Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Seagal Week 2: The Foreigner

Ah, the familiar crap has returned.  Today's film is The Foreigner, the first Direct-to-DVD film Seagal appeared in after his failure to reignite his career.  Sorry, Ticker and Half Past Dead.  To note, it's not his first Direct-to-DVD film- that's 1998's The Patriot- but only I'm anal retentive enough to care about that detail.  So what is this film about?  Well, stop me if you've heard this one before, Seagal is a Secret Agent in Europe who has to stop some terrorists.  Shocking!  To be fair, it's a less overt terrorist threat than say Al Qeada, but my point is still the same.  All of the usual crap is here, whether it's Seagal's use of doubles, voice dubbing (since he doesn't do ADR like ever) and constant use of shadows.  It's like visiting an old friend...who you kind of hate.  To find out why this is a great example of what was to come, read on...
Seagal is in shadows right off of the bat.  He works for some guy in France- note how he's never near any major landmarks- and has *sigh* one last job to do before he quits.  This one will end smoothly!
 If you want to sum up the problems with Seagal's films post-1997, this image sums it up well.  I mean, just look at that!  Do a fucking sit-up, man!!!
To sum it all up in one moment Highlander 2-style, here's Seagal's double doing the challenging work of...walking out of a building.  Not just anyone could do that, you know!
Basically, Seagal is given a parcel, but will only turn it over to the man he was assigned to.  Before that, he has to investigate the guy.  Why he cares now is anyone's guess.

It make this black guy- who works for the man- mad in one of the only times that Seagal is ever 'taken out' on film.  Kudos, Pointless Black Side Character!
He's pointless b/c Seagal tricks him into opening a fake package that contains an explosive, which blows up the entire Train Station...
...I mean, it makes a little smoke.  Don't buy stock footage of an explosion (you know it is) if you can't make your footage match it!
As it turns out, the package contained evidence that the man who the parcel was involved in some terrorist attack (see- I told you) and he wants to be rid of it.  Holy Inside Man, Batman!

By the way, the guy just kind of gets away with it.  Seagal doesn't kill him or anything.

Oh and the pictures are from a real plane accident.  Classy, movie.
Seagal's sidekick- who's been killing random people since the beginning- is the 'Final Boss' here.  He goes down like a piece of lint.
With all of the drama gone, Seagal's character rides away in a comically-small boat, never to be seen again...until the sequel.  The End.
Future crap such as this will affect his films in the future.  The film, to begin with, is not really all that good.  Seagal is given a job, faces a single hurdle and immediately abandons it.  It's literally his last job for this guy...but he still backs out.  Never mind that the boss is killed by the half-hour mark, rendering the whole idea pretty pointless!  The rest of the film is Seagal stalking the wife, getting in random action scenes (mostly shooting) and eventually killing his former ally.  Speaking of that guy, what is his motivation?  He betrays Seagal, kills the boss (who wanted him to do so), tries to kill Seagal and eventually...tries to kill him later.  In between that confusing bit of story, he kills a Maid for no reason, kills a guy who's car he's stealing for no reason and survives a three story fall backwards after being shot...because he had a vest on.  Bull and shit, movie!  As for Seagal, he mostly just acts like a dick who always 'knows that he's right.'  Since he's Seagal, he always is...but the point is still the same.  There's no growth, no improvement- nothing.  Like everything else in his films, he just kind of goes through the motion.  The film does have some hilarious moments, be it Seagal killing someone with an exploding CD (which blows up twice and at two different locations), some hilarious physics and possibly the worst Photoshop-ped pictures this side of Highlander III or Boogeyman III...
Next up, the sequel called Black Dawn.  This is the film that suffered from Seagal's issue with Millennium films- let's see how that plays out!  Stay tuned...

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