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Driven To Kill - Reviews

supertom

Disgruntled fan!
#41
Littledragon;197286 said:
I know we are all entitled to our own opinions and most of your reviews I agree with you supertom, but I completely disagree with you. I really think you are not giving the credit in which this film deserves.

I will admit the plot felt a little dull and was a little stale, but this is some of Seagal's if not Seagal's best work for a dtv release in years. You can tell Seagal was more involved then he ever has been. The action and fight scenes were some of Seagal's best.

I really disagree with your review, maybe you expected so much more from the trailer that you were dissapointed in the end result. I agree I did expect much more, but I really believe you are not being fair to Seagal in this review. This film in my opinion is his best DTV release yet, classic Seagal action, fights, one liners. And to say it is a little better than Kill Switch, that is an understatement. It is a lot better than Kill Switch. Kill Switch to me is his WORST dtv release ever!

Driven To Kill is a great Seagal film, so far this is the ONLY negative review, and I believe if you watch it again with an open mind and understand that most of the fans look forward to the action and fight scenes, not A class acting, you'll be satisfied.

But I really feel you are too harsh on this film and do not agree with you review at all.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I just didn't like the film. I went in to this one expecting more. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be on a level with PW, and it was not at all, but I felt it could be as good as UJ. It's a lot better than Kill Switch, but that's not saying a lot at all. It might be action packed but the action wasn't very well filmed, or thought out. Certainly, I'd like to see Seagal move back to doing more aikido based moves. The fights were very offensive on Seagals part. A lot of big boots, punches and violent payoffs, and in part that's down to him playing a darker character. But I prefer the more evasive moves, when he uses his opponets momentum against them. That scene in Marked for Death, when he escapes capture, is just a brilliant fight scene. If you look at it, he hardly throws any punches, but he manages to beat 3 guys (I think it was 3). He seems to have moved away from that sort of stuff, the sort of thing he was doing in his earlier career in his fight scenes. There was a little re-treat of that in PW and UJ. There was some great moves in PW for example, one where he simply knocks someone over using his body weight. Simple, real, and looked good.

Again though, the editing was probably my main gripe. It was totally inconsistent. Sometimes they tried to quicken the pace and up it to a Bourne-esque rate of cutting, but then it would switch to very laboured cutting. A film should have a consistent pace of editing throughout, otherwise it just becomes choppy. Again, some scenes were played out too much, some cut too short. The scene when Seagal poses as a cop at the crime-scene with his dead ex-wife and left for dead daughter, there's actually a moment where Seagal is showing some emotion, but right as we start to see it, it cuts. I kind of appreciate that they dared to have Seagal play, pretty much, a bad guy. This was quite possibly his darkest role, but there was no depth. So essentially, all it is, is this guy who does vicious things to people when it's not always called for. There's gratuitous, and then there's gratuitous to the extreme.

This might be the first negative review on here, but I don't think it'll be the last, nor will it be the first on the net. Even Kill Switch got some fairly forgiving reviews on here.
 
#42
I do agree with you on some points:

I was not pleased with the editing, it had the same up close hard to see what's going on fight scenes such as Kill Switch.

The music was terrible, I hated the Russian music every time a fight took place, thought it was really bad choice in music and very corny.

Also I thought the production value looked cheap, didn't have the big budget feel to it like his other DTV releases like Into The Sun, Mercenary For Justice and Today You Die, etc...

However...

I liked this movie, and it Driven To Kill and Into The Sun are my two favorite Seagal DTV releases in my opinion.

I thought the action was what we were waiting for. Out of all the times, even though Urban Justice had great fight scenes, and the action in Pistol Whipped was good, I thought Driven To Kill had the most promising action and fight scenes out of all his DTV releases.

Seagal did play a bad guy type persona, it was different, I liked the film and think it should be praised as one of his top dtv releases so far. I feel this film is better than Urban Justice and Pistol Whipped.

supertom;197289 said:
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I just didn't like the film. I went in to this one expecting more. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be on a level with PW, and it was not at all, but I felt it could be as good as UJ. It's a lot better than Kill Switch, but that's not saying a lot at all. It might be action packed but the action wasn't very well filmed, or thought out. Certainly, I'd like to see Seagal move back to doing more aikido based moves. The fights were very offensive on Seagals part. A lot of big boots, punches and violent payoffs, and in part that's down to him playing a darker character. But I prefer the more evasive moves, when he uses his opponets momentum against them. That scene in Marked for Death, when he escapes capture, is just a brilliant fight scene. If you look at it, he hardly throws any punches, but he manages to beat 3 guys (I think it was 3). He seems to have moved away from that sort of stuff, the sort of thing he was doing in his earlier career in his fight scenes. There was a little re-treat of that in PW and UJ. There was some great moves in PW for example, one where he simply knocks someone over using his body weight. Simple, real, and looked good.

