Former secret ops man Steven Seagal’s daughter is kidnapped while on holiday in Thailand.Sagal, looking for all the world like a constipated Buddha, comes to Thailand to rescue her. Theauthorities believe a terrorist group called the Abu Karaf are responsible (people claiming to bethem have sent in a tape of their demands), but Seagal is not so sure. A lot of people will bebeaten up and shot before he unearths the truth.
The plot is both meandering and hard t… follow, and most of the action scenes, if competent,aren’t terribly exciting. Seagal is now well-past his best-before date, and the special effects usedto enhance his combat scenes are risible. The less said about the bullet time sequences at theclimax, the better, though they are entertaining in their inanity. Less fun is when Seagal has anaffair with a Thai woman clearly the same age as the daughter he has come to rescue. Movealong, folks: nothing creepy here. Nope, not at all.
All this being said, I will confess to being entertained, and the production values are at leastabove those of many other DTV action efforts.
This wouldn’t be a martial arts movie without a whole whack of “whoosh” noises whenpeople make sudden moves, and if “whoosh” you want, “whoosh” you’ve got, notably from therear speakers. There are some rather nice rear/front effects (notably a plane that starts in the rearand moves forward), and the environmental effects are decent. The left-right separation could usesome work, however, and the combat scenes don’t have quite the aural oomph that I would like.Nice bass line on the score, though.
The blacks are very strong. They’re probably the most consistently solid aspect of thetransfer. Though generally fine, there are a couple of grainy shots, and some others that arenoticeably soft standing out in stark contrast to the otherwise sharp transfer. The coloursthemselves are sometimes a bit drab in the exterior day shots (though all is well for the nightclubscenes). The aspect is 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen .
Nothing but trailers for Belly of the Beast, The Foreigner, Out for aKill (how’s THAT for a painful title?) and Returner.
Been there, done that, so many, many times, and so much better, too. Seagal is a long wayfrom the glory days of the Under Siege movies and his godlike omnipotence is evenharder to swallow than ever. All this, and yet I still passed an agreeable hour-and-a-half.
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