Movie: The plot in the movie is pretty straight forward, not complicated like 'The Foreigner'. The movie has lots of action, unfortunately there are only a few martial arts sequences with Steven Seagal. One with Gary Daniels and the other with a character that appeared out of a lift. It was the first time he was seen. All the action in the movie is pretty well done. :) For your information, i watched the first 10 minutes of a preview copy and after seeing it i thought the CGI was going to be aweful. Especially after seeing the drone aircraft - which in my opinion would not go amiss in Thunderbirds. Luckily after watching the movie, this seemed to be the worst bit of CGI in the whole movie. Overall the rest of the explosions, stunt sequences, etc are well done. There are many of them too.
The stunt double was a bit harder to see in this movie compared with the others, but i have managed to spot him in a few places. Even in some scenes where there are not stunts, like walking up a hill. :D
The supporting cast are pretty decent too. I thought Vinnie Jones was good in his role. I would like to see some more movies with him and Steven Seagal.
There's even some humour in the movie, and also homage to 'On Deadly Ground' when Vinnie Jones' character gives Steven Seagal a satellite phone and tells him 'incase you need to reach out and reach somebody'.
Sound: A nice rocking soundtrack is present. Unfortunately once again a lot of Steven Seagal's lines are dubbed. This in my opinion reduces the quality of the movie considerably. :( The dubbing is quite strange, the person doesn't even sound like Steven Seagal.
Picture quality: As you will see from the captures i have added in this post and the gallery the quality of picture is excellent. Certainly one of Steven Seagal's clearest pictures.
Overall: Apart from the dreadful dubbing, the movie is pretty decent. It is still no-where near as good as Steven Seagal's earliest movies, but it is still better than the likes of 'The Foreigner' and 'Out For A Kill'. For half the budget of 'Into The Sun' a reasonable movie has been made.
First impression, 10x better than 'The Foreigner'. I really enjoyed this movie. It felt like a Hong Kong movie and the action was great. I felt the 91minutes running time flew by.
Okay the plot wasn't complicated, but most people don't want a complicated plot when watching a Steven Seagal movie.
Not as good as vintage Seagal, but definately on the right path.
Overall i must say it's on a par with Belly Of The Beast, and is 10 times better than The Foreigner and Out For A Kill.
Okay the story is quite weak, and as pointed out before, it is a bit strange that the penpal knew that she would be helped by her distant friend. The plot is easy to follow.
Again the voice over, it is not Seagal, in my opinion this ruins the film. It sounds weird! Wait till you hear it. It doesn't happen just once or twice, but many times throughout the movie, some segments are long too. :(
The fight sequences are excellent. I think they are a bit better than Belly Of The Beast too. :) In this movie, the stunt double is not too noticable. :)
Overall i think this would be much better if they sorted out the sound
I must admit i was not expecting this movie to be very good, but first of all i must say it is not worse than The Foreigner or Half Past Dead. Overall it seems to be not bad. Direction of the movie is a slight improvement over The Foreigner, the special effects still look low budget! Although the bullet sequence was not too bad. Have a look at the segment when Steven Seagal is supposed to be flying the plane, we cut to the two DEA agents, have a laugh at the background.
I was extremely surprised by the martial arts sequences, these are a vast improvement over Half Past Dead and The Foreigner. There are a few excellent parts. I especially like the sword sequence and the restaurant. Some fights were over very quickly.
The plot was 10 times easier to follow than The Foreigner, but why does Steven Seagal always have to have a mysterious past? Can't they just make him play the normal guy?
The supporting cast was reasonable, the chinese at the table were funny, every time one disappeared the leader said the usual 'this guys becoming a problem' or something like that each time!
The DVD was quite poorly put together, the picture wasn't too great, i was struggling to read the beginning credits! The soundtrack was very good, but i found it strange how the soundtrack especially Seagal talking looks as if it was recorded elsewhere, have a look at the beginning sequence at the dig, when he's talking you don't see his face, when he stops you now get shown his face. Weird!
The extras were poor too, 3 trailers and scene selection. They could at least have shown us how the special effects were created.
Overall a much better movie than The Foreigner and Half Past Dead in my opinion, but still not near Steven Seagal's early work unfortunately.
