The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Dangerous Man (2009)

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As luck would have it this week, there's a new Steven Seagal film out, which coincides with the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl victory. I really didn't plan this one, and I'm not trying to get redundant here, it just worked out this way. One could make the point that Seagal's really from Detroit, and just adopted Louisiana as his hometown, so it's only a small connection. Still, when the Celtics won in 2008 and the Red Sox won in 2007, I didn't do anywhere near as many mentions of it as I have the Saints these past two days.

A Dangerous Man has Seagal as an ex-special forces dude (he's always ex-special something, right?) that's wrongly accused of brutally murdering a man he caught trying to carjack his wife. Anyway, after 6 years in the can DNA evidence exonerates him, but his wife left him, he's got nothing, and he's ready to drink himself to death. That's when he stumbles upon two Chinese gangsters offing a state trooper, and he steps in to help a kid that just happens to be in the same area. Turns out the Chinese gangsters were transporting a girl they kidnapped and a lot of drug money, and they want it all back. Bad luck on their part for it all to fall into Seagal's hands.

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Netflix often has some interesting synopsises (synopsi?), but this one might take the cake. First, they describe the two Chinese gangsters as "Mexican", which they definitely aren't. I'm not sure if anyone of Mexican decent is in the film. Maybe the guys are Vietnamese, but they aren't Mexican. Second, they referred to it as a "gripping action vehicle" for Seagal. I'd call this movie a lot of things, but "gripping" isn't one of them. This was as paint-by-numbers Seagal as you could get, which wasn't necessarily bad, it was just very predictable and not gripping.

Compared to the last Seagal film we reviewed, The Keeper, it was pretty good. I mean, this is what you want when you rent a Seagal film, I just wouldn't put it at his best. The biggest issue was they fell back into the "Seagal is omnipotent" paradigm, which doesn't do them any favors. He's got to at least take a punch from a bad guy. Especially when you cast Byron Mann as the baddie, a dude who can fight, and who we've seen fight as Seagal's partner in Belly of the Beast. That end fight has to be a showdown, not Seagal beating him down like all the random stunt dudes he deals with for the rest of the movie. I don't know if Seagal's age is becoming a problem, and why most of his fight scenes are herky-jerky deals where he mostly slap chops and occasionally kicks-- and when he does kick someone in this, they fly back like they were hit by a car.

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If we look at his last six films, we have the amazing Pistol Whipped (which made my top ten of the 2000s), the duds Kill Switch and Against the Dark, the really good Driven to Kill, and over the past 6 weeks or so The Keeper and A Dangerous Man. What made the good ones good was they went all out with big shoot outs, Seagal in situations he needed to at least think his way out of, and some great baddies; the bad ones threw that paradigm out the window, with Kill Switch being a bad crime drama and Against the Dark a bad rip-off of The Omega Man with barely any Seagal in them. The Keeper tried to be Pistol Whipped but for some reason was afraid to pull the trigger on great action; and at the very least, we can say with A Dangerous Man, he's trending back in the right direction, and the reality is, if you get one good one out of every six Seagal films you're doing well, so with two good and one pretty good we're still coming out ahead.

Somebody was telling me about a conversation he had with a white woman where she said that they feel inadequate compared to Asian women, like they don't measure up well to them or something. She said this to him in a manner suggesting he should be more sensitive to white women on this issue. I'd never heard this before. I know there's the whole myth that Asian women are somehow more submissive, but anyone who's been out in the world even a little bit knows that's just a myth. The only reason why I thought of it is because this film has a fair amount of hot Asian women in it. I'm not trying to be overly PC, but I think all ethnicities have an equal share of hotties and not-so-hotties. I've heard of African American women complaining that African American men prefer white blond women, but I've never heard that white guys prefer Asians. It's possible too that the girl who brought it up was just insecure in general, and is directing her angst at one group of women in general. I don't know, am I just out of the loop on not being aware of this?

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This movie was so paint-by-numbers and unremarkable, I decided to switch it up for this seventh paragraph, and give everyone a little something special, so enjoy.


This isn't a bad deal for a last minute Red Box or local video store pick, because it's a fun bad Seagal film, but I wouldn't go out of your way for it until you've seen some of his better ones first. I think I hit the nail on the head in the last paragraph when I called it "unremarkable".

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1360767/

9 comments:

  1. Looks like it's worth a watch. Hopefully it will turn up here in Australia soon enough.

    Speaking of Seagal, he's selling his own energy drink now - Lightning Bolt!

    http://www.lightningdrink.com/

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  2. I'm not sure how long it usually takes for these movies to make it to Australia, but I hope it's soon. I know a lot of Dolph and Van Damme films end up in Europe first before we get them over here, so I know what that's like waiting.

    I think they stopped selling the energy drink over here, so I have a can some friends bought for me unopened on my shelf just to have it. Have you tried it? It's kind of gross. especially the Blue kind, if I remember right.

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  3. Don't think the drink has ever made it to our shores. It looks pretty hysterical. I've just recently started watching Steven Seagal: Lawman, which is a total hoot. Would be nice to throw down a Lightning Bolt while watching Seagal taze crims.

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  4. Yeah, I wonder if the Lighting Bolt is what gives him his Spidey Sense when criminals are around. On a more serious note, the stuff tastes atrocious, so maybe the Australian board of health wouldn't let it into the country in a move to protect its citizens.

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  5. Looks like there is another new Seagal coming out - Born to Raise Hell!

    http://twitchfilm.net/news/2010/02/steven-seagal-is-born-to-raise-hell.php

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  6. Steven has a new series coming out! It was going to be called Southern Justice but it has been renamed to True Justice. Violent cop action drama. Looks like a big ol' cliched ride of bullets and babes to me!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKimrTP7aH8

    Can't wait!

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  7. Is that the reality show where he's a deputy sheriff?

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  8. No that is Steven Seagal: Lawman, this is a fictional show that is being promoted like Chuck Norris Texas Ranger. I can't wait!

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