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Half Past Dead (2002)

4.5
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 11,167 users   Metascore: 23/100
Reviews: 129 user | 84 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

This movie tells the story of a man who goes undercover in a hi-tech prison to find out information to help prosecute those who killed his wife. While there he stumbles onto a plot involving a death-row inmate and his $200 million stash of gold.

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Title: Half Past Dead (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Little Joe (as Michael 'Bear' Taliferro)
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Judge Jane McPherson
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Guard Damon J. Kestner
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Sonny Eckvall
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Agent Hartmann
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49er Three
Wiliam T. Bowers ...
Alcatraz Guard
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Storyline

A criminal mastermind has set in motion a plan to infiltrate a high tech prison in order to persuade a death row inmate to reveal the whereabouts of $200 million worth of gold. It's up to an undercover FBI agent to stop him before it's too late. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fully armed. Totally outnumbered. Completely unexpected. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for pervasive action violence, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

15 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lockdown  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$409,207 (France) (9 May 2003)

Gross:

$409,207 (France) (9 May 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the beginning while the PST news report is running, the scroll at the bottom is either ridiculous or reflects the politics of the writers/producers and also in one case contradicts itself. As follows: Middle East Crisis Escalates, Stock Prices Surge - Pessimism Ebbing, Economy Sluggish-Gross National Product Flatlining, 27 Foot Great White Shark caught off Barrier Reef, Polar Ice Caps Melt-Global Warming to Blame. See more »

Goofs

49er One calls out for a rifle as he jumps into the electric chair pit, but his team did not bring any rifles to the island - only submachine guns. See more »

Quotes

Nick: [driving the stolen car] You know you're crazy, don't you?
Sasha: Yeah, cuckoo crazy!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie title plays as an overlay during the film's opening scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Penn & Teller: Bullshit!: Holier Than Thou (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bad Boys
Written by Bo Lenoir
Performed by 5 Foot Giant
Courtesy of Gotcha Bakk Records
Under license from L.A. Entertainment, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

The jury decided; I presided.
9 November 2004 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

For a man that is not feeling well, this was the perfect no brainer film to help me conquer those sweats and chills. There was unrealistic fighting, a Swiss cheese plot, and characters that we cared nothing for, which allowed me to doze off and still know what was happening. This was a Steven Seagal film, so I wasn't expecting much, but honestly, after several of his film you come to realize that they are all very similar and Seagal has not changed his fighting habits at all over the years. He is still using the same fist moves that made him popular in Above the Law. Why should he change? He is Steven Seagal.

So, take his old-school 1980s fighting techniques and combine it with a modern day rap artist like Ja-Rule (especially after his popularity with DMX in Exit Wounds), and you have the film Half Past Dead. So, let's begin. The fighting was laughable. I think that if a gust of wind hit Ja-Rule he would fly halfway across the room. Also, why did it become increasingly obvious that Ja-Rule was not doing his own fight sequences? Throughout his fighting with Nia Peeples, it is very clear that it is not Ja-Rule. How could a director allow such a blatant error happen in an action film? This is not the only case of action gone wrong. There are several scenes in which bullets defy their projected path and gravity. Also, let us not forget the flying fists of Seagal which had the sounds of some hard hits, but it was very obvious that he was mock fighting with most of the extras. This unrealistic fighting knocked this film from five stars to four stars.

So, let's move past the fighting. What is a good action film without the story to accompany the fighting? Sadly, director Don Michael Paul felt as if there was no story needed. Why bother the audience with a story when we have Ja-Rule and Steven Seagal fighting together on-screen? The plot was riddled with more holes that my high school underwear. It was as if we were not seeing the entire picture, and instead of showing us the director relied on words to tell us. Some examples of what I mean are how Sasha and Nick first met. I needed to see this. Without this story and seeing their trust be born, it became less emotional when it was broken. I didn't care, I needed to know more about them. The side-story about Seagal's wife was just filler. He has these visions of her that help him live after a gun battle, but that is all we know about her. When I first saw this scene, I thought it was going to be a major influence in the film. Sadly, I believe that was the last mention of the wife. The Prisoner's story with the gold was horrible. I didn't know enough about the guy to make me see the evil in his ways. This ultimately led to an unclimactic ending with this Prisoner. Does anyone really know who Morris Chestnut's character was? How did he get the money to finance this operation, and how did he become the inside man? I needed answers of which Don Michael Paul was not willing to provide. The lack of story and weakness of the main characters knocked this film from four stars to two.

Finally, I would like to comment on the title. What does it mean? Was it a reference to the time when Sasha almost died, or is it a reference to the lack of caring about life from Ja-Rule and the inmates (remember his line, 'Tonight is a good time to die'). I don't know. This led me to the ultimate conclusion about this film. The director just didn't care. He was happy to have Seagal and Ja-Rule signed on, so everything else became second fiddle. In the range of action films, this is pretty poor. Unrealistic fighting with an overabundance of clichéd lines only plummeted this film deeper into the world of action. To be brutally honest, Ja-Rule cannot act, and this became a problem in this film. He needed a smaller film to get his feet wet and see if he was ready for the cinema world. Half Past Dead was not the best role for him. This film is the perfect example of a movie made just to get rap artists some screen time and attempt to bring an overweight action start from the 80s into the new generation. Sadly, in Half Past Dead it didn't work.

Grade: * out of *****


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