Yes Steven Seagal returns as Jonathan Cold from his previous movie 'The Foreigner'. 'The Foreigner' in my opinion was his worst movie. It was possibly one of the worst movies i had seen. Until now. :( The plot is pretty simple, Jonathan Cold is undercover infiltrating a gang of terrorists who are planning to detonate a nuclear weapon. Of course he is going to try and stop them.
I had to review these seperately. The effects in this movie are probably some of the worst you will see. They are 'thunderbird' like again. Surely they can do better than this. The last sequence in the helicopter is the worst. I'm sure you'll agree.
Tamara Davies seemed to me to be the star of the movie. She had the most work to do and i think she was on screen more than Steven Seagal. She played her part well although she did seem to swear alot. The rest of the cast were poor with the exception of the bearded bad guy who i thought did okay.
Well where do i start. When you see a Steven Seagal movie you expect action. In this movie there was a fair amount. There was a car chase in the middle which i think Vern's review from Ain't It Cool sums up nicely. Steven Seagal and Tamara Davies jump from a building into the back of a truck and are then driven away by the driver who we've never seen before. He's getting shot at by the bad guys though, but once clear he keeps going. He drives smashing into other cars for no apparent reason. This to me was pretty weird. Then during the chase he is shot, we don't know if he's dead on not, but after saving Steven Seagal and Tamara Davies lives he is just flung out of the truck onto the ground at high speed. Steven Seagal didn't even check to see if he was dead. :D There were also plenty of shoot outs which were reasonably well done. As for the fighting the less said the better. Steven Seagal has only about 4 short fights that i can remember. The first is shot very poorly. This takes place in the warehouse and is over in about 10 seconds. Obviously shot with the fake leg. Another on the stairs is all the stunt double. This is perhaps the longest fight sequence.
Out of the whole movie there is one sequence when Steven Seagal kills the bearded baddie. This was over in about 2 seconds, but was clearly Steven Seagal and it was well executed without the aid of a stunt double. For me this was the best sequence of the whole movie.
It was gone in this movie and replaced by a suit.
I have to give this movie 0.5/5. For me it is on a par with 'The Foreigner', maybe even worse if that was possible. :( As an administrator of this site it pains me to say it, but really these poor sub-standard movies are destroying Steven Seagal's movie career. I wish they would combine the budget for his 4 movies released this year and get better co-stars and behind the scenes staff and make 1 great movie rather than 4 dreadful ones.
Well i watched this move last week. I was not expecting it to be very good to tell the truth, but actually quite enjoyed it.
The action was okay, it was nice to see it was definately Steven Seagal doing the martial arts sequences rather than the stunt double. Maybe the stunt double was on holiday when this movie was made. :D The martial arts sequences were quiet short in length, but effective.
Certainly better than a few other DTV releases, but once again some rubbish dubbing took place! :(
Overall : 5/10
Well i too have seen Shadow Man. I was again not expecting too much, but was pleasantly surprised.
The plot was quite basic, easy to follow, but quite exciting. Basically a lot of different bad guys were after a super 'virus' and they thought Steven Seagal's character was carrying it.
The action was pretty good, although once again there was some cheap helicopter exploding special effects, they were better than the ones from Black Dawn though. The fights sequences were also pretty good, similar in quality to the ones from Mercenary, but i noticed a few instances where the stunt double was present, but it would not be too noticeable if you were not looking for it.
The one thing i thought was quite funny. At the beginning Steven Seagal is giving a demonstation, one of the students asks how it is done, so Steven Seagal pushes him about 10ft into a wall which i guess kills him. I found it pretty strange. :D
Also in most of Steven Seagal's recent movies he basically plays the same character. This movie could have been another Foreigner. Maybe it's time for some fresh ideas?
Overall i thought the movie was enjoyable, hopefully the next few movies are of similar or if possible better quality.
The plot is simple. A stealth bomber which become invisible has been taken by the operative. He sells it to terrorists in Afghanistan. Most of the terrorists had nice English accents, but this is partly explained in the movie. Steven Seagal's character, John has to retrieve it. Finally Steven Seagal has got rid of the role he has played in the majority of his DTV's and plays something new here - a pilot.
The action is certainly a lot better than we have seen previously, but they are still nowhere near as good as his early movies. A lot of the shots are in darkened places, it is hard to see what is happening. Also the camera is too close in most of the hand to hand sequences. I prefer to see what is happening. Some parts are great though, the knife work is pretty good. The stunt double is also not as visible in the sequences, but he is still there for some scenes where there is no fighting, but he is not as noticeable. I think the pipe sequence is a bit silly. He hits the guy over the head for what seemed like a minute. Eventually he disables him by a tap to the stomach/chest.
