When a kooky new age cop with a shady background, Jack Cole, is partnered with Jim Campbell on a serial killer case it seems like they might drive each other crazy. But as the case gives way to a larger conspiracy, they join forces to punch and kick their way to justice. Can they stop the bad guys before it’s too late? Find out in… The Glimmer Man.
How?! Jack Cole is a different breed of cop: a peaceful warrior with a shady past. He’s partnered with Jim Campbell, a straight-laced cop who finds Cole’s methods a little odd. Oh boy, hopefully they can solve the Family Man murders before they drive each other up the wall! In a wild coincidence, they stumble into the middle of a hostage situation that puts them at odds with one of the most powerful men in LA, Frank Deverell… who happens to be behind a string of contract killings being disguised as part of the Family Man murders. In an even crazier twist of fate, Cole’s ex-wife and new husband are the next victims of the Family Man… or so it would seem. Suddenly, Campbell is a bit suspicious of his partner (I mean… there have been several major coincidences in the 48 hours since he showed up) and Cole is starting to think all these things must be connected. Cole gets a lead on the real Family Man killer and realizes that the latest killings are the work of a pro right before having to blow him away. Deverell starts to suspect that things are unravelling and sends his hitman after Campbell who narrowly escapes. Cole and him quickly go and save Johnny from getting snubbed by his own father and find out that this is all part of a plan by Deverell to sell chemical weapons to the Serbian Mafia. They confront the contract killer downtown during the sale and a climactic shootout ensues in which Cole shows just why they called him… The Glimmer Man. THE END.
Why?! Fate? Or so it would seem considering the coincidences that were in play. Deverell loves money and wants to get some by selling weapons to the Serbian Mafia. How could he know that the person he hired to take care of loose ends would also happen to be the former employer of the cop investigating the murders that he’s using as a cover… and that this cop’s ex-wife is married to his son’s psychiatrist… and that this cop would also save said son during a police stand-off… all in a matter of a week.
Who?! Do we not consider Steven Seagal a musician? No? But are you sure? Still no? OK. The only other thing of note is that this was an early film for Alexa Vega, who went on to star in the Spy Kids films. She gets a very brief scene as Steven Seagal’s daughter.
What?! Major marketing push here for powdered deer penis. They really get a lot out of that joke and I’m sure sales got the classic Seagal bump following the release of the film. As for props there isn’t really much for sale… but there is a 1996 Glimmer Man t-shirt for sale on Etsy. Feels appropriate that it only comes in XL. I also want to point out that this has several clear films shown within the film. Most notably Casablanca (which plays a prominent part in the film) and Now, Voyager. So maybe check out those before checking out this one.
Where?! Los Angeles for days. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is super LA… the climactic scene takes place in some run down hotel (so not exactly chasing the baddie through Dodger stadium or anything), but they really hammer home that Cole is a little out of the norm for the LAPD. B+
When?! During the investigation there are some phone records pulled up that clearly show that Cole’s ex-wife got a phone call right before her murder on a date in February 1996. For a second I thought there was a chance this took place on Patriot’s Day 1993, but alas… just a post-Valentine’s Day treat for us. B-
I think Patrick and I may end up disagreeing on the merits of this film. This is mostly because I think it’s much less common to find bad movies that are actually so-bad-they’re-good than the number of podcasts and blogs about the subject suggests. This certainly wears out its welcome over it’s slim(mer man) running time, but before that it veers so wildly outside the lines of logic that you can’t help but laugh at it. Throw in a number of bizarre writing choices and one-liners and I have to say I enjoyed myself. In particular the sheer magnitude of the coincidences in play have to be seen to be believed. I mean… no wonder Wayans thinks he might be the killer. I’m not sure even to this day we can fully rule him out. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! The Glimmer Man? More like Not-So-Slimmer Man! Get it? Seagal is starting to look a bit heavy in this film. It’s a fat joke and I feel bad about it. I’m against body shaming. That doesn’t mean I won’t make the same joke fourteen times in this recap! Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – I actually knew nothing about this film going in besides that it was vaguely about a serial killer. And given that we’ve watched over 500 bad films we’ve watched surprisingly few Seagal films. Seeing Seagal transform from an extremely tall aikido master into a fat Buddhist weirdo (no offense …) is always a delight. What were my expectations? Hopefully it is Seagal being a fat Buddhist weirdo? It’s all about Seagal babyyyyyyyy. Give me tons of that Seagal.
