Hard To Kill - 25th August 2010

This is my plot synopsis, as I saw it:
Steven Seagal plays Mason Storm who is the worst cop in the world. It's not just his ludicrous moniker that has hindered him his whole adult life, he is also a bumbling fool, heavy set from too many dainty bowls of rice, has a ridiculously twatty pony tail and dresses like a bad synth band's bass player. 
One night while on the docks, trying out the cheapest and flimsiest surveillance equipment known to man, he spies a gang of time traveling gangsters from a 1930s film. It's never made 100% clear why they are bad but we know they are bad because they are not Seagal, they are all shrouded in shadow and have secret group meetings down at the docks after dark. What more evidence does this klutz of a cop need. 
Just so the bad guys know that they are being watched, Seagal talks to himself on a stakeout loudly about the fact he's missing the Oscars and then stands out in the light to fiddle with his poor equipment making sure to drop bits and bang it against some scaffolding. The bad guys give chase but Seagal, always prepared, has a car.

Next we see Seagal trying to buy champagne from a scruffy, wise cracking liquor store clerk who berates Seagal for his expensive choice of beverage. He also explains that he hates the Oscars, he doesn't need them, he has surveillance footage of violence, sex and all manner of debauchery. Oh No, thinks Seagal, maybe this comedy alcohol shop isn't as safe as it first appeared (not that you'd know what he's thinking though because Seagal is still mastering his Frankenstein's Monster impression). As soon as the store owner starts waxing rhapsodic about the dregs of humanity that he gets in his store, sure enough a few turn up and shoot him in the chest with a shotgun. That'll teach him to make fun of my champagne and stuffed monkey thinks Seagal (again we can only guess what he's thinking because, despite being a cop, Seagal, with his beady eyes and huge flabby face, just stands there and watches all this jolly nightlife unfurl). Once the shop keeper is well and truly dead only then does Seagal spring into action. Well, spring is probably a kind word, he more or less just shuffles in amongst the crowd of hoodlums and watches slack jawed and dull brained as they bounce off his rotund girth and hideous, looks-like-a-magic-eye-poster, waistcoat.

At this point the audience are either in fits of laughter or wandering why they are still watching.

Next Seagal turns up at a quiet little suburban home where we meet his fake wife and kid. He disturbingly mumbles a Christian prayer to his kid, despite expounding Eastern philosophy later in the film, and then proceeds to molest is wife as if he was picking out ripe fruit at a deli. Suddenly, as if to save the audience from more Seagal based rumpy-pumpy, a bunch of ski-mask wearing clowns burst in and shoot Seagal in the arm. Seagal, however, is made up of random body parts stitched together and filled with pig fat and so is able to stand up and lunge at the bad guys. He is shot again, in the torso this time but still he is back up (I know this film is called Hard to Kill but I didn't think to take that literally). They shoot him one more time and his wife for good measure before planting obvious bags of drugs everywhere and making their exit, narrowly avoiding killing Seagal's kid, despite having big and noisy shot guns, meaning that we now know Seagal's kid to be Damien from the Omen.
Of course within 30 seconds any blind and confused cousin of a forensics' expert would be able to tell you what's wrong with this picture but this is a Seagal film, we are in the realm of the laughingly ridiculous.

Seagal then goes into a coma and wakes up 7 years later to find out that he's really Jesus and his real wife, Kelly Le Brock is coincidentally working as his nurse (it's not until she oggles his penis that Seagal's fingers twitch into life). 
Then begins the hilarious farce portion of the film as a semi-concious, Jesus bearded Seagal is wheeled about on a gurney mumbling 'get me out of here' while nobody listens to him and then an assassin shows up and shoots a security guard and a hospital worker in a seemingly patient-less hospital. The laughs keep coming as the Seagal Messiah with a mop manages to escape his would-be killer by wheeling himself into a lift. Despite only just showing up, the obvious telepathic Le Brock also manages to evade the trained gunman (who looks like a 1970s music producer), find Seagal's floor and wheel Fu Manchu down to her car, smashing hysterically into every obstacle on her way.

As I wipe the happy tears from my eyes I am thankful that films this fantastically erratic and bizarre exist.

Le Brock and the Seagal badger are lucky enough to have a country mansion decked out in Eastern regalia to escape to and from there, slowly but surely the film grinds to a halt as it scrabbles about for a plot. The laughs come from watching an extended training montage where the badly put together, cumbersome and lumbering Seagal (now free from the shackles of his glue-on face fuzz) totters about the Californian countryside smacking bits of wood while The Le Brock (who was not the block of wood in question) gazes longly at him and shuns her nursing duties in favour of enormous hair and stupid 80s dresses.
The film goes on like this for what seems like days, Seagal's old partner, who is even more out of shape and shambling than Seagal, turns up and blathers on about the kid while the Frankenseagal gruffly whispers lines like -

"We're outgunned, and undermanned. But you know sumpin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind."
and the classic
"I'm gonna take you to the bank, Senator Trent. To the blood bank!"

All this pretentious waffling and the creepiest acupuncture scene this side of a Chinese snuff movie leads us to the not-so grand finale in which we get to watch The Seagal Monster roam around Chinatown, like a ponytailed, potbellied Godzilla, shoving people into things. It does dawn on me at this point that, in this film at least, Seagal doesn't really fight, apart from the odd kick he barely moves! Yes he brakes a few rubber arms but really he just sort of shoves people around. All this and a miniscule amount of 'detective' work leads our hero to Senator Trent's mansion which has an outdoor hot-tub, a games room like something out of Big and a giant pop-art painting of the senator. It's all about as believable as I can't believe it's not butter. 

Thankfully it's all over pretty quickly and without too much excitement. Despite not really being a cop anymore and having killed tons of people without any actual evidence, Seagal gets away with it, the kid excepts his new step-mum, the senator is shamed on live television and the credits roll with more of that terrifically perfect 80s synth score punctuating the soundtrack once more.

Seriously - 4.5 out of 10 warm and flat lemonades
For Laughs - 6.5 out of 10 warm and flat lemonades
Points from The Misses - 6 out of 10 warm and flat lemonades

Silent Rage - 25th August 2010

The Switch - 21st August 2010