Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Words can not begin to express the feelings I have for this poorly made direct to DVD movie. With the exception of some decent photography involved there is little to like about it. Its movies like these that give direct to DVD movies a bad name and that's saying a lot.

The plot is simple and ridiculous. A secret maximum security prison is being closed down. In charge of seeing to it that things run smooth is an ex-Black Ops operative named Tom Steel (Steven Seagal). His right hand man is Manning (Steve Austin). The two banter back and forth every now and then sounding like they're reading the lines for the first time with no emotion whatsoever.

The night before closing two special prisoners were admitted under Steel's orders. One is a woman who claims she works for the CIA and has special information she needs to pass on. Of course her request is ignored by the prison warden. The transport for the prisoners arrives and things just don't seem quite kosher. Surprise! The group is actually a mercenary group sent in to capture this CIA agent and retrieve information from her. To do this they not only pose as the transport but a squad also sneaks in via the garbage truck. Oh how clever, the truck is called Trojan waste control. Get it? Like a Trojan horse? With men inside? That's the high end of wit in this movie.

When the warden is taken prisoner and the guards are being gunned down left and right only Austin can help keep the prisoners safe. Of course Seagal is on his way as well and has no problem getting into the building or calling on back up from the rest of his crew. Carnage follows in the forms of hand to hand combat and numerous gun battles and explosives toss in now and then.

I guess what truly disappoints me about this movie is that at one time I thought Seagal would be the best action star there could be. His early movies still hold a place on my shelf where I pull them out from time to time to watch. But something happened and suddenly his movies began to really stink. My only guess is that the fame went to his head and suddenly he thought he could do no wrong, taking control of most aspects of his films. Please Steven, let the guys who know what they are doing take control.

In the extras there is a part where Seagal says that he is the master of improv when it comes to movies and he inserts his own dialogue in the way that HE thinks the character would speak. I just don't imagine a high level black ops operative saying hey man every few sentences. Bill and Ted? Yes. Black ops operative? No. There is a reason the people who write scripts are paid to, well, write scripts. He should allow them to do so.

Austin doesn't fare much better. His role is nothing more than being a hard ass and kicking butt. He does that part well. It's amazing the things that happen to him that rarely cause him more than discomfort and a few minutes of unconsciousness only to rise up tougher than before in a few minutes. On occasion they give him some Schwarzenegger style one liners to say but his acting ability isn't enough that he can pull it off. I've seen some Austin films that I enjoyed as well but this isn't one of them.

One would think that two top notch action stars could make a good movie. But with the choices both have made in the past few years perhaps calling them top notch is stretching it a bit. Both have potential though I'm beginning to think Seagal's time has come and gone. Perhaps it's time to pass the torch on to someone else before he gets burned.

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