Again though, the editing was probably my main gripe. It was totally inconsistent. Sometimes they tried to quicken the pace and up it to a Bourne-esque rate of cutting, but then it would switch to very laboured cutting. A film should have a consistent pace of editing throughout, otherwise it just becomes choppy. Again, some scenes were played out too much, some cut too short. The scene when Seagal poses as a cop at the crime-scene with his dead ex-wife and left for dead daughter, there's actually a moment where Seagal is showing some emotion, but right as we start to see it, it cuts. I kind of appreciate that they dared to have Seagal play, pretty much, a bad guy. This was quite possibly his darkest role, but there was no depth. So essentially, all it is, is this guy who does vicious things to people when it's not always called for. There's gratuitous, and then there's gratuitous to the extreme.

This might be the first negative review on here, but I don't think it'll be the last, nor will it be the first on the net. Even Kill Switch got some fairly forgiving reviews on here.
 

Martin01

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#43
I don't know what on the editing should be bad. I thought it was a very good editing. The problem is, that the camera is to close to the persons in the fights, but that has nothing to do with the editing.

I think The Keeper will be better but Ruslan was still a cool little movie with some great shootouts.
 
#44
Martin01;197300 said:
I don't know what on the editing should be bad. I thought it was a very good editing. The problem is, that the camera is to close to the persons in the fights, but that has nothing to do with the editing.

I think The Keeper will be better but Ruslan was still a cool little movie with some great shootouts.

Yea Ruslan was a good movie.

Personally Ruslan is my favorite DTV release so far. I liked Ruslan better than Pistol Whipped and Urban Justice. However I do agree I believe The Keeper will be a better movie as a whole. But the fights and hand to hand combat in Ruslan were outstanding.

I'm surprised to read some members complaining about how there is no Aikido... There is plenty of Aikido in the film, wrist locks, arm locks, etc...
 

supertom

Disgruntled fan!
#45
Littledragon;197301 said:
Yea Ruslan was a good movie.

Personally Ruslan is my favorite DTV release so far. I liked Ruslan better than Pistol Whipped and Urban Justice. However I do agree I believe The Keeper will be a better movie as a whole. But the fights and hand to hand combat in Ruslan were outstanding.

I'm surprised to read some members complaining about how there is no Aikido... There is plenty of Aikido in the film, wrist locks, arm locks, etc...

I noticed that, and to be fair, there were plenty of them. The end fight was quite good. I'd still love to see him do stuff more like the early days. Not just the fights, but in terms of his persona and the standard of film. It's not like Hard To Kill or Out For Justice set a very high bar. If the fights were shot wide and cut well, there'd be less of a problem.

This is what I want, and what, really, Seagal should still deliver:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8ixgdDPufA

The trouble with DTV flicks nowadays, is they don't have people who know how to shoot action, or people who really know how to cut an action scene. Those 80's and early 90's flicks would normally be done by action specialists, and have decent editors. :apeace:
 
#47
Just watched Driven to Kill / Ruslan. After reading some of the other reviews already posted, I see there are two ways to review this film. First, to review this film like I would any other action movies, or secondly, to review this film in comparison to Kill Switch.

The second part is rather easy, so to get it over with -- Ruslan is much better than Kill Switch. (Obviously).

The first 30 minutes of Ruslan looked to be a rather promising direct-to-video action flick. Obviously, none of us go into a Seagal film anxiously awaiting a Oscar-caliber movie, but we do wish to experience a fun and entertaining movie without the amateur and childish characteristics found in the previous bunch of Seagal DTVs (Against the Dark, Kill Switch, Flight of Fury, Attack Force). The opening half hour of the film displayed a steady pace and some straightforward direction, nothing too special but nothing worth criticizing. However, the film quickly falls apart after a fight scene involving Seagal and few gun runners, just after the thirty minute mark.

The rest of the film gives off this sense of rushing, yet not going anywhere. Basically, the film has no flow. There are quite a few action scenes, but none that really make this movie worth watching. Both the audio and video editing is extremely amateur, and the acting falls short of just about everything. The dubbing in this movie gets out of hand - along the lines of Submerged. Seagal's "Russian" accent is very inconsistent, and often fades in and out in random scenes, hence the reason for the dubbing. The sound effects are laughable, and so is the dialogue. The music is some sort of odd joke. At the start of some of the action sequences, there comes this Russian music that would normally be found in a Russian cafe. There are also awkward moments when loud rock music begins to play during what were supposed to be intense and quiet buildups. When will they learn?

