Monday, June 2, 2014

New Ponytail Pain: Force of Execution

After a long break, it is good to see Seagal again.  I'm kidding, of course- I don't like Seagal's films.  That is not to say that he hasn't *been* in good movies, they just haven't really happened all that much in the last decade.  Ever since his banishment to Direct-to-Video fare after Half Past Dead, his work has been lazy and mostly uninspired.  The films have good moments at times, but are mostly just crap.  The fault- if you are new to his films- is Seagal and his apathy.  He could get in shape- he doesn't.  He could emote- he doesn't.  He could be on set the whole time and do his own A.D.R.- he doesn't.  The man simply shows up (for some of the time), does what little he has to do and collects his paycheck.  I don't really hate the guy- just for the record- but I have many reasons to not like him.  The man disappeared for a little while, but has made a few films in the last couple of years.  His last one- Maximum Conviction- was a good film when he wasn't around, so let's see what Force of Execution is going to be like.  Seagal plays a Mobster- don't worry, he has a Secret Agent past- who gets in a turf war.  His main henchmen gets into some trouble, leading to a convoluted showdown.  I won't SPOIL the whole film, but I will at least give you a taste of what this one is all about.  To see if the presence of Machete can make the film better (it didn't work for Urban Justice), read on...
The film begins with- I kid you not, this shot of the Desert.  Did I accidentally start watching John Carter?

As it turns out, this is just to establish that the film is set in New Mexico.  Weird choice though.
The film begins properly with Seagal doing his laziest Sunset Boulevard by setting up the film.  In case you thought, the formerly-ponytailed one might die (ha!), this says that he doesn't.

Just take this image in folks.
So before all of that, we see Seagal in one of his two fight scenes.  To be fair, he does his own fighting (mostly) here.  It is the lazy 'I stand still while you throw yourself around' Seagal fight.

After that, his henchman- the supposed lead- is sent to break into a Prison (the same set from Conviction) and kill some guy.  He takes his cue from a Prison snitch (Ving Rhames), but...
It is actually the wrong guy.  So much for reliable sources (not to be confused with the CNN Show).

Seagal hands his henchman (of 15 years!) over to the people that had hired them for the job and they torture him, smashing his hands.  Good job, Seagal!
Some vague amount of time goes by and the henchman is now homeless.  I get that he can't work- with non-working hands- but he apparently did save any money.  You need to invest in some IRAs, criminals!
Henchman- I'm sure that he has a name, but I don't care- finds help from 'Machete' (here playing a Restaurateur) and this blond lady (who is apparently 'Seagal's girl').
Meanwhile, Rhames (who got out of Prison during the break) is making a play to take over Seagal's territory, since he is retiring.  Seagal- truly a Mobster with a heart of gold...eventually.
I won't SPOIL what 'Machete' here has in mind for our hero. is beyond words.
This is just a set-up for some shoot-outs, a bit of fighting and more shooting.  Seagal busts out his faux-tactical gear (which also covers up his neck) for the big showdown.

To find out how this all ends, watch the movie.  The End.
It is arguably the most work Seagal has done in a while.  That is a bar so low that Chihuahuas could walk under it.  Like Conviction, the former Star drops in and out of the movie.  Unlike Conviction, it didn't have a charismatic Steve Austin and a good Stunt Team to fill in the rest.  We don't get fun moments like Austin's classic line 'Which one of you killed my future ex-wife?'  The actual lead here- Bren Foster- is not bad at Kung-Fu, but he's not the best Actor.  He either has an apathetic expression, a sad one or his 'action face.'  If there was someone to do the Acting for him, this might be okay.  As it is, he doesn't have the emotional rage to pull off what he has to here.  The presence of Trejo, Rhames and the rest is just not enough here.  To be honest, I fell asleep during the middle part of this movie.  I *rarely* fall asleep during films- especially Action ones- and you can't even blame the time of day (Saturday night before 9 pm) either.  It is also worth noting that Seagal (whether it was his idea or not) steals Foster's 'thunder' in the Finale.  Aside from good Action moments and some silly 'science,' this film is a bore.  I will, however, point out the one time I could clearly spot Seagal's double (since I'm a jerk like that)...
Up next, inspired by release of the new Wolfenstein game, a Nazi film.  If they can put Nazis on the Moon, then so can I!  Stay tuned...

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