IMDb > Fire Down Below (1997) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Fire Down Below
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Fire Down Below More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 11:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
Index 103 reviews in total 

48 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Seagal is simply an authority figure with a heart of purest gold...

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
11 April 2004

Steven Seagal is one of those actors with a totally winning personality… He is simply an authority figure, a killing machine with a heart of purest gold… I can't help it; I like the guy.

In 'Fire Down Below,' he is an outsider posing as a church sponsored carpenter while he works for the Environmental Protection Agency to stop a greedy coal baron from dumping extremely large quantities of toxic wastes in abandoned coal mines… Those dangerous chemicals could destroy the drinking water for thousands of miles and kill a bunch of people around the hills… Seagal gallantly promised not to leave the small town until the poison from the air, the streams and the earth is taken out…

Many thugs (with snakes, sticks, guns, and big trucks) are hired by the uncaring mining magnate to get rid of our action hero but Seagal remains virtually untouched…

'Fire Down Below' highlights new environmental message but fails to come up with the expectations… First, Seagal's amorous interest with the sad country woman seems artificial, used in the film to grant the 'new visitor' easy access to statements he might need… Second, the motion picture lacks the best villain whose prowess could equals Seagal's... Steven's character never really faces much of a challenge… In fact, the fight scenes are too short and extremely fast and easy…

If you are a fan of country music and you want to see Seagal playing guitar and singing, and you like to explore sweeping vistas with glorious sunsets, don't miss this movie!

Was the above review useful to you?

42 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it.

Author: (billybrown41@hotmail.com) from Kimberling City, MO.
3 April 2002

All of the fun from a Steven Seagal film comes from watching the man. You know that when the bad guys are circling him, taunting him, telling him what they're about to do, you know that within less than a minute, everyone around him is going to be lying on the ground, moaning in pain, while he stands there smirking. Literally everything in his reach becomes a weapon and he NEVER kicks. Also, he ALWAYS comes out scratch free. His character will almost always be clad in leather, even when everyone else is walking around in Summer wear. Yep, he's a regular "Jack of all trades" in this one as he's an Enviornmental Protection Agent, a pilot, a carpenter, a martial artist, and a guitar player as well. It's so absurd, but yet SO satisfying, it's just the way action movies should be. No one else could pull it off and do it so well. Lotsa fun.

Steven Seagal plays basically the same character in every movie, and while they're always panned by the critics, his movies always please the audience that they were intended for. Fire Down Below is, in my opinion, the last of his really good movies. Everything else kinda went downhill from there. With Fire Down Below, he took his preachiness from On Deadly Ground, and toned it down a little. Also, he wasn't directing this time. But one thing I have to say is that I could've done without the sped up action sequences. There were a few times, throughout the movie, where I thought that I may have accidentally hit the fast forward button on my remote. But other than that, this movie does what action movies are supposed to do and doesn't pull any punches. I also enjoyed the Kentucky backdrop and it was kinda cool to see so many country musicians make cameos. Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, Mark Collie, Kris Kristofferson, Levon Helm...they're all here, not too mention several others. My favorite character was "Cotton" played to perfection by one of my all time favorite character actors Harry Dean Stanton. His mountain-boy simplicity put a big ole smile on my face everytime he showed up and I love the guy in everything he's in.

Everyone in the movie seems to be having a great time and it's so hard to take anything seriously. All you can really do is sit back and have a good time. I hope that for his next film, that he ditches all the glossiness of "Exit Wounds" and goes back to the movies that made his audiences love him in the first place.

Was the above review useful to you?

30 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable

7/10
Author: henry-girling from London, England
28 January 2003

I have watched this several times and always find it enjoyable. There is a gallery of good actors in support like Harry Dean Stanton and Kris Kristofferson. Special mention should be made of Stephen Lang who although playing a murderous character does make one feel sorry for him. Also Marg Helgenberger gives a touching portrayal of Sarah Kellogg, ready to bloom after years of repression.

The photography of the landscape is beautiful and contrasts with the story about its despoliation by illegal dumping of chemicals. This film is more about character and story. The fight scenes themselves are quite brief.

Which brings us to Steven Seagal. His bland acting style works strangely enough in complement with the other stronger actors.He does the combat OK. He does preach (like in his more recent films) but hey, what's wrong with looking after the environment? This film is under rated and deserves another look.

Was the above review useful to you?

22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Martial Arts, Country Music, good story and good acting.

10/10
Author: nocrud222 from China
8 March 2005

While I do not agree with some of the reviews posted here, others are fair and objective and they are appreciated.

I have visited those places in Eastern Kentucky shown in the movie. I know that there are places in the mountains of Kentucky where outsiders are distrusted due to a tradition started by Revenue Officers many years ago. My grandfather was one of them for many years! I also know their traditions and customs and very much of this movie shows people as they really and truly are today. However, as in most places, the diversity is also notable. For every person hooked on country music, for example, you will find another, or others, who are not.

As a person with one year of karate and one year of jujitsu, I can also agree with another reviewer that Steven Seagal's expertise in Aikido is demonstrated, as was stated, by not merely breaking bones although it can be done. The axiom in martial arts is to protect yourself and this does not always mean putting the opponent in the hospital. Therefore, the fight scenes were believably adequate and enjoyable. Those with only a moviegoer's experience in martial arts would see it otherwise.

Snake handling? In Texas and Florida there are experts who would think that Taggart's grabbing the rattlesnakes tossed through his bedroom window was driven by what he had to do at that moment. Many of those snake experts can tell you that they have known others who had to grab a snake to avoid being bitten. No big deal but still exciting to see.

The country music entertainers were actually excellent actors. I was impressed by them. None of them fell down in their roles and they came across as entirely believable. The story may be seen and appreciated without finding the actor-musicians to be bumbling idiots but real people.

One reviewer commented on the marijuana patch in the hills. This also is not an imaginary or unbelievable situation. Many small planes do not dare fly low in those hills or they come back with bullet holes from those who think they are being overflown by ATF people looking for their weed plots. Bodies have been found in marijuana patches so this also was realistic.

I like Seagal and have seen him in several movies. He is an expert in his field. However, a man who practices martial arts can get hurt more by accident than by intention. However, he is considered great at his art by those who are experienced in that field! Most people in martial arts would love to be as good as he is. Anyone who would denigrate his abilities would not be capable of standing off a pickpocket on a crowded bus and going beyond this would just tax their imagination.

The story was good because it happens... Toxic waste is being stored and hidden not only in Appalachia but in other parts of the USA. The story holds together well. Also, the scenery is very well chosen and this is a plus.

People from that region do not make comments about the movie being untrue to life there. This is because apparently the producers/directors were careful to adhere to authenticity and they did well.

Anywone who likes martial arts and a good story linked to beautiful scenery mixed with reality will like this movie. Others would be better off to stick with their video games to avoid boredom.

I enjoyed the movie -- several times. Overall, I give it a big 10.

Was the above review useful to you?

23 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

The Good & Bad Of 'Fire Down Below'

7/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
8 January 2007

Since I haven't seen this since the turn of the 21st century, it would be interesting to see again just to see Marg Helgenberger. I really wasn't that familiar with her when I saw this movie a couple of times in the late '90s, although I had seen her before. However, now she's a very familiar face thanks to the hit CSI television show.

Anyway, the movie was a typical Steven Seagal film in that he's the likable hero, you had despicable villains that were easy to hate, and every action scene is Rambo-like in which Seagal never misses injuring his foes.

One big difference in this film from his earlier efforts: an emphasis an aesthetic cinematography. This had some beautiful rural scenes of Kentucky and in particular, a church on a top of a hill, in which a number of scenes take place. Not only is the country scenery nice but there are some good country songs in here and better yet - blues guitar music in the background throughout the movie. All of this was different for a Seagal film. Of course, the nice scenery was probably due to the fact Seagal played an Environmental Protection Agent ("Jack Taggart").

Also different was the fact that Helgenberger ("Sarah Kellogg") was not the typical gorgeous young sexpot normally paraded out in these martial arts films, but was rather plain with no makeup. She wore conservative clothing and showed no skin. (Contrast that to her CSI roles the past six years) Then again, Appalachia being the setting for this story, her dress and manner was appropriate and realistic.

Language-wise, most of the hard profanity comes from Kris Kristofferson's villain character, "Orrin Hammer, Sr.," in the first hour.

How they treated "religion" in this film was bizarre. Good, bad, good, bad - like watching a tennis match. The country reverend was the typical Hollywood wishy-washy minister: the kind would NOT see in this area in real life. The screenwriters are so clueless Seagal called him - a Protestant minister - "father" - as if he was a Catholic. Anyway, the wimpy reverend does "come around" at the end.

More examples: good-guy Seagal bows his head in prayer at church but also tells Helgenberger that "I don't hand out bibles." He also mentions UFOs and Zen to a sick little boy but also mentions "God's work" other times. He covers all the bases, I guess, from occult to the real thing. The bad guys attend church, but then they burn it down! Harry Dean Stanton tells someone that "church people talk down the others," but the next scene something positive is shown. I'm telling you: the theology in here would make your head swim.

Seagal plays a smug kind of guy but his smugness doesn't translate into an offensive jerk, perhaps because his character is so soft-spoken and he is, after all, the good guy. Every action scene in here is a Rambo imitation in which Segal beats up his opponents no matter how many of them are against him. It's ludicrous. Yet, most of the time it's enjoyable enough to watch and the sound-effects on those fights are actually entertaining, almost humorous.

About the film, I still like the blues guitar and the Kentucky scenery the best. The rest of it is pure Seagal nonsense....but entertaining.

Was the above review useful to you?

19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

i enjoyed it

7/10
Author: frank lowrie jr from atlanta, georgia
27 January 1999

unlike most of seagal's earlier films with almost too much action,fire down below takes its time to weave another true to life tale of the abuse done to our earth by corporate americia. folks,this kind of stuff goes on everyday and it's films like these sneak a message into you without beating you over the head with it.those who are expecting plenty of guns and bodies flying all over the place every 5 seconds will be disappointed,but those who have a better view of the movie genre can enjoy this film better.

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

The beginning of a successful change of focus.

Author: George Petrik (petrikgm@ocean.com.au) from Melbourne, Australia
23 September 1998

It's been a few years coming, but not since 'Under Siege' has Steven Seagal easily fitted into his role. 'Fire Down Below' marks the beginning of a successful change of focus for Mr Seagal. Gone are the bone breaking fatal blows that really are not what Aikido is about anyway. The martial art scenes are done with speed and precision as always but are not over the top. After all, Mr. Seagal is a 7th Dan Black Belt Aikidoist. [Martial Art freaks who want blood and guts can go and watch 'Mortal Combat'.] The Mine Scene was a bit disappointing, a little unbelievable, but I did say this was the beginning of a change of focus. Gone is the basic Seagal signature type 'here comes the hero' music. Sound track is great - and yes he writes his own music and yes he can play the guitar. The scenery was great and cast, well it's as if they radiated Kentucky - I could feel it and I'm from Australia. I would have liked a little more passion at the end. Mr. Seagal seems a little ill at ease, but it may be a reflection of his own uneasiness with commitment, who wouldn't be after three marriages. All in all I liked it very much. I look forward to 'The Patriot' and 'Blood on the Moon'.

Was the above review useful to you?

20 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

One of Seagal's best action films

Author: David krasnow (stargirlrk@yahoo.com) from Ann Arbor, MI
24 May 2003

This movie was pretty good. It is a lot better than Steven Seagal's more recent films, like Exit Wounds and Half Past Dead. I do not know why it had such a low user-rating, for it is excellent. Seagal plays EPA agent Jack Taggart, who moves to a small southern town to investigate allegations that a major business figure (Kristofferson) is dumping tons of toxic waste into a supposedly safe area. Seagal faces much hostility while he is there from Kristofferson's thugs, but he meets and falls in love with a young woman who was falsely accused of murdering her father. The murder was really done by her brother, who ends up in a dangerous confrontation with Seagal. This movie had expert action scenes and great filming of a southern/midwestern town. Kris Kristofferson had a very good role and he played it very well. This is probably Steven Seagal's best movie and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys action films. SEE THIS FILM. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Better than I anticipated.

8/10
Author: Nimbo from San Diego, California
5 August 1998

I was pleasantly surprised by "Fire Down Below". I am sure that locals played a large part in this film shot in Eastern Kentucky. It was well done and Seagal did just what he had to do in an action film.

The scenery was magnificent. The acting up to par. The special effects were much better than average.

And ugly men can appeal to young women. Marg Helgenberger certainly is a beautiful young woman. And as an actress she gave an adequate performance and I am sure will continue to improve.

I enjoyed the film.

Was the above review useful to you?

13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

pretty good

9/10
Author: OzzyCash from Nashville, Tennessee
30 August 2000

This is the only Steven Seagal movie I actually like. It doesn't have a whole lot of action but a few interesting fight scenes. Randy Travis has a bit part as well. Steven goes into a small southern town where he believes some illegal activity is going on and finds out that tons of sewage is being dumped in the mines so of course he saves the day and also falls in love with that blonde lol, but it's sweet and this is a very enjoyable movie see it

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 11:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
Newsgroup reviews External reviews Parents Guide
Official site Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history