Steven Seagal looks good in this movie, he seems to have lost a bit of weight and puts in a good performance.
Picture quality is great, we have not really had many problems with visual quality in his DTV releases. There were a few shots that were very poor quality, but these were stock footage. There was a lot of stock footage in the movie, but the majority was good. No Thunderbird like sequences in this movie. :) Sound quality was also good, but once more we had some dubbing. Not as bad as previous releases and at least this time they had someone that actually sounded similar.
Straight forward. Father seeks revenge for his son's murder. Easy to follow the plot too.
Nil. All original voice in this one. :) Still has a hint of the weird accent at times that he used during his music tour. Lots of swearing too.
Not visible at all.
Reasonable car chase. Fight sequences probably best since Exit Wounds. Quite a few too. They are well shot too. Not like some of the movies where they are sped up or shot too close so you couldn't see what is happening.
Did a reasonable job. Did not know most of them except Danny Trejo (who was in it for about 2 minutes!) Always thought he was a tall guy too, but Seagal towered over him.
Some stupid gangsters though in this movie. During shootouts they run into a hallway filled with bodies and then get shot straight away. Extremely stupid.
Also noticed the car brake light is out near the start of the movie. Then is working again until the chase when it gets shot out. :)
In my opinion this is a return to form. Easily better than Black Dawn, Attack Force, etc.
The Plot: Seagal plays ex C.I.A operative john Harmon. His character seems like an off-shoot of Jonathan Cold (more 'The Foreigner' than 'Black Dawn' though) Harmon is lured back into taking out an Islamic terrorist, who is brokering a deal with Mexican Gangsters in Istanbul (?) for safe passage into the U.S. in order to activate (previously planted) 'cells'
As part of a 3 person team, Harmon utilises technology and surveillance to play both fractions off against one another. When given an eleventh hour change in plan by his handlers, Harmon disobeys orders and together with his team, take the fight to the badguys on the night of their meeting.
Action: Despite a rather talky start, the movie moves along at a fairly brisk pace, and is pretty much non-stop carnage, for the final third of the movie. However, the action is rather low-key (so don't go expecting any huge set pieces) what you get is about 2 or 3 explosions, a brief car chase, multiple shoot-outs and about 6 or 7 quick (but brutal) fight scenes for Seagal. The quick cut editing is on display (as per usual) but there's a few longer shots of Seagal dishing out punishment. The doubling is kept to a minimum. He bends a lot of arms (no snaps, sadly) flips a few guys over, kicks a couple, punches most of them, crunches one guys head open with a metal pole (ouch!) and shoots the rest (although, to be fair.....Seagal doesn't actually shoot too many people, preferring to actually fight them.....which may please those sick of the over-reliance on gunplay in previous movies?)
Production Values: For a lower end DTV movie, it looks pretty polished. As previously stated, there's no big set pieces, but the cinematography is crisp, and the locations colourful enough (if sometimes uninspired) The green screen employed in the car chase actually look stylish (for a change) The editing is good (albeit, erratic during certain fight scenes) and the soundtrack has a cinematic feel to it.
Performances: Seagal (as with 'End Of A Gun') is extremely profane throughout this. At one point, whilst giving a briefing to his team, he likens the mess of a mission to (quote) "A monkey trying to fcuk a football" (which not only raised a wry smile from myself....but also to the actual characters he says it to) Seagal isn't as 'quiet' as usual in this movie.....but speaks very slowly. Which is just as well, because most of his dialogue consists of abbreviations for various law enforcement agencies and terrorist groups and other organisations. The first third of the movie is very dialogue heavy....and if you're willing to endure a bit more exposition than usual, there's a pretty good thriller for the remaining hour. The other performers are competent enough (no one embarrasses themselves, I guess?) and Seagal's team also kick a lot of ass also (but not as much as the big guy)
Final thoughts: Whilst not perfect, Contract To Kill is a competent enough thriller. The problem being that it's marketed as an 'Action' movie. If it was sold as a thriller, it would be an action-packed thriller. But sold as an action movie, it probably doesn't have enough "kiss kiss bang bang" for jaded millennial audiences. It's problem might be that (even for a Steven Seagal movie) it's actually (scarily) plausible? Playing like a downscalled 20 minute 'Mission Impossible' segment (with a touch of 'Eye In The Sky' added for good measure) Contract To Kill isn't likely to give THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR sleepless nights, but I do think the recent bad reviews it's received have been rather unjust. It's fairly complex, but not at the expense of 'filler plot & characters' Had the exact same movie starred a bunch of A-listers....I'd wager critics would probably praise it. Unfortunately, critics seem to expect every new Seagal movie (however low the budget) to be 'Under Siege' (and quite frankly those days, not to mention 'budgets' have long gone, I'm afraid) Fans of Seagal would do well, to ignore the negativity of the critics (let's face it, they pretty much slammed all his earlier movies as well) and give this movie a chance. The key to enjoy recent Seagal movies is to like them for what they are (and not for what they aren't)
Well here is my mini review.
