Watched March 2, 2015
Starring: Steven Seagal, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Bob Gunton, Brian Cox
Even though this came out during the prime time of watching action movie with my dad and brother, I never caught this crazy Steven Seagal joint. I was mostly excited to watch it because of the hilarious How Did this Get Made podcast where they discuss it.
Jack Cole (Steven Seagal) is detective brought to LA to help during the investigation of a local serial killer. He is teamed up with local detective Jim Campbell (Keenan Ivory Wayans). The opening credits show us different gritty shots of LA along with headlines of the murders. The serial killer is shooting the victims, then nailing them up on the walls with a crown of barbed wire to appear as if they were crucified. Even though Jack is a police detective he has also adopted a Buddhist mentality so he uses that calm approach to the horrible crime scenes they have to investigate. The clues hint to Jack that it's not actually a real serial killer but the crime scene is meant to appear that way. The press has titled the potential murderer the Family Man killer.
Jack and Jim go to the morgue to further examine some of the victims. In the morgue, all the men are completely covered in plastic, but the women have their breasts exposed. This is before any autopsies have been performed, but it still doesn't make any sense. As they discuss one of the female victims, Jack cuts into her breast and pulls out an implant. He thinks she looks Russian, which hints at Russian mafia involvement. They run the serial number on her implant to find out who she is.
Jack is such a good detective they do track some suspects to a parking lot under a freeway. They are attacked by some Russian gangsters. It is set up that Jack isn't going to fight because of his spiritualism, but as instead he pulls a credit card out of his wallet that has a razor blade attached to it and cuts one of the gangsters throats. This begins a big fight between Jack and Jim versus the Russian gangsters. Jack and Jim beat up everybody and they are convinced they are on the right track.
Jack's ex-wife and new husband are killed in the same style of the Family Man killer. This leads the police to believe that Jack is a suspect since it was his ex-wife. Jack, being a super detective and based on some of the child-like drawings that are on the walls of the victims homes he finds the man he suspects actually did it. Jack tracks this guy to a church, where the man feels cornered and takes the priest hostage. Jack talks him into letting the priest go but ends up having to shoot him. This only confirms the police's suspicion that Jack is the killer. Jack is kicked off the case and his badge is taken away, they don't have enough evidence to formally arrest him, but he's definitely a suspect. But since he's such a super cop he know he can solve the case without a badge.
On the other side of the this whole thing see that a businessman Frank (Bob Gunton) has been orchestrating the whole thing. He's been smuggling in weapons from Russia and is trying to sell them to terrorists. He's been using the Family Man murders to cover up the people he has to kill to keep doing business. His teenage step-son becomes aware of this and goes nuts in his classroom, but luckily Jack and Jim are there to save him.
An assassin tries to kill Jim in his apartment, they have a big fight and the TV is kicked over. It instantly catches on fire, then the assassin also rips the stove off the wall ripping open the gas line. As they fight, the apartment continues to burn. Jim manages to get away from the killer and jumps out his second story apartment as his apartment explodes. Somehow Jim survives by landing on the soft top roof of a car.
After almost being killed, Jim knows that Jack is on the right trail. After a couple more random fights, they lure the group of gangsters to an old hotel. They have an insane gunfight, but Jack ultimately pushes the bad guy through an interior window and he stabbed by some grating.
Action wise, it's as fine movie. I haven't seen many later Seagal movies as I know that he gets doughy and can't do a lot of the cool moves anymore. He still has it for the most part here, but does seem a little out of shape. I get the impression that his long ponytail hides that his hair is very, very thin on top. I'm also assuming that Keenan Ivory Wayans was hired for some comedic effect, the classic mismatched cop pairing. There is no real comedy in the movie. There are some extended scenes with Seagal taking Wayans to a Chinese herb shop to get powdered deer penis but it's not funny. Seagal's spiritualism doesn't come into play in actually solving the crime. The plot doesn't make a ton of sense. There is a totally weird scene when the main bad guy invites Brian Cox to his house for a late night swim and they hang around the pool in their robes discussing their evil plan.
Wayans is really into Casablanca so much that he has posters as home and work, he is watching it at home and also goes to see it in theatre. Is it supposed to be funny that Wayans has a sensitive side.
If you like people crashing through windows, then this is the movie for you.