Now, my criticism comes from the feeling I get that there was very little effort put into this. The story is dull, obviously, but I don't care because I can enjoy a Seagal movie for what it is...but there's this sense of "I don't care" that runs through the entire film.

Here's the nutshell review:

- First 30 minutes are really enjoyable; then goes downhill
- One or two good fight scenes; the rest are lame, including a knife fight that goes on way too long
- Acting is terrible; should have replaced secondary characters with animals
- Villain is decent towards the last half of film, everybody else is irrelevant
- Both audio and visual editing is extremely amateurish, which contributes heavily to the movie's lack of "tone"

This movie is neither a step back, nor a step forward. It just seems to be a tweener in the Seagal filmography. I have a feeling that some of the people on these boards will enjoy it, but still, I don't find anything to really get excited about.

Please feel free to ask any questions!
 

Martin01

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#49
pold;197319 said:
Классный фильм, ребята! С этим не поспоришь, не так ли? :)
अरबी भाषा को अरबी लिपि में लिखा जाता है । ये दाएँ से बाएँ लिखी जाती है । इसकी कई ध्वनियाँ उर्दू की ध्वनियों से अलग हैं । हर
 
#50
'Driven To Kill' is getting really great word of mouth

I was in IMDB and all the comments are positive they re saying the movie was great and most of them are very excited about seeing steven run again..usuall that place is hate central..i hope this trancends in high dvd sales
 

Mystery Mom

Queen of the Mist
#51
Pold said:

"Class film, children! With it you will not argue, whether not so?"

Now as for Martin - I need a clue as to the origin of the sanscrit!
 
#52
Martin01;197320 said:
अरबी भाषा को अरबी लिपि में लिखा जाता है । ये दाएँ से बाएँ लिखी जाती है । इसकी कई ध्वनियाँ उर्दू की ध्वनियों से अलग हैं । हर
I'm glad, that you're with humour!

To Mystery Mom: you're actually write! Bingo! What do you think about it? ;)
 

Mystery Mom

Queen of the Mist
#53
Pold, I am anxiously awaiting for the film's arrival in my mailbox and I hope to enjoy it based upon the reviews from this site. As for Martin - yes he has a sense of humor and can be quite funny at times...something the world needs more of in our times.

Myst
 
#54
I'm glad to hear it! So... Have a good watch of Ruslan, Dear Mystery Mom! You'll glad to see Steven at strong and healthy (not fat!) form! I wish you' ll get a pleasure to view the film!
Yeah! Humour - also is one of the general parts of my life! :)
Heh, but "Ruslan" is really interesting and dynamic film, that I wanna to see again! :)
 
#57
First professional review of 'Driven To Kill'!

It is relatively positive and he comments about Seagal trying to get in shape again and praises the fact that he is running in a scene..

'I didn't even know he could read.

After suffering through the truly abysmal 2009 vampire action extravaganza Against the Dark earlier this year, I was beginning to wonder if my favorite aikido bulldog Steven Seagal was starting to slip back into his old ways. Thankfully, Jeff King's generic revenge saga Driven to Kill (aka Ruslan) finds the big guy getting back to basics, though, once again, I doubt the film will convert those cynical individuals who believe that Seagal is nothing more than a relic who enjoys going through the motions and collecting a paycheck. The story is certainly nothing to get excited about -- a former Russian mobster-turned-crime novelist violently pursues the goons responsible for an attack on his lovely young daughter -- and the acting might cause last night's leftovers to rise into the back of your throat, but King's penchant for unchecked absurdity and random, bloody fist fights helps ease this jagged suppository into your reluctant cinematic rectum. Seagal, who actually appears to have hit the gym once or twice before filming, stumbles blindly around his faux Russian accent, practically abandoning it altogether by the time the story's eye-gouging finale rolls around. Despite itself, Driven to Kill is solid entertainment -- for undiscerning parties only. It's easily on par with the thoroughly enjoyable Urban Justice, another film which finds Seagal portraying a thuggish, unlikable jerk. I'm sure both films were a stretch. Play it again, Steve.

Recipe For Success: One Ridiculously Simple Script + Seagal Running For A Few Seconds + Pointless, Non-Stop Action

Note To Future Directors: If you don't mind, please void close-ups of Seagal's face in your low-budget, direct-to-video productions.

Nobody wants to see that.'
 
