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63 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Mother Theresa in a gangbang! What is this???

Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
21 May 2005

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 they 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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38 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Steven Seagal is out to kill his career...

Author: AwesomeWolf from Australia
16 April 2005

Seagal is back, more monotonous than ever and with even less personality than usual. Unfortunately, that's only the beginning of all the problems with this so called 'movie'. Now, I'm a big fan of cheap, mindless action, but even I have limits. 'Out for a Kill' is beyond all hope.

Seagal plays Robert Burns, a Professor of Chinese History, and Killing People. Naturally, he has a secret past that he keeps hidden when he is framed by a Triad family. He is obviously innocent, but for the sake of keeping the movie going, and thereby torturing the mind of anyone watching , the lead cop decides he must be guilty, and he is thrown into a Chinese prison. Naturally, the DEA decides that if they release Burns, he'll do their job for them and take out the Triads, and so Burns is free to on a global stroll of death.

Sometimes laughably bad, but generally very cringe-worthy, 'Out for a Kill' is easily one of the worst movies I've seen. Right from the start when we are treated to poorly done CGI bullet-time, followed by a massive break from action clichés when bullets actually penetrate a car and kill a good guy. Some clichés we can do without, but action movies need the bullet-proof cars. Bullet-proof cars are an essential part of action movies, and one element you just don't mess with.

I still haven't scratched the surface, because after Oblowitz (the director) spits in the face of action-movie values, we get treated to a plot, a very poor plot. Now, I don't think anyone anywhere has ever watched a Seagal movie expecting a good story, but when there is not enough action to distract us, we will start paying attention to such things. In this case, Seagal swears he will get vengeance, but to do so, he must follow a series of clues which are - get this - conveniently tattooed on the arms of every bad guy Seagal kills. Bravo. It would have been much easier for everyone if the Triad boss just invited Seagal over for a game of mahjong. Throw in a pair of useless and annoying cops who follow Seagal everywhere and many pointless scenes, and you may start to get an idea of how bad this movie really is.

There are a few action sequences in the movie, but maybe only two that are of any real worth. Sadly, the best bit of this movie is a scene in which Seagal takes on a monkey-boxer who can defy gravity. Well, there goes Seagal's unique style of using Aikido in action movies. A few more movies like this, and Seagal flicks are going to be nothing more than 3rd rate clones of Hong Kong action movies, mark my word. Most of the fights are poorly choreographed and poorly edited, all based around trying to make Seagal look like an action hero while trying to hide the fact that he is still out of shape. It worked in 'Half Past Dead', but not here.

Onto even more bad news: Here Seagal tries to act a lot, and his character is just boring. I never thought a boring action hero could exist, but here you are. He is more monotonous than usual, his character rarely says or does anything amusing (there is only one scene where his character does or says something cool) and just lacks personality. As for the bad guy, the movie returns to his office every few minute just so he can repeat what he has been saying for the whole movie, which is something like: "The professor is giving us trouble, we must get rid of him". I actually felt tempted to barrack for the bad guy, had he not been so repetitive and annoying.

Some final complaints: The special effects are pretty bad. Apart from the once-off terrible use of bullet-time, the fake backgrounds stand off as being laughable. Would filming in daylight have been that hard? As for Seagal speaking Chinese: it sounds worse than his use of Italian in 'Out for Justice'.

'Out for a Kill' is a terrible movie. Well deserving of its place in IMDb's worst 100 movies (it could probably take a higher spot...). I would not recommend it to fans of Seagal, but anyone willing to see something so bad it offends that it will offend good conscience should have a quick look - 1/10

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46 out of 62 people found the following review useful:


Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
23 August 2003

Men have a place in their brains called the macho cortex (MC) buried in the limbic system which, when sufficiently stimulated, turns us into drooling morons with only two desires; survival and sex, not necessarily in that order. Most action flicks are designed to stimulate the MC by flooding our senses with big, ugly dudes who are bad (we don't care why) and we want to see killed or luscious babes who are good (all babes are good, even bad ones) and we want to...well, you know. This parses as Big, ugly = bad, Babe = good. All we need is some kind of Rambo-like hero with whom we can identify and, presto, we're there, vicariously getting off as we watch the hero (us) waste the bad guys while the babes swoon.

