Saturday, February 18, 2012

Steven Seagal Week: Born to Raise Hell

To see the most recent crap Seagal has to offer, you'll need to keep reading.  Seagal's Direct-to-DVD career has been steady since 2003, but there has been a drop-off in the last year or so.  Admittedly, having to fight a charge of human sex trafficking would slow most of us down.  Since then, he has made a TV show...that aired in Spain.  It eventually got to the UK and Poland, finding its way to us sometime in March.  With all of that said, this 2010 thriller is the most recent crap fed to us from Mr. Ponytail.  Unlike most of the films before, Seagal has not only A Writing credit, he has the ONLY Writing credit.  Since he's a Producer and Star here too, he gets more of the blame than usual.  The plot is simple: a pair of gangs in Romania are fighting, bringing violence to everyone in sight.  Seagal is, you guessed it, a Federal Agent.  Unlike previous films in which he worked for the CIA- alot!- or Interpol, this time he works for a made-up sub-group called the International Drug Task Force.  It's so generic that it hurts my everything!  All of the infamous Seagal stuff is here, even the seemingly-pointless Voice Double work.  You may also notice some other things that stand out here, thanks to Seagal being the only Writer.  To find out more, read on...
The film begins In Media Res with Seagal assaulting a night club with a shotgun.  As a Producer, he chose this fade-out shot of him squinting from the muzzle flash...
Two weeks earlier, a gang war of sorts is taking place between the Russian Mob and a gang of Gypsies.  Gypsy power!
Naturally, this brings in Seagal, the head of the IDTF.  He's so fat here that he can't close his flak jacket!

Oh yeah, his partner is also an idiot too.  Too subtle, Seagal!
With war on the streets, only one man can turn the tide in favor of law & order: Dian Hristov.  Kick some ass...since the Producer can't.
This guy is the head of the Russian Mob.  Clearly Seagal hired him because he looks like Marlon Brando in The Godfather.
How does Seagal pay back Hristov for years of heavy-lifting?  With the insertion of him in a topless scene, of course!
Not surprisingly, Seagal's partner is killed.  More surprisingly, however, is how violent and bloody it is.  Seagal likes hyper violence obviously.
With a death on both of their sides, the Russian Mobster and Seagal team-up...for murder.  This is not a light-hearted film, to say the least!
This is the main villain.  The guy who killed Seagal's partner.  Seagal's partner who had a pregnant wife.  Guess what happens to him.  The End.
Seriously, Seagal likes to kill people on screen!  With Seagal's 'voice' as the only one here, you get a dark, ugly movie.  It's shot nice enough, but the tone and characters are gritty as shit!  Characters are shot to death- a lot.  Women are called derogatory names and struck.  Morals are pretty much tossed out the window for the finale.  In its place, Seagal hunting down and beating a man to death.  Granted, the guy was a mobster, a drug dealer, a murderer and a scum bag.  It's not like he's a guy that I feel bad for.  Even so, Seagal abandons his principles and his mission to shoot the guy's door off and kill him!  It's not even like in some of the films where he tries to arrest the guy, but he kills them in self-defense.  No, this is all about Seagal wanting to straight-up murder a guy!  You could look at this two ways.  First, Seagal is trying to emulate the 'Grindhouse' formula with harsh action and gritty characters.  That's my brother's theory.  Second, Seagal just likes to see people violently murdered on-screen, women talked down to and people not espouse good morals.  Obviously, that's my theory.  Either way, this is a dark, dark movie with no real message.  If you like to watch crappy Seagal films though, this is certainly one of them.  Take us away, really good continuity...
Next up, a look at some of the older After Dark/Fangoria films on DVD.  First up, a film about a happy film...with torture porn.  Stay tuned...

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