squibbage going for them. All in all this is a painfully boring experience and once again I'm left giving the same verdict: Seagal has lost it! I keep asking the years old question now, "why do people still watch his movies?" That is all very well and good as a question but the sad bastard that I am continues to watch his films in the deluded hope he may do something good once again. Chances are slim, unlike Seagal's ever expanding waistline. *1/2