#60
here's a second one from a site called mikeymo

'Driven To Kill is visited by the ghost of Seagal-past, a ghost we have only seen glimpses of the in last couple of films (Pistol Whipped, Urban Justice) and was completely absent the years before that. This time the ghost stages a more lengthy exhibition of itself as Seagal finally starts putting more and more effort and energy into his straight-to-video releases. After killing his ex-wife and almost doing the same to his hard to kill daughter Seagal goes out for justice and a kill (or 2, 3...) These are the vintage Seagal plots we all came to love almost 2 decades ago so I was actually thrilled to see this flick and was curious to see if the fleshy fighter still had it in him...

Seagal, for once, doesn't play a cop but a Russian mobster-turned-writer named Ruslan who's publications are non-fiction books, mostly about his past. He has daughter who lives with his remarried-to-a-lawyer ex-wife. She's about to get married to the son of a Russian mob-boss who doesn't want to follow in his fathers footsteps. On the day of the marriage gangsters break into the mansion of the lawyer, kill his ex-wife and hurt his daughter lethally. At the hospital it's clear she will survive but Ruslan tells the doctor to declare her deceased so that she won't be a target in the near future. Yup, that's a piece of Hard To Kill plot right there! Now Ruslan goes out to find out who was behind this attack and kill them, violently. His buddy this time is the wimpy groom, Stephan.

So there you have it. It's a low budget version of Taken mixed up with Hard To Kill and other early Seagal flicks and it's a welcome addition in a world where they have pitted Seagal against zombie/vampires or whatever those things were in Against The Dark. What a boring crapfest that was! They get a lot of things right this time that were wrong the last couple of years. Gone are the partial redubs of Seagals voice, gone is the Eastern European setting (even though the dvd cover feautures exploding Russian buildings, these are not in the movie. Everything's situated in America), gone is the extensive use of obvious stuntdoubles and gone are the lack of fighting scenes. Seagal even looks more muscled than fat this time. He'll never be as pumped as Sylvester Stallone, but his arms did look muscular in this movie. Stallone btw uses steroids, Steven just drinks Lightning Bolt as a supplement so it's not a fair comparison. I was stunned how close Driven To Kill came to the oldschool feeling and it even makes me crave more for an Under Siege 3.

Driven To Kill screenshot

Now of course this movie isn't perfect, far from it. But when you've been dumped into years of abysmal releases this feels like a breath of fresh air. But there are some annoyances:
Seagal's voice/accent. Seagal does a thick Russian accent. Unlike in Half Past Dead he actually keeps it intact the whole movie but it's really hard to understand him and I'm even wondering if he wasn't dubbed entirely because he sounds so different, but I'm pretty sure it was Seagal's own voice.
There's this scene in a strip-joint. This is of course a fairly easy way to throw in some naked hot tits & ass, only all the tits were badly done silicone-jobs. You know, those girls who go from an A-cup to a Double D which gives them two of those ugly hard balloons on their chest. Seagal's movies had silicone-tits in the past but at least they were perfectly done (watch Under Siege for proof!). But come on, if you need some chicks to do some saucy dancing just get a couple of girls who at least have 100% natural tits, they're not too hard to find. Even the porn industry is full of them. Just get Gianna Michaels to do her thang!
Then there's one artistic annoyance. Now the director, Jeff King, who also directed the previous Seagal film Kill Switch, must have thought it was stylish to show Seagal walking depressed. We see Seagal walking and in the background there's a ladder or something. Now Seagal walks in the camera and every 2-3 seconds we get another cut of Seagal coming any closer. It looks like it's some sort of montage, but then you see the ladder in the background the whole time and you realise we're seeing Seagal walk the same 20 metres 10 times over before he actually walks past the camera. It can be compared to the already infamous window scene in Kill Switch where we saw one guy flying out of the window 10 times. Jeff King must like repetition I guess.

Driven To Kill Screenshot

The fightscenes must be mentioned of course as they are what made Seagal an action star in the first place. They try to go back to the early days but don't reach that place. Even though there are no obvious stunt doubles and Steven actually uses his legs again (even for running!) most of the action is shot from very close up, which I dislike as Seagal's action scenes come to their fullest right when the camera takes a step backwards to shows us the entire fight from a spectators view. Sadly, a missed point. I hope that in his next movie this will finally return.

So Driven To Kill isn't the best Seagal flick out there but it's a welcome addition to his filmography and I sincerely hope that this movie will be followed upon with even better efforts, I'd hate to see the guy leave the scene (who knows how long he'll keep on doing making films) in a crappy movie.'