Kcs said:What a joke! Wasn't it you, who edited out parts of an illegal copy, and uploaded it on this site?
Martin88 said:Thx @Kotegashi
Another question: Is Seagal a little bit slimmer / more thinly in this film or is he fat as always there?
SimonLustenberger said:The Stunt double (DIAN HRISTOV) is the same from OUT FOR A KILL, BELLY OF THE BEAST, OUT OF REACH, INTO THE SUN, SUBMERGED, TODAY YOU DIE, MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE, HARVESTER and ENEMY OF THE UNSEEN. You can check it out on IMDB. He is alway credited as Stunt double lead.
Are there some arm-breaks in the movie kotegashi?
Le-Martin said:Here’s my review of Shadow Man, latest release from Steven Seagal.
The first twenty to thirty minutes of this movie are better than anything Seagal has made since Exit Wounds. Really good stuff that with a little bit more polishing could have been just as good as anything in all of his pre-DTV days. The most annoying thing in these 20-30 minutes is the voice dubbing. This time, I can say, hand-on-heart that it most definitely is NOT Steven’s fault, it just seems that getting a Seagal impersonator to “sound” like Seagal (at least to try to) is cheaper than getting Seagal himself to do ADR work in the sound studio. Other minor issues in this first part of the movie are all down to the director’s ability to…direct. Everything on-screen oozes presence, fun and involvement. Seagal seems happy to be in this movie and actually looks like he cares about the movie, the music is not that bad, the acting overall is ok, the plot seems to start going in an interesting direction, etc. This is a huge step forward when compared to recent Seagal movies like Mercenary for Justice or Black Dawn in which we got a sleepwalking Seagal, bad acting, cheesy overcomplicated unintelligible plots, bad music and crappy editing.
Remember that I said that the first 20 to 30 minutes of Shadow Man are quite good? Well, that is the worst thing about this movie to be honest. See, because the movie starts out so well, you get high hopes about the rest of the movie, and the rest is normal below average stuff same as we have been getting from Seagal in his DTV days. The plot gets lost along the way in what seems to be an interminable cast of characters that the director and the movies itself have no idea what to do with. So many people are looking for the so-called THE ITEM that you get lost in who works for whom, who is double crossing whom, who is good, who is bad, why the characters are doing this or that… To solve this, they just have Seagal kill almost every bad guy in the movie in under 10 minutes that come at the end and which are a relief because with only 3-4 characters left, yow know the movie will make sense, too bad it’s over. See, the plot is simple and not hard to follow, it’s just presented in a messy, agitated and disjointed way. The movie TRIES to force you to pay attention, but it just ends up boring you and making you want to turn it off.
The good thing about this movie is that Seagal seems to want to be in this movie, seems to be having a good time, seems to be trying and I can honestly say that this time I liked the movie BECAUSE Seagal was in it NOT DESPITE that Seagal was in it. He was plenty of hand to hand fights that are almost very good, his character is the same burned-out-retired-undercover type of CIA agent he has been playing since basically Half Past Dead in all of his movies (most of them anyway), but since Seagal is having fun, it actually STARTS to work, it never does, because the script and the director never give it enough time to do so.
Michael Keusch is really awful. The only nice direction in the movie is a car explosion scene at the beginning of the movie, everything else is poorly directed and stolen from better and bigger action movies. He has no style, no eye for the action, although I admit to have seen sparks of quality here and there, just not enough to make his directorial style more than the usual gun-for-hire type of DTV efforts that plague the market.
The cast is NOT bad, not great either, but they do their job properly and don’t mess up the movie, BUT the really bad dialogue that is given to them and the messy plot makes them get lost-in-translation somehow. They are cardboard characters, slightly good ones, but just not good enough.
The SFX are sometimes really bad and sometimes good (see the car chases for the bad and the car explosion at the airport for good). The costumes are ok, the locations are ok, but sometimes they work, sometimes they do not.
Into the Sun and the first 30 minutes of Shadow Man fuel that hope, but it just does not seem to grow into anything palpable. The only project that Seagal has in his future that I have hope will be a return to form is Prince of Pistols which he wants to direct himself and will be shot on location in New Orleans. See, I hope that if Dolpf Lundgren could go behind the camera twice and both times with unexpectedly good results, then maybe Steven Seagal could do the same.
Watch Shadow Man to see Seagal at his best since Into the Sun (which was his best since Exit Wounds) and for some nice hand-to-hand combat, but be warned that movie is below average and that the body double is back, only in scenes which have Seagal’s character cross the street, get into a car or running. The fights are 99% done by the man himself. Be aware that very poor voice dubbing is present, but in small amounts and that the plot is messy. Seagal has fun in the movie, the girl playing the part of his daughter is a good actress and that a familiar face from Belly of The Beast is back in a similar role, one in which he is good.
Overall, 4/10 (Wake of Death 8/10?????(4/10 FOR ME), The Defender 7/10????(3/10 FOR ME). The Mechanik 8/10(YEAH, THIS IS THE BEST DOLPH FILM IN YEARS, VERY BELIEVABLE, BUT 7/10), Into the Sun 6/10). All of the four points the movie got are for Seagal, since there is nothing else worth watching this movie for).
supertom said:I have managed to see this film now, and those who have seen my reviews for the last few Seagal films will know that I rate them harshly, critically, as movies, not simply as how much Seagal does, or doesn’t do, but the plot and the acting etc. So when I saw the first two reviews on this site, which were kinda in the middle, and below, I wasn’t expecting much from the film. However this is perhaps the most outright enjoyable Seagal film in years, probably since the inane but fun Belly Of The Beast. I really did not think I’d enjoy it so much, and I think the diehards will love this, considering how much love MFJ got, which I really didn’t like.
