Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lance Henriksen Week: Pistol Whipped

You couldn't have just skipped being in a Seagal film, Lance?  I know you're a 'working actor' and all, but you should have some standards.  Of course, you have appeared in three Sasquatch films, which is about the same number as the guy who actually made the Boggy Creek films!  Having covered enough Seagal films in recent times, I don't need to get into full detail for this, do I?  Seagal likes shooting, awkard fight scenes in which he occasionally appears and sending his Russian stunt-double to do menial things like running or walking into doors.  All of that stuff happens here for the most part.  It doesn't appear that his usual stunt-double is on-board, but I may just missed his name in the Credits.  I'm probably the only guy who actually check the Seagal films for his name too.  This movie's plot involves Seagal having a dark past and atoning for it, killing people.  Justice!  Seriously, this movie has more gray area than the entire Moon!  To find out more, read on...
Just like we'd see with Born to Raise Hell, the film begins In Media Res with a shoot-out in a Cemetery.  I'm having Excessive Force 2: Force on Force flashbacks all of a sudden!
In the Present, Seagal is a former cop with a drinking and gambling problem.  Of course, we never actually see him drink or do anything all that mean- by Seagal standards.  Until Death you are not, movie! 

Just to note: we're ignoring Seagal's actual vice here, huh?  Just checking.
Lance Henriksen is here as 'The Old Man.'  Seriously.  Anyhow, he hires Seagal to kill some random criminals in exchange for paying off his gambling debts.  Since he owes over a million dollars- no, really- he'll have to kill a small country! 
Seagal's character has a young daughter and a broken marriage.  These scenes of you and the girl totally mesh with that last scene where you straight up shot that guy in the head!
As it turns out, his wife's new lover is a guy he worked with on the force.  That's...both convenient and a little creepy.  Couldn't you just screw the mailman or something?!?
Who can Seagal trust when Henriksen's henchman is a jerk and the lady that he hit on was actually working for them?  Maybe he can trust the guy banging his ex-wife.  I mean, it's not like he just killed a Priest or...oh. 
The whole thing comes to a head at the Funeral for the Priest aka Seagal's friend.  Some of you may say that it's inappropriate to have a gunfight in a Cemetery.  I look at the positive: it saves on the transportation costs for the bodies.
At the end of the multi-tiered action scene (since one alone is just silly), our hero shoots the bad guy- the guy boning his ex-wife, which sure is convenient- and burns his body in a Hearse, but only after confirming that he wanted to be buried.

In the official ending, Seagal continues to work for Henriksen.  In the Original Ending, he doesn't.  Go figure.  The End.
On the plus side, Lance was barely in this movie.  Where do I begin?  The plot is paper-thin, provided you can ignore all of the window-dressing.  Is the drama with his ex-wife and daughter important?  No, not really. Is the romantic sub-plot turned allegiance to the group sub-plot all that important?  Again, no.  It does give us another- thankfully, it's only implied- scene of Seagal having sex with good-looking women.  If you think I'm exaggerating about how conceited and self-centered Seagal seems to be, consider how many films DON'T have a scene like this.  Whether it's his barely-established-girlfriend from Into the Sun or the lady from Belly of the Beast, these scenes are in nearly every one!  As far as Lance goes, he's good here.  He plays a shadowy figure with vague alliances and projects the ability that you can't trust him very well.  As I said though, he's barely in the film.  The 'heavy-lifting' is left to his henchman, a character who does a decent job.  I would have liked more Lance in the film, even as much as I'm happy that he's barely dragged down by a Seagal film.  The biggest problem is that it's hard to root for any of these characters.  Overall, it's a sub-par action film with a few good moments of Lance Henriksen.  That's better than some other Seagal films, I guess.  Take us away, Seagal's double...walking on a roof...
Next up, I begin a week of Dean Cain films.  First up, a film by Jim Wynorski, but featuring footage from James Cameron.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment