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Yes, here he was "Hard to Kill", then he would be "Marked for Death" and finally "Out for Justice". I think there was another three titled movie before this one, but I did not see that one. This one had the best plot of the three that I saw, in fact the second one does not really have all that much plot and the third one made "Marked for Death" look like it had a super plot because it (Out for Justice) had no real plot to speak off. All three feature kick butt fighting that usually has Segal kicking some butt with little doubt who the victor is going to be. Which that makes for some pleasing watching the villain get beat up, but it kind of takes anyway any tension you might feel watching the film. However, this one features some gun play in it that adds to the film as would "Marked for Death". This one has Segal as a cop who records a deal that could really do damage to a guy. Well the guy sends some guys to gun down him and his family. However, while they are seemingly successful at killing the wife and child Segal's character ends up in a coma and when he wakes up they are promptly back on his heels. Well he uses some nifty healing tricks and soon is on the bad guys heels. Kelly LeBrock of "Weird Science" fame is in it and plays a nurse and this is like the only other movie that I have seen her in. Rather good, has nice action and is my favorite of the three movies I listed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved the movie. Seagal ending up in a coma for several years then
still finishing business. I love it! I have watched it several times,
"And you can take that to the bank" I can't believe this movie came out
20 years ago. I am starting to feel old. I just wish this movie could
be in my movie collection.
This is still one of Seagals best movies. I saw part of it again on Ion TV.
If you love movies in Az check out valley movie group. A group of over 1300 movie lovers who get discounts to local theaters.
Enjoy the movie if you have not watched it yet!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off, I run a movie review site called The Cheap Seats
(myspace.com/thecheapseat) and one of the feature articles I do are
excerpts from my book, The Man-Movie Encyclopedia. I offer the review,
and give you the final tally, as you'll see on the bottom.
Movie: Hard To Kill Star: Steven Seagal Year: 1990 Director: Bruce Malmuth
Ah, Seagal. Where would we be without our favorite pony-tailed, akido-skilled, wooden-actor? In sissy-movie hell, that's where. He's brought it to the man-table more than once, always bringing the same dish, and always threatening to break our neck if we don't eat it. And eat it we do. And love it we do, too.
Here we have one of Seagal's finer pieces, it's first set in 1983. Seagal plays Mason Storm, a rogue cop who 'plays by his own rules', which is a theme that one or two of Seagal's characters had. He starts out on the docks, surveying some bad dudes. Man, remember the docks? ALL the bad guys use to hang there, but no more. What better setting than a seedy dock? With ships that carry drugs, guns, and hookers. And plenty of water to throw the body of the right-hand-man who's f**ked up once too many times. But anyways. Mason is doing his thing, and catches some politician up to no good with some no-good-knicks. Well, he splits, and all of a sudden they here him. So after they go, however, they don't catch.
As always, he can't trust anyone, because he's a rogue cop. Well, the bad-guys find out anyways, and come to finish Mason good. Well, wouldn't you know it, Mason just got done getting busy with his women, so he's in his refractory period. Otherwise, he could have heard these bad guys coming 10 years ago. So that's why he was unaware, until that is, as always....it's too quiet. That's how you KNOW some s**t is going down, when ...it's too quiet. TADOW! They bust open the door and lay down some hot lead, killing his wife, and they assume, Mason. His kid, who looks exactly like Ben Savage, jumps out of a 10 story window like Spider-Man and lives. *shrugs* He's Seagal's kid alright. Anyways, thankfully before all this, Mason hid his video-camera in the wall of his kitchen, because, remember, a rogue cop trusts no one, so the evidence is safe.
Flash forward 7 years later.
Mason is laid up in an LA hospital, he's got a rad beard, and a nurse (Andy) who's got the hots for him (Kelly LeBrock. Who, Seagal married). He gets instant man points because the nurse wants him to snap out of it simply because he has a large penis. No truth to the fact that Seagal insisted they put that in. Mason comes out of the coma, because he's sick of not killing people, and knows that soon they'll be coming for him, which they do. So, Andy helps him out of there, and they crash at her pad. He quickly gets back into a**-kicking mode, because atrophy is for sissys.
So, as it were, the crooked politician is now a Senator. This doesn't sit well with Storm, as most things don't. So, he hooks up with an old friend who had been taking care of his Spider-Man kid, and they get some revenge. It's sweet carnage, and Storm is never touched. It's as it should be, kids.
This movie comes with the highest recommendation. As it ranks high in the Man-Movie Encyclopedia, hitting almost EVERY criteria, which has yet to be done. It's mind-less good times. It's Seagal, baby.
Official Man-Movie Encyclopedia Count: 1-Liners: 4 , Guys Beat-Up: 18 , Guys Killed: 18, Swears: 21, Boobs: 2, Explode: 1, Slow-Motion Scenes: 2, Car-Chase: 1, Foot-Chase: 2, Broken Bones: 6, Fight at Motel?: Yes, Guy Get Girl?: Yes, Guy Smoke?: No
(A guy getting beat up counts as someone being put down and unable to continue due to the actions of someone else, boobs are counted per-boob, and if the guy smokes is asking if the protagonist smokes cigarettes or anything of the like)
1-Liners: (Storm watching TV. Senator on TV) Senator: You can take that to the bank! Storm: I'm gonna take you to the bank, Senator. The blood bank!
(Storm fires a shot between the Senator's legs) Storm: I missed! I never miss! They must have been smaller than I thought!
(Storm kills a crooked cop) Storm: Now you're a good cop
And perhaps the greatest one-liner of all time. Storm is just about to kill a dude; Storm: This is for my wife. F**k you and die!
For MY money... this is the best Seagal's film. I remember vividly, it
was perhaps 1991, or 1992, when I saw this film, me a little kid, just
got the film from video store, it was some pirate, dark, crappy copy, I
almost tought that Seagal was black! Kidding, OK... Also, this was the
first Seagal film I ever saw, even before "Above The Law" ("Nico" was
next afterwards). Well, as a kid, you like a lot of things... and you
just wait for the action scenes and a good fight.
Years later I saw this film again and I bought a DVD than I sat down and watched it... I enjoyed every minute of it. I give this film 8 stars out of 10, because: Steven Seagal in his own element, a tall, dark, with quiet husky voice, angry eyes, classic pony tail, NO ACTING at all! That is superb! I think that Seagal has created (heh, read this "created" :)), one of the most bad-ass characters ever! Black clothes, white shirts of his, damn! That was really something in those days. But, this character stayed pinned for Seagal for the rest of his career. A tough guy, one man army that seeks revenge for the murder of his wife, kids, girlfriend, friend, parents, dog, a pet parrot, neighbor, his father's, brother's cousin's nephew's former room mate, and so on... But, here that was quite original and great for Seagal. I'm telling you, Seagal is the legend of martial arts-seeking revenge films, no other martial art actor could have such "fine" (hahaahahahha) "face expressions" to show his painful and sad emotions like Seagal (ahaahahaha!!!) OK, OK... Other actors, a good addition to this film, Kelly LeBrock, wow, what a hottie, there was something funny about her, she tried to have some kind of British accent, but it didn't work for her at all, (she was raised in London), she was there just to look sexy for her that time husband - Seagal himself, what a couple! William Sadler, a calmed villain, with very intense face, he was quite OK, a fine bad guy, nothing too special or charismatic, he was solid. Frederick Coffin as Seagal's partner in the film, perhaps the only normal and brave good guy in the entire film, OK, and from all others Branscombe Richmond as Axel a supporting bad guy, who had a good fight with Seagal in the film.
Story is classic, solid and relaxing, a classic revenge action film. Nothing to report here. Script was also OK, a fine, solid script, with no exceptions.
Also, I loved the music. Michael David Frank composed really low budget score, but it was really awesome and bad-ass. Combining some kind of slow rock music and Japanese music instruments, he created really good score. Especially score "Meditation and Training", that was a real martial art training song, awesome! And a "Just passing by" that presents Seagal/LeBrock sex scene, that was hot, man! The main theme is also great.
I don't know what to say more... this is a real action film! Watch it!
(There are Spoilers) What surprised me in the movie more then anything
else is that Steven Seagal, playing coma cop Mason Storm, didn't as
much as hit, much less shoot, anyone for almost 50 minutes which has to
be a record for him. From the time Storm and his his wife Felicia and
young son Sonny, Bonnie Burroughs & Zachary Rosencrantz, were gunned
down by a gang of corrupt cops at the start of the movie until these
same crooked cops attack Storm and his girlfriend nurse Andy Stewart,
Kelly LeBlock, home more then half way into the movie Seagal or Storm
was just working out reading Oriental philosophy as well as improving
both his body and soul without as much as a bad or violent thought in
his mind or heart but the last fifteen or so minutes in the movie, like
the first ten, would more then make up for that very acute deficiency
like Officer Mason Storm accurately remarked later in the movie: "You
can take that to the Blood Bank".
Gunned down and pronounced dead after him and his family were rubbed out by a gang of dirty cops Mason Storm had some kind of near-death experience by suddenly coming back to life in the operating room. Alive but in a coma Storm's good friend and fellow cop Let. Kevin O'Mally, Frederick Coffin, swears those who know about Storm's condition to absolute secrecy having the wounded cop put in the hospital coma unite under a John Doe.
It's now 1990 seven years later and as Storm, now with long hair and a clip-on Van Dyke beard, comes out of his coma the first thought that hits him and first words out of his mouth is "that their out to get me". Being looked after by nurse Stewart she calls the police station to tell them that one of their own is now possibly ready to go back on duty, there was a very sever manpower shortage in the LAPD at the time, and all hell breaks loose with the same bunch of cops who tried to do in Storm seven years ago popping up at the hospital and gunning down a number of doctors and orderlies but as usual not getting the slippery and elusive Storm who escapes with the help of nurse Stewart who we never see working as a nurse in the hospital or movie again.
It turns out that the now junior Senator of California Sen. Trent, William Sadler, was responsible for the murder of Mason's wife and son, who's later found out to have survived, as retaliation for him video and audio taping back in 1983 the then L.A assemblyman Trent taking a bribe from the mob and now that the cats out of the bag, or that Storm is out of his coma, Trent & Co. pull out all stops to make sure that this time Storm wouldn't be so lucky.This whole thing about the cops and Trent out to get Storm confused me since they weren't supposed to know that Storm survived, the 1983 shooting, in the first place and only those hospital workers who were in the operating room trying to save Storms life seven years ago ,and Let. O'Mally, were supposed to be the only one's who knew that Storm was alive so how could the cops who try to murder him now know all this? If they did somehow know that he was still alive they had all this time, seven years,to finish Storm off so why wait until he comes out of his coma where he's capable of eluding them? this is one of the many, and biggest, illogical plot-holes in the movie "Hard to Kill".
The movie starts to pick up in tempo but drop off in logic when Storm now fit as a fiddle after having a couple of orders of Chinese food working out meditating and finally sticking himself with a number of what looks like acupuncture pins, that Storm for some reason lit up, he's now back and ready for action to not only take on the bad guys but save his son Sonny, now enrolled in a private school under the name of Mason's friend O'Mally, from them trying to kidnap him as well.
As you would have expected Mason Storm, or Steven Seagal, has no trouble at all taking out the gang of corrupt cops with his slicked down hair barley being mussed up in his usual fashion where he doesn't as much as have to take a punch or even bullet from the scores of bad guys that he so easily disposes of. Saving Trant for last Storm has a shotgun rammed up his mouth, knocking out both his front and bottom teeth, with the cops fortunately, or so Trent thought, coming to his rescue only to have the happy and arrogant Trent get the surprise of his life by finding out from the officer in charge that it was him, not Storm, who's under arrest for taking bribes from the mob and being responsible for the murder, made to look like a plane crash, of Trent's predecessor Senator Caldwell; yes nurse Andy Stewart came through in the clutch by getting the tapes that Storm and Let, O'Mally had secretly hidden all these years, implicating that sleazy lowlife Vernon Trent, to the local police and this time the honest, not corrupt, ones.
