• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Reviews: Mercenary For Justice

supertom said:
I gave this another chance as I'd only seen that Romanion screener, but still it didn't do the business for me. Not anywhere near enough Seagal for a Seagal film (he does'nt properly appear until 12 minutes in!). PLus it had some diaboloical scripting with poor continuity and inane and meaningless dialogue. Seagal looked like he was going to nod off to sleep mid sentence too. That is clearly an example of how not to write a script. Even the toilet fight was limp because it was so badly filmed and edited.
I had to watch Under Siege 2 after, a proper Seagal film, a nice bit of cheesy fun with some good action.
Under Siege 2 is awesome
 
For your info .. from www.dvdverdict.com:

The Charge

It's time to fight again.
Opening Statement

Steven Seagal is back in action. Yeah, he's less "buff" and more "buffet" these days, but brother still knows how to snarl and shoot guns at bad guys.
Facts of the Case

Seagal plays John Seeger, the titular mercenary. Seeger is widely acknowledged as the best at what he does (has Seagal ever played a character in film who wasn't widely acknowledged as the best at what he does?), and his talents are often exploited by both private warmongers and the CIA. His latest mission, a gun-blasting cluster-F in Africa, turns into a fiasco and he loses one of his best friends. Turns out, the whole thing was a screw-job facilitated by a Langley scumbag, and Seeger is none too happy about how events went down.

Now Seeger has to face the widow of his pal, and let her know that, baby, there be hell to pay! Tapped for another job, this time springing the son of a wealthy drug runner from a fortified South African prison, Seeger reassembles his crew for the most daring mission yet. But is it the mission he's been paid to do or does he have some very violent tricks up his sleeve?
The Evidence

Interested in how the filmmakers settled on the title Mercenary for Justice, I did a little bit of research and discovered that they had used brand new marketing technology. It's called the Generic Expository Direct-to-DVD Action Title Generator and it's just been released in its beta version. Apparently, Seagal, also the executive producer of the film, was eager to try out the new software algorithm and this film's title is the result. In a DVD Verdict exclusive, I was able to score the list of other names the Generic Expository Direct-to-DVD Action Title Generator spit out, which, obviously, didn't make the cut. For your reading pleasure, I present them to you now:

• Terrific Fighter with Guns
• Shooting and Explosions and Punches in the Neck
• Maximum Action
• Ultimate Action
• Action-Packed Action
• Hunt for Vengeance
• The Soldier of Violence
• Crimson Gunfire
• Attack of the Clones
• Hard-Boiled Egg
• Destruction!
• Hired Guns Looking to Pay Retribution
• Bullets in the Face
• Twisted Vendettas
• Straight Vendettas
• Detonation of the Eradicator
• Under Siege II: Dark Territory
• Flaming Shrapnel
• Doom Squad Delta

But Mercenary for Justice it was, and boys and girls, this overheated actioner is every bit as ridiculous as its moniker suggests. Villains sneer and deliver their goofy lines soaked in faux malice, good guys get shot and manage to sputter out requests to look after their wives as maroon sputum dribbles from their lips and their eyes glaze over in death, fantastically violent shootouts leave no gun clips depleted, and every single CIA bureaucrat is a slimeball (that last one may not be too far from the truth).

And then there's Seagal.

Sure, he's carrying around a few extra pounds but the trademarks that made him a B-level action icon in the early '90s are there: squinty eyes, jet black hair (sans the classic ponytail), emotionless line delivery, incessant arms crossing, and, of course, that magical, mythical ability to come out of any brouhaha unscathed. I was actually pleased to see him unleash a bit more of that hand-to-hand we've come to expect; he snaps more than one neck during the runtime.

The story is a little more complex that's what's typical of this fare, flush with double-crosses and red herrings, but it's not nearly as clever as it wants to be. Many of the twists and plot points depend on utter ineptitude of supporting characters, and lucky for Seeger and company, he's surrounded by them (quite possibly the stupidest bank employees ever captured to film can be found here). Unfortunately, the writing is completely inane, and when pummeled by the give-it-all-they-got actors, descends into borderline parody. There were several moments, were it not for the graphic violence, Mercenary for Justice could have been mistaken for a David Zucker movie.

About that violence, kudos to director Don Fauntleroy for milking his R rating. There's lots of shooting and exploding wounds and limb snapping and balls of fire and it's all shot with a nice degree of quality. The opening war scenes in particular are well done, and the visual effects look about as good as a big-screen feature. Heck, the lack of cheeseball CGI might even lift it above the crap Hollywood's been trying to pass off as action lately.

Both a full screen and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer come on this dual-sided (blecch) disc. The picture quality is solid and the grime and grit of a war-torn battlefield contrast nicely with the plumes of fire erupting behind it. Seagal's weather-beaten face is rendered gloriously. The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is loud and effectively thundering. A 15-minute featurette, with actors talking about how great Steven Seagal is, is the only extra feature of note.
Closing Statement

It's no worse than most DVD-centric action films starring has-been theatrical actors, but don't be frontin': Mercenary for Justice is as dopey and overwrought as they get. And I'm thinking it's about time Seagal hung up the 9mm and started coaching youth soccer.
 
