By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Listen, I always liked Steven Seagal movies. They were simple and pure. It seems like there’s no reason they can’t continue that formula with these straight to video ones, though I have yet to see another Hard to Kill. I haven’t seen them all, but the latest, Kill Switch is a step up from Marked for Death or Half Past Dead.
Review: Kill Switch
The fact that Seagal wrote the screenplay really excites me. Unfortunately, there’s no environmental message this time, but he definitely knows the formula of an overdog hero who doesn’t have to undergo any change to stop all the bad guys. I mean, he’s got some dead family members, so that’s where it all starts.
There’s no broader social villain like corrupt cops, family loyalty or toxic polluters. It’s just a standard cop movie. Seagal is doing an accent that sounds like the jive talkers from Airplane. His brutality is so outrageous, it’s like they don’t even have to worry about police realism since it’s just a quickie Seagal exercise.
At least there’s ton of action. Perhaps doubling Seagal is a good way to extend fight scenes beyond what a single actor can choreograph. The great thing about Steven Seagal fight scenes were how one-sided they are. He just cleans up. The editing tricks they use to speed up the low budget choreography and hide the doubles keeps up the pace, though you might notice you’re not actually seeing these brutal moves connect all the time. It’s actually kind of funny how they put a quick insert of Seagal’s face in a shot where some dude shot from the back is wailing on a guy in front of him, completely obstructing the action. The kicker is when they have him dub one liners over it. Still, it’s so extreme and over the top you’ve got to love how they turn 2008 Steven Seagal into a WWE hero, and they do go on forever.
So hopefully that convinced you to watch this movie. I know if I’d read it, I’d be even more eager to see it for myself. It gives me hope for the straight to video action genre. They may not be able to do it gracefully on a budget, but they can cut together something so over the top it’s worth 90 minutes of time. Has Van Damme done anything this good?