Overall fans seemed to be worried this was going to be poor. I have to say it's not as good as some of Seagal's earlier films such as Marked For Death, Hard To Kill, etc, but it certainly beats The Patriot and Ticker! I don't think it's on a par with Fire Down Below and The Glimmer Man which i rate much the same.
The film is certainly enjoyable, although for once the plot was a little complicated. Usually in most Seagal films the plot is simple. This one actually made you use your brain a little. There are quite a few twists in the plot.
The supporting actors/actresses were not up to the previous standards in my opinion. They do the job, but are not spectacular. Performances are reasonable from all. The main supporting actor (Max Ryan i think) is an advert for smoking! You'll see what i mean when you watch the movie for yourself.
So does Seagal still kick ass? The quick answer is yes, but you have to wait for a quite a little while in this movie before he does so. The moves he performs are good, but unfortunately the director seemed to like slow-motion shots! Nearly every action sequence was slowed down. This has been done before many time much better. This is supposedly the same director that will direct Seagal's next movie too!
DVD extras are pretty non-existant. You get a selection of trailers, Half Past Dead, The Foreigner, I Spy, XXX and another i can't remember. The movie sound and picture are good, but the menu picture is grainy!!
Overall rating 3/5
Steven Seagal looks in the best shape he's been in since Exit Wounds. The action fight sequences unfortunately were few and far between. There was a fight at the mall that was superb, in my opinion this was great, but it was over too soon. This was really the only time where he truly showed off his hard to hand combat moves as well as his Aikido throws. The other fights later on were mainly sword based although there were a few punches. ;) No care chases at all. :( The movie was certainly more plot based than we are used to for a Steven Seagal movie.
Steven Seagal get's a partner in this movie, but he is pretty much under-used. There's a few funny moments between them. The other characters are pretty poor too. William Atherton as the boss doesn't seem to interested in his role and the other Chinese and Japanese stars don't improve the movie much either. I sure miss the days when Steven Seagal made movies with a decent support cast.
The radio stations and restaurants in Tokyo must all be tuned in to Steven Seagal FM, everywhere he went his music was playing - i heard a few of his tunes from 'Songs From The Crystal Cave' playing through the film. Overall i counted at least three of his songs including the credits song. The soundtrack was good though. :)
The movie begins with an action sequence in the jungle, which is not very well done. The opening credits begin and then some graphic work happens to show the movie is in Tokyo. When i saw this is reminded me other Michael Oblowitz's work in 'Out For A Kill' and i thought the worst, but after that panic it was certainly well directed. Good job mink. :)
Pretty disappointing, i was expecting much more for a budget of $35 million, i don't know where all this money was used as it seems rather excessive considering not much was blown up. It is certainly a better movie than 'Out For A Kill' and 'The Foreigner', but it is not better than 'Belly Of The Beast' and nowhere near as good as his earlier work. :( For a direct to video effort it is certainly above average though. :) I must admit i pretty much agree with the review form 'Ain't It Cool'.
2 / 5
This is certainly an improvement over other direct to DVD titles such as The Foreigner, Out For A Kill, Out Of Reach, etc.
Pretty straight forward and easy to follow. Quite like how Steven Seagal plays a different character for a change. Here he is a disgraced cop, rather than the elite CIA operative that he has playing in his previous movies. I agree with Hofmae though, found it pretty boring and overall too long.
Pretty much same standard as Urban Justice. At least Lance Henriksen is in the movie more than Danny Trejo was in Urban Justice. Reasonable job, most were pretty decent.