Under Siege 1 is better movie than US2, of course, the casting, director, plot, photography,etc...

Don´t expect very very much from MFJ.Is good, have fights in the US2 style, but, although is a big step forward comparising with Black Dawn or the shame of TYD, is very bad comparising with US1 and horrible comparising with the superb Ouf For Justice.

Do you know, my friend?

If you watch MFJ in that way you will enjoy

Kind regards
 
ORANGATUANG said:
Under Seige 2 was ok but i did like the first one best..i just have to wait abit longer to see M.F.J. iam sure it will be good..
Under Siege 1 is better movie than US2, of course, the casting, director, plot, photography,etc...

Don´t expect very very much from MFJ.Is good, have fights in the US2 style, but, although is a big step forward comparising with Black Dawn or the shame of TYD, is very bad comparising with US1 and horrible comparising with the superb Ouf For Justice.

Do you know, my friend?

If you watch MFJ in that way you will enjoy

Kind regards
 
hmmm

I had given up on Seagal after I watched Into the Sun, but I got excited when i heard that MFJ was a really good Seagal direct to dvd movie. I hadnt watched any movie since Into the Sun so i rented MFJ and Black Dawn at the same time.

MFJ was a huge letdown.


I wasnt expecting classic Seagal or anything, but I was expecting to at least not be bored and just have a good time.

Problems with the movie.


1. Plot makes no sense. I felt like was watching David Lynch direct a Seagal film. Most of these new seagal films are hard to follow but this one takes the cake.
2. There is action, but its rarely exciting.
3. Seagal has one real fight in the movie and it sucked.

Good things in the movie

1. When they blow the family up in the begining and the bodys spin in the air. I laughed pretty hard.
2. When they dub the voice of the little black boy and he sounds like an anime character. I laughed again.
 
Decent effort is made to make this film look like it has a bigger budget than it actually has. Nicely handled warfare sequences (even if the 45 degree shutter is becoming an overused technique) give the film a decent start and then gives way to a rather confusing plot with cross and double-cross doing its best to mask the fact it bares more than a passing resemblance to COMMANDO. Had the film utilized a straightforward linear plot like the Arnie flick, it may have been better off.

Luke Goss tries his best to channel Ed Harris and Roger Guenveur Smith gives one of the worst performances I have seen of late (with a rubbish accent) as the main villain.

Steven is Steven, but the diagonal slash of light that crosses his face throughout the film (even in a well-lit room) just draws attention to the fact they seem to be trying to hide something.
 
FINALLY! I saw Mercenary For Justice last night!

Well well well! I finally watched Mercenary For Justice last night... and, it will probably come as no surprise to anyone that I instantly wished I'd saved my cash!

The ludicrous initial shots introducing the bad guys (complete with mis-spelled subtitles) set alarm bells ringing straight away - although it wasn't quite as bad as the subtitles in Out For A Kill when, hilariously, I thought, the subtitles were badly out of time with the computerised sound effects.

Then we have Seagal himself. We are able to distinguish Seagal from the other Mercs because they are all wearing camo gear and he is dressed all in black. His VERY FIRST line in the movie was dubbed by another actor! So the people who are insisting that he is not dubbed at all in this movie must be deaf. The guy who dubs his voice doesn't sound anything like him! Hell - even I can do a passable impression of Seagal's whispery voice - why can't anyone else?!

I was pretty unimpressed by the opening battle scene (which seemed to go on for ever). Although it looks like it cost more than the total production costs of Seagal's last five movies, to me it seemed lifeless and unexciting. In the short 'making of' featurette, director Don Fauntleroy says how he watched Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan twenty times in order to get some ideas of how he wanted the opening scene to look... But I didn't see any evidence of those movies in here - in fact, to me, it just looked as if Don had watched the beginning of The A Team a few times (where the chopper lands and the guys get out of it), as that is all I saw happening a few times over.

So - his best friend snuffs it and Seagal vows to protect his wife and 10 year old 'baby'. Except he doesn't do a very good job of that either, as no sooner has he visited them and handed over a wad of cash, he is overpowered by a bunch of goons and they are kidnapped and taken to a lighthouse!

However, Seagal scored extra points with me by driving a ridiculously enourmous truck at the beginning of the movie, the likes of which hasn't been seen since his Dodge in Exit Wounds and that other juggernaut thing he drives in The Patriot and Fire Down Below. At that point I thought: "this movie might actually be good - at least Seagal gets to drive a big truck." But no - he drives the truck for about 30 seconds before he is kidnapped and then the truck is never seen again (presumably it was taken straight back to the dealer it was borrowed from on a 24hour test drive).

