I have also found that, given some time and space from viewing upon initial release, I enjoy a film more. Perhaps without the burden of expectations coloring a first viewing, one can simply relax and take the film for what it is. For the record, I enjoyed Black Dawn when I first saw it; and, as you point out, it was helped by having a plot that I could understand and follow.As you guys maybe noticed, I am re-watching some old Seagal movies.
It must have been 10 years since I have seen Black Dawn and at that time I didn't like it. I thought I'll give it a try.
Strange how opinions can change over a couple of years, because now I must say that I liked Black Dawn. Maybe I knew that there wasn't going to be any martial arts and that is was more of an action-thriller then just action. What I noticed is that it was refreshing to just have a straight forward story! No complicated plotlines that lead to nowhere. That was a relieve. Also I liked the soundtrack and the supporting cast was good. Actually Tamara Davies steals the show and I think she is one of Seagal's best co-stars. Also the bad guys were very decent.
There were a lot of problems on set between Seagal and the director so I expected the worst. But I was suprised what they made of it eventually.
A couple of things that were bad are the blue screen effects and sometimes Seagal's stunt double. Especially at the staircase fightscene where everyone can see that it is not Seagal. The suit the stunt double is wearing even has a different color. But you can also ask yourself: why do they put in this scene? Because it wasn't necessary. They could easily have cut that scene out and it wouldn't have made impact on the story. Now it makes the movie worse.
But yes, this time I liked it more, because of the straight forward story, the soundtrack and the good supporting cast (especially Tamara Davies).
Also funny to see a known bad guy (from Beverly Hills Cop 3)