Again car chases were boring. Shootouts were boring, pistols with unlimited ammunition. They must have a cart with all their bullets because so many are fired. Some nice squibs though. We see the same car chases and shootouts so many times in these low budget movies. Most are not very inventive.
The fight sequences were excellent. The good work from Urban Justice continues here. Really enjoyed the fights especially the ones against the Asians at the bowling lane. Again Steven Seagal shows he can create excellent fight scenes and there really was no excuse for the dreadful Out For A Kill, Out Of Reach dross with the stunt double doing most of the fights.
Did not notice stunt double at all. Body double was there, but not too noticeable. Mainly shot at a distance.
None. Hopefully earlier lessons have been learned.
Best direct to DVD title? I don't think so.
The movie seemed overly long. I personally found it to be about half an hour too long. It felt like a two hour movie.
Some nice aspects though. Good director (looks better than a $10 million movie) and great fight sequences were the main positives. Still i prefer Urban Justice.
I too have just finished watching The Keeper. Very unusual for me to watch a movie during the daytime, but i was looking forward to this film as the trailer was very promising.
First of all, the DVD box. As many have stated already they have not even got key plot details correct on the back. Very poor. The cover picture though is very well done, certainly better than the photoshopped head from other DTV efforts. The movie only cost £7.99 so decent value too. :)
Simple, easy to follow and flows well. Probably the best plot for any of the DTV releases.
Car chase was much better than we have previously seen on the DTV releases. The fight sequences were generally short, but there were a few nice brutal ones similar to those in Urban Justice. Nice crunching noises too. A couple we got the swinging arms, legs, sequence! The shootouts were excellent too. Sound effects from the guns was spot on.
Not really visible if at all. There were a couple of scenes where we saw Steven Seagal's character from the rear that may have been the double, but very hard to tell.
A little at the start for some reason, but after the first minute or so it was all Steven Seagal.
Casting was great. Not any star names, but overall a very good job from all.
This is amoungst the best DTV Steven Seagal releases and i thoroughly recommend it. It is on a par with Urban Justice and probably even Fire Down Below. It is well shot and directed. I am now looking forward to Dangerous Man, Lawman and Machete and his other future projects. Steven Seagal's career is hopefully on the way back up. 8/10
Personally i did not really enjoy the movie much, even fell asleep about 20 minutes from the end and had to rewind. For me i much prefered The Keeper, which a lot of people seem to think was inferior.
Director: Thought it was great again, Waxman has done a great job on this movie and The Keeper. The movie looked great throughout. Thought the martial arts shots were too close at time though, but this seems to be the normal now.The introduction credits sequence was very well done too.
Supporting Cast: Again DTV cast here. No big names, but they were all decent.
Action: Fights were brutal. Some nice work, but for me it seemed like they had sped up a few of Steven Seagals fights. Did anyone else notice this? Gun fights seem to be pretty standard too.
Plot: Simple, straight forward, easy to follow, but like the majority of his DTV efforts very boring! Think at times they have a lottery draw to see whether he will play Special Forces, CIA or an elite cop. :D
Dubbing: To me this wastes a movie. I pay for a Steven Seagal movie, and you get a voice over for a little of the film. At least this time the voice double sounded similar. Not as bad as some earlier DTV releases.
Double: The double appears in this movie quite a bit, fortunately it seems to be most shots from the rear.
Overall: Boring plot, standard gun fights, dubbing and body double. Not one of the better releases. 4/10
Better than Out Of Reach, Kill Switch, etc. No where near as good as Urban Justice, The Keeper, Into The Sun and Pistol Whipped.
Well this movie is practically the same as the rest of his DTV releases. While no where near as bad as the likes of Out Of Reach it is still nowhere near the quality required for a cinema release.
Dubbing throughout the movie does not help. A movie where Steven Seagal is producer and even writes the story to have dubbing is dreadful and lazy.
Action was decent, some brutal stuff. He even uses some of the police techniques that we see used in Lawman.
Director did a decent job for his first attempt.
Overall i certainly would not call it the best DTV movie. For me it is decent, but overall not very good.
No stunt doubles easily visible
Some nice fights with Steven Seagal
Bren Foster fight scene
Stone Cold dispatching a couple of bad guys with a screwdriver.
For me i would rate it 5-6 / 10.