Seagal then goes on a date(?) with the female lead, is attacked while taking a dump and a fight sequence follows, in which he kicks a big dude to the floow, gives him a few slaps, throws him into a mirror (seven years bad luck), flushes his head down a toilet, smashes him through a urinal (which comes off the wall like it was secured on there with a bit of sellotape) before standing on his hand and breaking his neck. Brutal. This fight sequence is the best part of the movie, but it still pales in comparison to his earlier stuff.

The plot of the movie then goes through a few needlessly convoluted plot twists which involve Seagal planning on breaking into a bank vault (so the cops go to a bank), pretending to break into a prison, only to leave his captors behind and pretend that he isn't going to break into the bank (so the cops go to the prison) and then he goes and breaks into the bank. Or something.

Seagal saves the day in the end as usual, but the one liner delivered by Bulldog when a bad merc falls from a lighthouse onto a BMW below ("Bad parking!") is unfunny, and Seagal's "explosive personality" one-liner at the end of the movie is painfully bad and reminded me of a Roger Moore era James Bond pun "He always did have an inflated opinion of himself", as Kananga blows up like a balloon courtesy of a well-placed Nitrogen pellet at the end of Live And Let Die.

So - all in all, this movie, while better than some of Seagal's recent work, was still something of a disappointment to me. I bought it as some folk on here seemed to think it is the best thing he has done in a long time, but I still see no evidence of high quality movie-making. Seagal looked pretty good and a bit trimmer in this movie, but he is still doubled for a lot of stuff (a shot of a pair of boots running along a field or a jean-clad leg disappearing over a wall, which we are meant to believe is Seagal himself). As for the dubbing - it is evident in quite a few scenes and got on my nerves a little bit, as some of the lines were unnecessary anyway - the scene in the restaurant for example when Seagal says to Maxine: "I'll buy you the lobster" was quite clearly not his voice - and since that line meant nothing anyway, it could have been totally cut out rather than left in as an obviously dubbed voice.

After seeing this, I am now less excited about Urban Justice (or whatever it's called today), but again, I'll spend my money on it and give Seagal yet another(!) chance to impress me. Or line his pockets, one of the two. However, I remain unconvinced and I still haven't seen a half-decent and worthwhile Seagal film since Exit Wounds was released.

Feel free to discuss/insult me/claim I'm wrong/post your indignation/be enraged/argue with me/etc. But you all know I'm right - you just can't admit it to yourselves!

GMSGD!
 

Kotegashi

Master Of Disaster
Staff member
Did you know the Stunt coördinator of MFJ, Dickey Beer, is a Dutchman and has worked on numerous box office hits?:

The Keeper (2009) (filming) (stunt coordinator)
Against the Dark (2009) (V) (completed) (stunt coordinator)
Hancock (2008) (stunt driver) Pistol Whipped (2008) (V) (stunt coordinator)
Urban Justice (2007) (V) (stunt coordinator)
"ER" (stunt coordinator) (1 episode, 2007)
Shadow Man (2006) (V) (stunt coordinator)
Mercenary for Justice (2006) (V) (stunt coordinator) (as Dicky Beer)
Black Dawn (2005) (V) (stunt coordinator)
Today You Die (2005) (V) (stunt coordinator)
Into the Sun (2005) (stunt coordinator)
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) (stunt supervisor)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) (stunts)
Entrapment (1999) (stunts)
The Avengers (1998) (stunts) (uncredited)
Black Dog (1998) (co-stunt coordinator)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) (stunt supervisor) (stunts) (uncredited)
Starship Troopers (1997) (assistant stunt coordinator)
Daylight (1996) (stunts)
Cutthroat Island (1995) (co-stunt coordinator)
Rob Roy (1995) (stunts)
Cliffhanger (1993) (stunt safety rigger)
Double Impact (1991) (stunts)
Air America (1990) (stunt double: Robert Downey Jr.) (uncredited) (stunts)
Total Recall (1990) (stunts)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (stunts)
Rambo III (1988) (stunts) (uncredited)
Empire of the Sun (1987) (stunts)
A View to a Kill (1985) (additional stunts) (uncredited) (stunt coordinator snow ski unit) (uncredited)
Dune (1984) (stunts) (as Dickie Beer)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (stunts) (as Dickie Beer)
Never Say Never Again (1983) (stunts) (as Dickie Beer)
Krull (1983) (stunts) (uncredited)
Superman III (1983) (stunts)
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) (stunt performer) (as Dirk Yohan Beer)
Ivanhoe (1982) (TV) (stunts) (uncredited)
An American Werewolf in London (1981) (stunts)
A Bridge Too Far (1977) (stunts) (uncredited)


Another Ducthman Seagal has worked with is Roel Reine, the director of Pistol Whipped.

Some other famous dutch people in hollywood are Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Hollow Man, Robocop), Rutger Hauer (Blind Fury, Blade Runner, The Hitcher), Jan de Bont (Speed, The Haunting, Twister), Clarice van Houten (Valkyrie with Tom Cruise), Jeroen Krabbé (James Bond the Living Daylights) and Lucia de Rijker (million dollar Baby).

Perhaps he needs to work more often with the dutch filmmakers.

Peace