Reviews

Half Past Dead

1

Steven Seagal must be wondering what went wrong. Dodging sexual harassment allegations, embarrassed by rumours of Mafia extortion and plummeting ponytail-first into straight-to-video oblivion, the stone-faced hard man isn't exactly at the top of his game. No wonder he's stopped treating his body like a temple and started munching on a few Double Whoppers. This is a man in need of some serious comfort eating.

Since swapping his black belt for an elasticated waistband, Seagal's been trying to keep his street cred with hip-hop flavoured movies like Exit Wounds and The GlimmerMan. So, in Half Past Dead, sleepy-eyed rapper Ja Rule gets to play sidekick to Seagal's undercover FBI agent, the pair taking on a band of terrorists who've invaded the newly reopened Alcatraz prison.

Cannibalising everything from The Rock to Die Hard to - - in a strange case of auto-chomping - - the Under Siege movies, this is as lazy as Seagal is lardy. After piecing together the by-the-numbers plot, novice helmer Don Michael Paul spends his spare time playing silly buggers with the visuals (ooh, look at the smoke and blue lights!) and tinkering with the soundtrack, mixing hardcore rap with bursts of rock guitar to keep everyone happy.

As action movies go, this is positively geriatric. Seagal looks out of breath simply from turning up and the majority of the action sequences are left to his body double. In fact, the only time your pulse is likely to speed up is when villainess Nia Peeples unveils her Posh Spice impersonation. Seagal's next movie is called Out For A Kill. Perhaps he should just stay Out For Lunch.

Verdict:

The Marlon Brando of action-movie stars, Seagal proves - once again - that his career should have ended with his timely death in Executive Decision. Please, no more.

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