The problems with the formula in Seagal's formula action outing "Out for a Kill" are manifold. First, the hero, Seagal, doesn't fit the strong, silent type paradigm because he looks like a porky zombie on ludes. Second, the hero is married and then quickly widowed. So, now we're stuck with a porky zombie on ludes who is in mourning. Yuck! Thirdly, as Seagal trucks through a plot flatter than a saltine, there are no babes watching or waiting to drop their skivvies at the end. So, where's the prize? No respectable action hero would go to so much trouble with no hotties watching and waiting. Hottie cop Goh is waiting at the end but she's a platonic thing because she can't jump the hero since he's in mourning. Duh! Therefore, all the killing is a needless, senseless waste of time, the MC never gets engaged, and we, the men, are left with no reason to drool so boredom sets in and that's a bad thing. (C-)

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30 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Out for a script rewrite

Author: F_Jenkins from la
26 August 2003

Whew. I only rented this because I saw some good comments in the IMDB and now I'm starting to lose my faith in people's opinions in this forum.

Yet another horrible Seagal movie, just plain awful, worthy of its straight-to-video status. In this one, maybe the worst casting of Seagal's career, he plays an archeologist and a professor. I laughed when they first referred to him as a professor in the film. And like all archeologists, he wears his Friday night leather when he digs in the hot sun, and of course, is a martial arts wizard.

There are so many holes in the plot, it's embarrassing. When he is "framed" at the beginning, there isn't a cop in the world who would actually believe he was smuggling drugs, but luckily, in this film, the two main cops are about as smart as third graders, who by the way, I believe was the grade of the people who wrote this script.

In each film, Seagal gets fatter and fatter and he STILL has that stupid mullet hair cut. Someone, please, tell Seagal to get rid of that hair style.

Luckily, now that anyone who can actually finance a movie has realized that Seagal can't act and can't make a good movie, the best he'll be doing are these straight-to-video crappy films. Safe to say, this is the last Seagal film I'll ever see.

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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Seagal fans avoid this turkey at all costs

Author: id247 from United Kingdom
31 December 2004

I haven't seen The Foreigner but if it's the same director Michael Oblowitz, then avoid it and this film like the plague. Talk about directing/editing basics, this man has no idea of either when it comes to action films. I've liked most of Seagal's films but this is lower than the pits.

Oblowitz has no idea how to edit or direct an action film, he should go back to film school and start again. In fact Oblowitz don't bother.

A disaster for Seagal, the biggest bore of a film I've seen for a long time, to give it 1 out of 10 is being too kind.

Real Shyte.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

What a total disaster!

Author: jntipton from USA
20 August 2003

Where, oh, where do you begin talking about the plethora of problems with a film like this? This film is technically and artistically inept from beginning to end. It plays as if it were literally assembled out of scenes from other films and slapped together as this mess. Most of Seagal's dialogue was added in post-production because he's always speaking when he's out of frame -- an obvious sign that this thing - story and all - was basically created in the cutting room. The director uses odd transitions and focus pulls for no reason. Boring slow motion scenes are an obvious attempt to push the movie out to a full 90 minutes. Transitions are abrupt and make no sense -- all of a sudden Seagal is in the middle of a car chase that goes nowhere. Characters appear from nowhere, and lesser characters suddenly have voice-over inner monologues that make no sense. Every rule of common sense filmmaking and storytelling are completely broken. The plot makes no sense. Everytime we see the bad guys they are in the same room, at the same table, wearing the same clothes -- again, obviously shot in one day to piece this tub O' crap together in post production. The editing is choppy, the action clumsy, and the climax is a total joke. To be avoided at all costs. Surely one of the worst films made in recent memory. Seriously -- what were they thinking? Garbage.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Seagal went out and killed his career

Author: BroadswordCallinDannyBoy from Boston, MA
1 June 2004

Can he sink any lower? Probably yes, because at the rate he is going turning back is going to be very hard. It was after Exit Wounds that Seagal started his nose dive which has yet to end. Half Past Dead was a good step up from Ticker, but it still was only OK. Now we arrive at... ...this horrible film. It contains a bland to the max story of vengeance on the people who killed Seagal's wife. Some of the scenes are also so overly and ridiculously dramatic that you'll cringe. And Seagal, in this film, plays Seagal. That's right, he plays himself. He just shows up on screen pretending to be a professor and the audience expects him to start fighting with people soon and that's what happens.

