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Archeology Professor Robert Burns is on location leading an important dig in the ancient ruins on the Far Eastern Chinese border. He accidentally discovers that the Chinese Mafia, the Tong, is using his newly discovered ancient Chinese artifacts to hide and smuggle narcotics across the border. Robert immediately tries to flee with his assistant and narrowly manages to escape the pursuing Tong but not without a heavy price. His loyal assistant is killed and he is framed with the evidence at the Chinese border by the Chinese military and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He is locked up in a Chinese prison where he is guilty until proven innocent. His loving wife Maya vows to help get him out of jail. The DEA finally convinces the Chinese military that Robert may be of more help to them outside jail by leading them to the real smugglers. Once he leaves his Chinese prison cell Robert would rather enjoy his freedom back in the U.S. and keep his past behind him, but The Tong catches up to him ... Written by
Philip Steinman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Either Steven Seagal has absolutely NO self-respect or the Mob were just too damn scary for him when it came to signing the contract for this total pile of crap.
They couldn't even be bothered to come up with an good title. Instead the took Hard to Kill and Out for Justice and combined them (Hard to Justice?). But don't even think for one minute that this film is up to the standards of Seagal's golden years. You'll NEVER see anything worse than this. Well, Son of the Mask maybe.
Seagal plays an archaeologist (well, it's a change from Cop or ex-CIA) who's precious Chinese artifacts and pots are seized by the Tong (the non-threatening Chinese Syndicate baddies) and stuffed with brown sugar (or cocaine, I don't know). Big Steve stumbles upon this dastardly deed and takes off for the Uzbekistan border. A hundred baddies come out of nowhere and start firing at him.
Big Steve is promptly framed and sent to jail, where he meets a character introduced as his new sidekick but is quickly forgotten about and never seen or heard from again. What the hell was the point in this? It turns out that Steve used to be in the CIA (oh for the love of crumb cake) and was their best ghost thief (huh?) and the DEA release him for some reason and he goes home to his quiet American suburb, where the Tong blow up his wife and house.
Steve goes on a killing spree. But what helps is that every Chinaman who's neck he breaks has a one-word tattoo on his arm that when added up makes an ancient Chinese proverb that provides the right order of tiles to push in case of fire in the Tong bosses office. What? Don't look at me! I didn't write this! The bad guys don't do anything apart from sit at a long table in a poorly-lit and cold-looking room and smoke cigars while looking evil. The boss isn't even Chinese but an Ian Hislop-lookalike with bushy eyebrows. Every 10 minutes the film will jump to them (subtitles list their hobbies and interests for some strange reason!) and the boss goes 'We have to stop him, he knows too much'.
The fight scenes are horrible. What is the deal with the kung-fu monkey barber? Seriously! What is the deal with that? The computer-generated effects are the worst ever (second to Son of the Mask, nothing will beat that in terms of terribleness). I've seen more convincing stuff on a ZX Spectrum.
Seagal puts NO effort into this film. He looks incredibly bored through-out and looks like he'd rather be praying to Budda. However, you can almost see Frankie Fingers from The Mob loitering off-camera, pointing a gun at his head. I know I wouldn't show enthusiasm if that were the case.
Out for a Kill is directed by Mike Oblonglowiscz, the same amateur responsible for the equally as horrible The Foreigner. The man has NO idea how to make films and should never be allowed near a camera again. He desperately tries to mime Michael Bay (a dubious choice of inspiration) with his pointless stutter-cuts and incoherent editing which only makes the film look worse, turning it into an avalanche on top of another avalanche. It's quite possibly one of the ugliest-looking film you'll ever see. Considering some of the high-profile and veteran production members it's phenomenal they made a film so indescribably bad.
Eternal, everlasting shame on all those involved with making this trash. Utter crap of the lowest order.
The DVD is in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, showing off the ugly photography and poorly planned camera angles in all their rubbishy glory. The Dolby 5.1 soundtrack also turns the films unbelievably bad sound design into pure torture for the ears. The cover also features 2 exploding helicopters. There are no helicopters in the entire film, never mind exploding ones.
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