I gave this movie a solid ten, and I stick with it. I'm not in particular
fan of Steven Seagal, though I don't arbitrarily hate him like many
do. In fact, this was the first of his movies I'd seen, and I liked it
For any people expecting this movie to deviate from the usual formula of (1): Seagal is wronged, (2): Seagal becomes killing machine, you'll be disappointed. Almost everything in this movie is to be expected, as Seagal plays his usual tough but lovable good guy who gets pushed just a bit too far and goes into full-on expert martial arts killer to enact revenge. A dozen or so people will die, as many or more limbs will be broken, and Seagal will do it all with as much emotion as a stick. To those expecting more of Seagal's usual stuff, that's what you'll get.
But in my opinion, what we also get are some inexplicably high level bad guys for this outing. Although about a decade or two behind today's times (keeping in mind the film itself is a decade and a half old), the two antagonists are the well known actors Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey. While getting on in their age nowadays, these two were some of the most crazed and entertaining actors of the 70s and 80s. Jones is probably best known from The Fugitive, for which he won an academy award, while Gary Busey has done a boatload of famous, not-so famous, and video game voiceover work. Together, these veterans almost steal the show as they chew the scenery and provide Seagal's most colorful and charismatic characters. Busey is a former ship's commander who's willing to drown his crew simply to taunt Seagal, whereas Jones' character used to send body parts to his ex-bosses at the CIA before turning up here.
The plot of this movie is that the two aforementioned crazies, with an entire crew of inside tech guys and hired muscle, have overtaken the aircraft carrier USS Missouri, with plans to extort various things from the big guys in Washington with the ship's small but capable arsenal of weapons at their disposal. The catch is that a high-ranking ex-navy seal is on the ship, serving a commuted sentence for misbehavior. Stuck here as the ship's cook, Seagal plays Casey Ryback who must do whatever he can to rally the ship back into responsible hands.
Strangely enough, the movie departs in several ways from the regular formula. The aforementioned bad guys are not only one head honcho but two equally ambitious ones, as well as a capable force of a dozen or so armed men. But where one would expect Seagal to be alone, this time the film adds at least a little credibility to the mix: Seagal still raises hell, but he also has to get the help of several others stowed on the ship if he's to have any chance in operating its guns and other functions. In a film rooted in implausability, it's at least nice to see old Steve actually running around with some admitted help.
The pace is interesting, as the early scenes in the movie set up some beautiful shots of the ship as well as some of its intricate interiors and set pieces. Some characters are the token one-line kills, but then there are some side characters who are given their own personality and a scene or two to take advantage of. Many characters from the aforementioned Fugitive (1993) make returns in this movie, as well as a decent character played by Colm Meaney, who was Miles 'O Brien to Star Trek fans.
Probably the only annoying bit of this movie is the female lead, played by Playboy model Erika Eleniak. She does a serviceable job, shows her breasts for a minute like she's expected to, and sometimes comes across as a believable person. But for the most part, she's there to lend support to Seagal, and add a little comic repartee between them. I didn't really mind her until she had a silly turn as hero(ine) for a minute or two.
But that's a minor quibble, in a film that I still love as being Seagal's most tight, interesting and energetic. It somehow seems more well written or polished than all his other efforts, and this is no doubt aided by the considerable time that is spent establishing the villains, who I've already noted as being the best Seagal's had to tackle. The sequel to this one was quite a letdown but still fun on its own, but in my opinion the original is Seagal's best and a great choice for those looking for some good old fashioned action heroics
Action / Thriller
Action / Thriller
The battleship Missouri is about to be decomissioned. Casey Ryback is Captain Adam's personal cook. And Ryback is always butting heads with the ship's XO Commander Krill but the Captain always intercedes. One day, after the President visits the Missouri, which is also the Captain's birthday, the Captain learns that a helicopter has been cleared to land on the ship by Commander Krill, which he was not informed of. When questioned Krill tells the Captain that it's a surprise for his birthday, the Captain then allows it. Later after another one of their scuffles, Krill has Ryback locked in the freezer. During the party, the rock band reveals themselves to be mercenaries, led by William Stranix, a CIA operative, who is in league with Krill to unload all of the ship's nuclear warheads. They lock up all of the crew and make preparations to remove the warheads. And Krill remembers Ryback, Stranix sends two of his men to take care of Ryback, only thing is that Ryback took care of them. Upon ...
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March 06, 2013 at 08:56 PM