No character development to speak of just mundane fights one after another. The bad guys are really stupid and just sit around a table somewhere. One by one they disappear and we are led to believe that they among the films body count. Does that sound dumb and confusing? Well that's because it is. 2/10

Rated R: violence and profanity

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Steven Seagal steps out... for a kill

Author: Darkfalz
3 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whereas we mere mortals might go out for a coffee, or out for a walk, Steven Seagal goes out for a KILL. Think about that for a moment. Killing a person for Seagal is quite a casual affair. He's THAT good.

Or at least, he was. A long, long time ago. Seagal is these days tired looking and FAT. His stunt double does most of his fighting for him. These are the reasons that new Seagal films are so much fun to watch and laugh at. This one is especially bad.

*** SPOILERS ***

Seagal plays a professor (no really), in fact, "Yale's most distinguished academic" for his work in Chinese archeology (or something). He's on a dig and some mobsters show up who are using the finds to smuggle drugs, and one of them steps on a plate. Seagal asks "Who is this guy?" and brilliantly deduces that he's not a real archaeologist based on the fact he steps on ancient plates. They figure Seagal has uncovered their plot, so a chase ensues where his ugly token Asian female assistant is shot in a laughable "bullet time" moment (was BT ever that interesting anyway?).

He gets arrested and the better looking Asian female cop releases him because he's Steven Seagal, and the plot has to move forward. So a bunch of sword wielding ninjas attack him suddenly at the assistant's funeral and Seagal's double fights them off. Here's another thing I should mention, this film frequently jumps from country to country, yet we never see anyone get on a plane. Amazing. And another thing that bothered me is Seagal seems to have recorded most of his dialogue in post, because his every spoken line sounds like a voice over.

Anyway, the mobsters (who are all sitting around a table in France the whole time while they disappear one by one, as if they wouldn't get underlings to do their dirty work) blow up his house, killing his wife (who happens to look like a model, like we're really expected to think she'd want to marry a fat greasy old professor) while Seagal stands out side looking ridiculous in an obvious blue screen composite, and now it's really time for Seagal to go OUT FOR A KILL.

Seagal relaxes for a while while his stunt double kills a whole lot of guys - wait a minute, I thought this was "a kill", singular? I guess not. One of them is with this monkey guy who can climb walls and keeps scratching himself. Seagal's fight double is very obvious in this scene because he's about 50 lbs thinner and much younger looking.

This continues until Seagal reaches the last guy he was out to kill, and kills him in the most ridiculous fashion imaginable.

I should mention the funniest moment in the whole movie. While Seagal is in prison, he meets a token black guy (I guess Kurupt and DMX were busy?), and just as the black guy is starting to tell his story about how he ended up in prison, it fades to a different scene. When it returns, Seagal is being released, he tells the black guy he's a friend for life, and the black guy yells out "Don't forget me!" And that's the last we ever see or hear of him!


The acting in this movie is terrible, which isn't surprising considering everyone is an unknown. I guess Seagal doesn't want to get upstaged by his supporting cast? The direction is equally bad, and made even worse in post by two things. Firstly, there is slo mo put in places for no apparent reason. We see a slo mo scene of Seagal putting a piece of paper into a plastic sleeve. Why? It has absolutely no relevance to the movie at all. Also Seagal's opponents frequently slo mo, maybe to make Seagal look fast by comparison? Who knows. Secondly, there is the most blatant and stupid overuse of on screen text (complete with stupid computer sounds) I've ever seen in a movie. We're told who villains are, what they do, and even their hobbies - via on screen text. It's also not enough that a location hasn't changed and that it's obviously later that night, we have to be TOLD exactly where we are (even when it's a place we've already seen) and what time it is! It's like they payed the text guy for an hour and he'd done his work in 10 minutes, so they spent the next 50 minutes coming up with extra things for him to put in.

This film is a laughable joke, much like Seagal, but you should see it for that very reason. Watching a former star's career plummet so low is a guilty pleasure, especially when it happens to be Steven Seagal.