So what works in Shadow Man? First and foremost this is at times, vintage Seagal. Now there are voice dubs, and stand ins but they don’t detract too much. The thing is Seagal clearly is signed to these pictures with the stipulation that he is on set for say 75% of the shoot, cause lets face it Papa is a busy guy. What this means is that the producers must do some filling. In the case of Mercenary and Black Dawn, Seagal doesn’t appear in as much of the film as he should for a leading man. Mercenary for example, Seagal didn’t properly appear until 12 minutes in which is ludicrous, and often he’d disappear for large segments. What we have in Shadow Man is Seagal IN the movie, there with the odd stand in moment for some of his reverse when clearly he wasn’t on set. I’d rather have that than his character just vanishing for 5 minutes. Similarly most of his dub moments are clearly lines needlessly added in after initial ADR work, which are essentially added in to undermine the audience. For example Seagal chases someone, he runs to a car. We know he’s going to get in the car to give chase, but they’ve pointlessly added in a line telling us that, basically to spell out in fine detail what he’s doing. Most of the dubbing is not on important dialogue, that big papa does himself, so on that respect it’s the producers fault. The film did worry me when it started though, because Seagal is introduced teaching aikido to students, and it starts off really cool, with Seagal doing his sensei thing. However he then takes on his students, who one by one try and attack him. It’s a neat little fight but it’s all done by his double. Why? Because the producers probably extended this opening to fill out screen time and didn’t have Seagal during these additional shots. So we see a lot of Seagal’s classic moves performed by a double. Worry not, because from then on the fights are almost all Seagal, if not all him. As I said Seagal has vintage moments. There’s a great fight scene when he takes on some Russian drug dealers which sees him unleash classic style. Seagal smashes someone through a glass table, and another guy through a glass cabinet, and he also unleashes a few kicks. In fact Seagal does quite a lot of kicks in the film, AND he does them! Seagal is also far more engaged here. He’s enjoying himself, as already mentioned. There are several moments that are just cool, classic Seagal. Stevo even has his very own little A-Team moment where he builds a shotgun from household objects, plus the climax is just downright vicious, and worthy of early Seagal. I’ll be honest here the film wasn’t a great piece of cinema, but I kind of loved it!
Also Michael Keusch does a reasonable job. He’s mimicking other directors style more than showing his own, but he has a competence that was lacking in the last few Seagal movies. The film is nicely shot, and the cinematography, aside from a few Apocalypse Now Brando shots for Stevo, is nice. Similarly the score from Barry Taylor is the best in a long time for Seagal, despite being quite heavily influenced by John Powell’s score in the Bourne films. The film has a certain Bourne vibe because of the musical choices and the shot choices.
The script is a problem though. The basic plot revolves around Steven coming into possession of some biological virus, or something or other, without him knowing, but the Romanian police, CIA, and Russian gangsters know he has it. His daughter is kidnapped by a Taxi Driver, and everyone is after Steven for this item. The problem is the plot becomes convoluted. Seagal also goes form destination to destination with little indication as to why he’s there, and usually he’s closely followed by bad guys. Essentially Seagal moves from locale to locale and the narrative doesn’t gel together with much cohesion. However while this was a significant problem in some of the other Seagal films, it’s not as major here, because the film is filled with action. It’s more or less just a constant jump from action scene to action scene. There’s a feeling that maybe the script has been chopped and changed in order that the film fits within the required 90 minute time period for DTV action films. Plus it would seem that with three credited writers (our pal Joe, Steven and also Steve Collin’s who did MFJ) it’s been through the re-write mill one too many times.
The car chases are okay, nothing great, but at least they have a decent length. The gun fights are quite disappointing though with a lack of practical effects, however the last action suddenly sees the effect crew wake up because they eventually remember squibs etc. The fights are pretty good though. They are shot and to the point, like Seagal’s fights have always been. The bad guys can usually only take one or two hits before falling in a crumpled heap. What this means is there is more of an impact, because Seagal really floors his opponents hard and as I mentioned the fight when he takes on Russian gangsters, at the half way mark of the film, is great. It’s longer simply because it’s got more opponents for the big guy. I also thought the locations were very good. It’s always a risk in Eastern Europe, that you will find it tough to find eye catching locations, but the manage it well here. On a location standpoint this is Seagal’s most eye catching film since ITS. The CGI effects, are basically just one moment of pure awfulness, one of the worst effects I have seen, but it’s not a pivotal moment. Also Seagal is helped out by a good supporting cast including as some UK viewers might know, Alex Ferns (Trevor from Eastenders), Eva Pope, and also Imelda Staunton. The girl who plays his daughter is also pretty good, which is quite remarkable for a DTV film when child actors are on the most part awful relatives of the producers.
Overall I think Seagal fans will be more than happy with this. The plotting aside this is decent. Seagal actually delivers here, there’s plenty of bang for the buck and he gives some effort in this. Clearly he has a better relationship with these producers than in some of his previous films. In film terms I’d give this a **½ rating, while for Seagal fans this is perhaps a ****/*****