Saturday, 12 February 2011

A DANGEROUS MAN (2009) Steven Seagal

In 2007 Seagal bounced back (after the ropey FLIGHT OF FURY) with the majestic URBAN JUSTICE. He then followed it up with PISTOL WHIPPED...before slumping again with (the interesting misfire) AGAINST THE DARK and the (Michael J Fox edited) KILLSWITCH. It looked like a clear case of 'two-on'/'two off' for the stout sensei. But then along came THE KEEPER and restored a bit of credibility. Could Seagals next movie 'A DANGEROUS MAN' stick to the equilibrium of the 'two on/two off' system?

("How dare you mug my wife, with hair like that!")

Seagal stars as Shane Daniels (replete with native indian patchwork jacket) and the movie kicks straight into action, as we see Daniels defend his wife from a car-jacker (within the first 60 seconds) after beating him up a little, Shane gives chase after the crook. Skip forward to the next day, and the car-jacker is found dead (not to mention, brutally mutilated) and Shane (given his 'special forces history' tm) is number one suspect (and therefore under impartial US law.... he's imprisoned for the murder)

Cue the opening titles, and i must say they're pretty stylish for a DTV release.

Don't go expecting any HALF PAST DEAD 3 here folks, because the clock spins forward about 52, 560 hours (i.e, six years) and Shane (still incarcerated) receives one of those 'Dear John' letters from his wife (ungrateful bitch)

(Steven was always last in line for the prison toilet)

And speaking of bad timing (which we weren't, but I'm fresh out of cliché's) it turns out that evidence is found, which proves that Daniels didn't murder the carjacker, and he's released (although understandably 'pissed') Now, this being a Steven Seagal movie, do you think his next step will be to:

A) Track down his wife, and win back her heart?

B) Bring back rock music to a town (led by John Lithgow) that had previously banned it?

C) Kick some fucking ass?

(Answers on a £50 note, to the usual address)

Anyhow, whilst this is going on, a gang of Chinese crooks are smuggling immigrants into the U.S, and they take one special refugee aside (more on that later)

Daniels now released calls into a liquor store, and is soon back in trouble, when two (foolish) hoods try to rob him. Despite pleading with them to leave him alone, before he (quote) "Fucks them up ugly" Daniels gives them both a severe and brutal beating, drives off in their car, bottle in hand, and heads to (what he thinks is) a deserted wasteland to remember about his wife (cue flashbacks of a younger naked girl, dancing around an older fully clothed Seagal)

(Steven required no stunt doubles in this scene)

Seems that Daniels can't even have a sneaky 'trim' flashback in peace, because this 'deserted' highway is soon anything but. First off two Russian youths, who stop to unload empty beer cans from their van appear on the scene. And then a deputy sheriff in his police-car pulls up another car, driven by two Chinese drivers, who are reluctant to say whats in their boot, and promptly shoot the shit out of the officer, before setting their sights on the Russian youths. One of the young Russian men is killed, Daniels intervenes (wahey!) killing one of the Chinese criminals, and knocking out the other one (in some classic Seagal 'Slap-Fu') Daniels takes the Chinese car (quite the thief, it seems) after finding a carry-case full of money, and a tied up Chinese girl (as you do) inside.

Daniels, the girl, and the surviving Russian drive off with the money. The Chinese girl wakes up, and tells Shane that her uncle is an important business man, who has been smuggled into the country by the Chinese gangsters, but (upon realising that he's a VIP) they've double crossed his niece, and are now holding him to a higher ransom. Daniels agrees to help, if her powerful uncle can secure him a visa out of the U.S. The grateful Russian youth, also thanks Daniels, and points out that his father is a powerful Russian mob boss, who will gladly help him out (should he need it?)....Mmmm, subplot methinks?

(A clue, perhaps?)

Daniels and the girl, part way with the Russian, but soon realise that there's a 'tracking device' in the bag of money, and Shane finds himself killing more Chinese hoods, intent on retrieving it.

(If only he'd apply these tactics to LAWMAN?)

With the net closing in, Daniels visits the Russian mob boss (who thanks him for saving his son, and swears undying loyalty) but soon the Chinese hoods are blasting the mob bosses mansion, so Daniels, The Girl, the mob boss and his son, take the war to the Chinese, and attack their HQ to rescue the girls uncle.....

A Dangerous Man is a fast-paced action movie, with rarely a dull moment. The cinematography is crisp, and the camerawork is great. As previously mentioned, the opening titles are really good (and get the viewer pumped up for the next 90 minutes) The film has numerous fight scenes, explosions, profanity....everything a good 'Seagal-movie' should have

Steven gives a lively (i.e, awake) performance (think DRIVEN TO KILL) He performs most of his fights and still has amazing hand-speed, and his usual 'baddass persona' is present and correct.There's a well spread out series of fight scenes (again, probably on par with DRIVEN TO KILL) and more (basic) 'bang-for-your-buck' action than THE KEEPER

Only gripe (if any) is that Seagal is dubbed throughout (although not as bad as KILL SWITCH or ATTACK FORCE) it's all the more infuriating that the dubs are actually the same dialogue that Seagal is wording anyhow (i think the directors should tell him to "speak up" during takes?) Then again, they're probably shit scared of him.

A Dangerous Man is another good movie for Steven Seagal (had the dubbing/double issues not arisen....It would be near perfect) As it is, the casual viewer would probably not notice these gripes, and enjoy it for what it is....a simple-minded fast-paced action thriller (just don't go expecting another UNDER SIEGE 2) but for a DTV release it's a pretty solid movie (actually, it's better than some of his cinematic releases)


  1. Definitely agree with your review! A Dangerous Man wasn't bad at all. The bit when he stabs a baddie with the sharp end of his gun was brutal!

  2. I thought it wasn't bad too, but I wish the fight at the end with Byron Mann had actually been a fight. Sometimes the "Seagal is omnipotent" paradigm has its drawbacks.

  3. Same with his Gary Daniels rumble in SUBMERGED?
    And yet he took a few hits at the climax of DRIVEN TO KILL by the main villain (who has no formal MA training)