Hard to kill? He's impossible to kill! Yes thousands of bullets fly about but not one so much as ruffles Mr Segal's hair. (Mind you with all the gel I'm not surprised.) On the other hand his many assailants are all too easy to kill. As the years go by it gets harder to see why Segal was once a hot box office property. His acting is non-existent, every line, be it a quip or a pledge, is delivered in a flat, inflection free monotone. His martial arts skills are no more exceptional than many other screen heroes. His ego is simply enormous The ultra-serious tone of his films, no matter how inane the plots only make them more ridiculous. Kelly Le Brock actually manages to match his woodeness, rendering their scenes together excruciating. The right-wing morals of the film are somewhat basic too. Never more so than the scene where Segal snaps a man's neck in front of his son, only for the kid to run up and give his dad a big hug as if he had just been given a Christmas present. And these are supposed to be the nice guys?
Bruce Malmouth directed this action yarn that stars Steven Seagal as police officer Mason Storm(great name!) who is gunned down in his home, where his wife is killed, and he is in a coma for several years. One day, Mason awakens from his coma, and is immediately targeted for assassination by the same sinister forces that attacked him and his family in the first place. He is aided in his escape by his attractive nurse(played by Kelly Lebrock) as they both go on the run to find out who is responsible, and how to stop them. William Sadler plays a corrupt politician named Trent. Good action scenes, but film is much too far-fetched to be believed, with some most unlikely plot elements(like Mason's remarkably quick recovery!)
'Hard to Kill' is Predictable, Yet Fun. Eternal Bad-Ass Steven Seagal,
like always, delivers a spirited & energetic performance.
'Hard to Kill' Synopsis: Detective Mason Storm, who falls into a coma after being shot during a fire-fight that killed his wife Felicia and son Sonny, reawakens seven years later to find his son alive and seeks vengeance with the coma-ward nurse and his old partner.
'Hard to Kill' never tries to be path-breaking, and that is its biggest plus point. It remains true to its premise & offers entertainment. Steven McKay's Screenplay is engaging. Bruce Malmuth's Direction is passable. Cinematography & Editing, are functional. Action-Sequences are excellent.
Performance-Wise: Seagal is an Eternal Bad-Ass, and in here, like always, he delivers a spirited & energetic performance. Kelly LeBrock looks amazing & does a credible job. Frederick Coffin is adequate. William Sadler is perfect. Branscombe Richmond lends support.
On the whole, 'Hard to Kill' is a winner.
I have to admit I am not a fan of Steven Seagal and some of his movies. Under Siege will always be his best film to me, but Hard to Kill is one of Seagal's better movies. I admit, the plot is implausible in places, though it is not as predictable or derivative as Seagal's films tended to become later on, the music sounds dated and tacky(my opinion) and the dialogue can be weak. However on the whole I did enjoy Hard to Kill. The action is well choreographed and fun, the pace is not sluggish or dull as I admittedly expected it to be and the film doesn't look slip shod or cheap. Steven Seagal doesn't give an award worthy performance, but it is one that is intelligible and more energetic than he would become in outings like Out for a Kill. Kelly LeBrock is an alluring and convincing partner, and she works fairly well with Seagal, while William Sadler is also enjoyable. Overall, imperfect but one of the better Segal films. 7/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Stephen Seagal's career peaked early. After several violent crime
thrillers, the majestic Under Siege marked a peak from which the steady
decline continues. But Hard To Kill is one of the films on the way up
to that peak.
It is a straightforward, if implausible, yarn about corrupt cops betraying Seagal who, after coming out of a 7-year coma, works his way back to full fitness (in a ridiculously short space of time) and then pursues vengeance for his wife's murder, retribution and justice.
If you put the plethora of unlikelinesses to one side, this is quite good fun - lots of action surrounds solid story beats, with Seagal an imposing screen presence dealing well with the action.
The music in this film, incidentally, is dreadful - the full horror of 1980s cheesiness, drenched in synthesisers and wailing saxophones.
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