3 out of 10

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

With this one, Seagal has reached an all time low.

Author: Chad (celaw21) from USA
23 August 2003

I know there's really no excuse for renting a Steven Seagal movie these days but what can I say? I started watching his films as a kid (I saw his first film, ABOVE THE LAW at the theatre along with all that followed) and I figure since I've seen every one I can't stop now. Besides, I thought HALF PAST DEAD was a decent B action movie and I even got somewhat of a kick out of THE FOREIGNER even though I know it was a terrible film. I think I just enjoyed the bad guys (Max Ryan above the others) in that one for the most part though.

Well, Seagal has reached an all time low with his latest effort, appropriately titled OUT FOR A KILL (a cross between Seagal's OUT FOR JUSTICE and HARD TO KILL). Now I'm not gonna accuse Seagal of ever being able to act but in this one he's worse than ever before. Words roll of his tongue like he's hypnotized and void of all emotion. Not to mention that every time some text appears on the screen to tell you where the characters are, the words look like you've accessed the subtitle button yet you'll hear a sound like it's being typed out on a computer. If you don't know what I mean, you'll see if you're unfortunate enough to actually watch this one. This was the longest ninety-minute movie I have ever laid eyes on and I even had to put the fast forward button to use.

What's funny is, I went into this one expecting a bad movie (like I said before, I saw THE FOREIGNER, not to mention TICKER) and got something far worse. If the writer and director of this trash made more than 99 cents together than some poor producer wasted their cash (ha, Seagal received a producing credit on this one – way to go tough guy). I mean this is way below the caliber of even Seagal's previous bad ones. Poor guy. I don't know if you're supposed to feel sorry for an action hero in a movie but I did. He had to use camera tricks and stand in's to make it seem like he was even punching a guy. Seagal really shouldn't make any more movies. Oh well, as long as he does, I'll probably keep on renting ‘em. They're good for a laugh at least.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Poor even by Seagal's standards – derivative, messy and delivered with less care and effort than a fast food burger

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
9 January 2006

When he finds that his Chinese artefacts are really being used to smuggle drugs across the world, archaeologist Professor Robert Burns (no, really) makes a break for the border. His colleague dies in the ensuing chase but he makes it to safety, only to framed and arrested for the very crime of drug running. The American DEA get him released and he goes back home to his wife. However the criminals who framed him, come back after him and, when they miss him, kill his wife instead. Of course what they didn't know was that the mild mannered and slightly portly Professor was once one the world's greatest thieves and a martial arts expert to boot and, when he is struck, he strikes back.

Early on in this film, Professor Burns notes that pilot "Crash" Kupper used to fill proper airplanes and that his current job of flying rubbish little passenger planes shows that his career has really taken a turn for the worse. About 90 minutes later I couldn't help wonder how many takes they had to do of that scene before they were able to get Seagal to deliver the line without the irony bringing tears to his eyes (although his "highs" were never really that high were they?) because even by his standards "Out for a Kill" is a poor film, whose unimaginative title only hints at the dreariness to come. All the clichés are present – a hero who "used to be a top etc", a shady mastermind etc etc. None of it really engaged me and the globe-trotting nature of it just didn't work at all. Usually the action makes up for all the rubbish but here it was also pretty poor; the direction of them are unimpressive and attempts at something fancy in the barber shop were really just ridiculous.

The cast can do nothing to stop the rot, in fact they are a big part of the problem. In every scene Seagal looks like someone has just woken him up and that he just wants to get this all over and done with. He mumbles his way through it, only doing well with a bit of the action here and there. Goh is equally as bad and her narration is just plain awful in terms of dialogue and delivery. Johnson doesn't have much to do and just hangs around till someone decides he isn't needed any more. The support cast are made up of Asian actors who fill space on the screen and a baddie who we know is a baddie because he spends all his time in a big room, smoking – they must have shot all his scenes in about a week.

Overall this is a poor film and even fans of Seagal will struggle to find any value in this one. The direction is messy and derivative while the actual story could only aspire to those standards. The cast clearly are not up for it one bit and Seagal looks like a man carrying a crushed spirit as he repetitively goes through the motions with a lot of mumbling and a dead look in his eyes.

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