The Good – The story is actually pretty coherent all things considered. I also like Wayans who comes across as just skeptical enough of this bead-wearing Buddhist weirdo that has all of a sudden shown up in LA to investigate a serial killer. A pretty good LA film as well. I also appreciate that they didn’t feel the need to give either Seagal or Wayans a love interest. Wayans is unabashedly single, and Seagal is on his second marriage in the film. Easy peasy, see how simple it is to have your heroes have normal personal lives?
The Bad – Alright this is the last time I’ll mention it … Seagal is overweight in this film and it is incredibly amusing. The martial arts are sub par. Especially by Wayans, who for whatever reason is required to try and kick people every so often. While this is a great LA film, there is a very confusing fact that it is constantly raining in this film. It is raining so much that no joke, a weatherman has to come on a television at one point and explain it is one of the wettest winters in history! Finally, the film relies on an incredible number of coincidences. Seagal comes to LA and happens to show up on the day in which a serial killer murder occurs, on the way back from the scene they (against protocol) take a suicide case, this case happens to involve the son of the guy who is working with Seagal’s former employer to smuggle chemical weapons into the US, and at the same time Seagal’s ex-wife’s husband is the kid’s therapist and thus they are targeted to be killed as part of this scheme … like, WHAT?
The BMT – Eh, I guess. I think the main thing is just that we need to watch all of Seagal’s films eventually. It is inevitable. And thus all of this just ends up as homework. I think the thing that saves it is Seagal’s performance. There isn’t much else going for it, too many buddy cop films do the buddy cop shtick better than it. But not many films allow you to witness a martial artist go insane right in front of your eyes. Did it meet my expectations? I think so. Basically if you want to pinpoint the moment in which Seagal misunderstood his own fame and went insane because of it, it is this movie. He has beads, he’s a Buddhist, and he kills like twenty people in cold blood. There isn’t much else to say about it, that’s all you need to know.
Roast-radamus – Definitely gets a shoutout for Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles. A setting so good apparently it gets shouted out in books about films set in LA. Otherwise I can’t think of any other categories it really qualified for. I think there is an outside shot for BMT as well, just based on Seagal’s performance. Surprising for a quality bad Seagal film if I’m being honest. I would have expected more from it.
StreetCreditReport.com – All of the cred comes from Seagal. Lists ignore this film (which is interesting, this isn’t too long after Under Siege and Executive Decision, both of which were relatively well received), and even someone like Siskel & Ebert don’t put it in their fairly expansive worst of show for 1996. This is basically just another Seagal BMT that we eventually have to watch. It is our duty.
You Just Got Schooled – So this week I had a tough decision. I could watch Seagal’s first film (Above the Law) or arguably his best film (outside of Under Siege, which I obviously have to save for when we watch its sequel) in Executive Decision. Well … I think I might have chosen wrong with Executive Decision. Not because it wasn’t good. It is pretty serviceable. As far as a plane hijacking movie it has a lot going for it. Poirot is the bad guy. Platt and Russell are fun as the non-military heroes. And they have a ton going on at all times (they’re trying to figure out how to take down the terrorists, they are defusing the bomb, and they are trying to signal Washington, all at the same time). I kind of wish someone would make a film like this now, it just comes across as so earnest and serious about “getting things right”. No, it was a poor decision because (spoilees!) Seagal dies like 30 minutes into the film. I thought he was the co-star! I should have known better. Regardless, a fun movie in the end, and one more notch in my Steven Seagal belt. B-.