‘Ello everyone. On Deadly Ground? More like Not Made For Patrick! Let’s get into it.
- The Good – The directing was shockingly solid. You heard me right. Makes me think Seagal just didn’t like directing. The action was brutal, some of the practical effects were genuinely amazing, and the entire part with Caine is kind of strangely appealing in a cynical fuck-you-corporate-America kind of way.
- The Bad – It often comes across as a barely film. McGinley is terrible. The lines often cross into WTF-am-I-hearing territory, no human beings would talk like this. An unnecessary hallucination sequence in the middle which is just baffling. And a crazy monologue at the end which could not have been more trite.
- The BMT – Of course. But I was right, it is like a 40 (borderline but not quite legendary), not a 60. Nailed the Seagal Adjusted BMeT (SABMeT).
I kept that part short on purpose because something happened while I watched this film, and it kind of relates to the SABMeT. Every so often when I watch a movie I think to myself “oh this is unpleasant”. Usually it is with movies like Sabotage where I get physically repulsed by the amount of violence and gore on screen. I’m a sensitive lad. Super violent movies just aren’t my jam. That happened during this film. Which is weird. I’ve only seen two Seagal films (On Deadly Ground and Fire Down Below, both for BMT), but for some reason I had the impression he was like JCVD, whose movies I find far more palatable (and with super karate action! Is it karate? I honestly have no idea).
And then it struck me: “Oh, this movie isn’t made for me”. It appears (I assume) to be serving a niche underserved market. People who want to watch Aikido (or perhaps any martial art), ‘splosions, and people getting shot in the face and blown up by claymore mines in gruesome and unyielding detail. No wonder Seagal appears to exist in his own realm of movies. Such unpleasant films are few and far between I imagine. Get yo money Seagal. Get yo money.
No time for another game. I was going to do a Tril-Oh-Geez (landmines featuring Double Team and this gem: I. Am. Not. Joking. ). But I’ll just leave it here. So philosophical these last couple of week. Loving the One-and-Done Director Cycle!
There is a set of actors in the bad movie universe (not the BMTverse… there’s a distinct difference) where I’m not totally sure why they are so appealing to their loyal fanbase. On the rare occasions that we actually watch one of their films, I like to take the opportunity to try to better understand them. Steven Seagal is one of those actors (Jean-Claude Van Damme and Tyler Perry are two others that I can think of off the top of my head). We have watched one other film starring Seagal (Fire Down Below) and I can tell you I did not understand his appeal AT ALL after watching that shit. But that was late Seagal. Not fat Seagal, but still late. His star was fading. This was the first true blue Seagal film I have actually ever seen (shocking, I know). And I can tell you: I now get it. Seagal is three things: swearing like a sailor, the environment, and gruesomely murdering people that he deems deserving. Can I see why people are into that? Uh fuck yeah (minus the whole environment thing, which is kinda a Seagal quirk). Am I into it? Not totally. While fun, I was getting a bit queasy around the seventh time he shot someone in the face at point blank range. Regardless, I get it. And that’s what BMT is all about.
One small thing to note is that this film didn’t just take place in Alaska. It is Alaska. I loved it. Great setting film.
Anywho, this movie was not based on a book (although two Seagal films are: The Patriot and Exit Wounds), but if it was it would be based on a book called The Rainbow Warrior where an Inuit warrior, Aklark, fed up with the oil company destroying his home, decides to fight back. While the oil company may have the firepower, The Rainbow Warrior has the power of nature behind him. The book is notable for the number of times that Aklark calls upon the animal kingdom to gruesomely murder someone, as well as a climactic scene where Aklark transforms into a bear and mauls the president of the oil company to death. Reviews for the book were… poor.