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Ten years ago, Jake Hopper was a CIA agent who was stationed in Thailand. Then one day, things went sour, and his partner, Sunti barely escaped with his life...after accidentally killing a woman. Jake called it quits and returned to the United States when his wife died, and Sunti became a Buddhist monk to atone for his sins. For the past 10 years, Jake has run a successful private security business, and has been raising his daughter Jessica, who is now an adult. While hiking in Thailand, Jessica and her friend Sarah Winthorpe are kidnapped. A group of Islamic fundamentalists known as the Abu Karaf claims responsibility. Sarah is the daughter of United States senator John Winthorpe. For ransom, the Abu Karaf demand the release of 20 prisoners from American custody. The US Secretary of State urges restraint -- he won't negotiate. Tom Collins, an ex-colleague of Jake's, recognizes Jessica on the ransom tape and tips Jake off. Jake knows that he must rescue the girls himself. An old CIA ... Written by
Siu-Tung Ching supposedly filmed much of the action scenes without the involvement of Steven Seagal, opting to film Seagal's shots last, but conflict arose when Seagal insisted on filming his shots in a way that wouldn't accommodate the existing footage. Ching is said to have left the set, taking his stunt crew with him and welcoming Seagal to finish the scene by himself. This infuriated the producers, who convinced Seagal to go along with Ching's approach. See more »
The empty bullet casings dropped from a Humvee-mounted machine gun are the ones from blanks , not the ones from real cartridges. With a normal cartridge the casings would end with a large hole where the bullet was. See more »
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs
In quite the most ground-breaking,inspired plot of recent years,Steven 'isn't-it-time-you-moved-over-to-Canderal?' Seagal plays Jake Hopper,an ex CIA operative who's now living a quiet existence as a surveillance expert.Then his daughter is kidnapped,along with another more prominent girl,by a terrorist organization called the Abu Karaf.Unless imprisoned members of the group are freed,they will both be killed.Henceforth,Hopper and his mate (that bloke out of Street Fighter) who's now living a quiet existence in a buddhist monastery set out to find them and settle the score with the bad guys.
"A father's rage knows no limit" boasts the tagline of Seagal's latest dud.Yes,a father's rage,conveyed with such over-whelming power,intensity and raw emotion by Steven Seagal in his most oscar worthy role yet.What better way to bring a father's venamous feelings to the surface than by having the camera lingering constantly on close-ups of your face and breathing rather heavily whenever an emotional scene emerges in the script.It's not just in said emotional scenes that ol' Stevey boy can be heard breathing rather heavily,however,but seemingly throughout large segments of the whole film,like a fat person would,which,along with the ridiculously over-the-top,unbelievable CGI fight scenes that he's far too fat and old to possibly be performing without the aid of a stunt double,just go to show how slow,wheazy and out of puff he is.Belly of the Beast is as dreadful a title as Out for a Kill,but it's a seemingly (and perhaps unwittingly) apt description of Seagal's present physical state.
But it's not just in the physical department that Seagal now needs aid,but,it would seem,in the verbal department too,with his voice quite glaringly dubbed in some parts (presumably he can't be bothered to even speak anymore).Maybe constantly receiving scripts as awful as this is making him lose the will to put any sort of effort in to his roles whatsoever.
I don't know what is becoming of Seagal or his films anymore.The majority of critics slammed all his work (bar Under Siege),even his early features,but I was able to see past them as more than just brainless action flicks churned out by the likes of Norris and Van Damme.True,his blatant lack of acting ability stood out perhaps even more so than his predecessors in all his films,but they usually,with the exception of Hard to Kill,at least seemed to contain some sort of underlying social message for us to consider whilst enjoying all the martial arts,explosions and gun-fire that was going on.Nowadays,though,they are just the opposite of that.They are just soulless,plotless drones of each other that the writers/producers cared nothing for and just made to see if they could grab a quick buck on the video market.
Belly of the Beast is as bad as Out for a Kill and The Foreigner before it (with or without Michael Oblowitz) and should be avoided accordingly.*
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