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The second piece of Seagal action to come out this year, the second
dire straight to video offering from him as well. While Belly Of The
Beast had some enjoyment laughing at the over the top action this film
is so painfully bad that it is almost upsetting. Now I have never been
the biggest Seagal fan. Having said that I have enjoyed watching his
earlier films. They were pure dumb and ultra violent films with an
enjoyably pretentious moralistic attitude. Seagal had that kind of
Italian American, Brooklyn tough guy thing going on, his kind of De
Niro and Brando impersonation. Since Under Siege though, he has become
the eco-Zen- Warrior with absolutely no personality. He was in decent
shape as well, never the ripped muscle man like Arnie, Sly and Van
Damme but a real man kind of size and he was very quick. The action
scenes in those films were brutal and slick and we would see in full
glory the aikido from Seagal. Nowadays Seagal, after one two many pies,
is looking very withered and old and overweight. In modern Seagal
fights the are film extremely tightly with the odd wide shot featuring
his stunt double and is edited in such a way to hide the fact that he
is just not quick enough anymore. Seagal looks tragically bloated and
sweaty and almost repugnant. I cannot see how even the most ardent
Seagal fan could be anything but devastated seeing him do films like
this and looking the way he does. Somehow he still sells a movie but at
this rate it won't be for long.
Out Of Reach is the worst Seagal film ever, and considering Ticker, Foreigner and Out For A Kill, that takes some doing. This is a film that even z grade action men like Lorenzo Lamas and Don Wilson would want scratched off their CV. The plot has Seagal as a former government agent who runs a animal shelter (oh my god, when will he realize he's not captain planet.). He then finds out that a young girl who he is pen pals with (isn't that a horrible picture, an old sweaty git having correspondence with a little girl) is kidnapped and sold as a slave, Seagal has to come out of retirement and stop the bad guys who are lead by Matt Schulze. The film despite being a reasonable 20 million dollar budget looks painfully cheap. The film is so lazily put to together and Seagal is so bad it beggars belief. There are so many signs that he can't be bothered and is past it, form constant doubling, lazy use of a stand in and several moments when he is clearly dubbed, probably because he whispers through the while film and you can't hear him. The only times you hear what Seagal is saying is when he is being dubbed. He really doesn't want to be their and being the big name of such a crappy little picture no-one would have told him to pull his finger out. Someone needs to slap him and tell him that for the money he his paid and that they plough into his movies his fans expect a lot more. He is currently the top earner and audience grabber of the straight to video action market but if he continues like this he will be overtaken by Van Damme and Lundgren and others below them. There are rumours his next film, Into The Sun is to be distributed to theaters by his beloved Warner Brothers but I really don't see it. It is tragic and says a lot about the industry that they could make the biggest pile of poo known to man and sell it simply by plastering his ugly mug on the front.
I watched this simply out of curiosity and merely because it was a Seagal film, these DTV stars release these films and although they are generally bad there has to be a certain minimal standard of enjoyment. Van Damme, Lundgren are keeping this up with their recent efforts, but Seagal who has the highest expectations must up his game or retire. He certainly is not convincing as a tough guy any more. *
After the last two Seagal movies I saw, "Out to Kill" and the God-Awful
"The Foreigner": I was pleasantly surprised by this offering. It seems
that director Michael Oblowitz out of the way, (at least for now)
Seagal movies may improve.
Of course, this is still a bad straight to video affair; in which the plot again is odd! William Lancing (Seagal) a former covert agent who now lives in some forest in the United States; looking after animals. He seems alone and his only form of friendship is (very disturbingly) his Pen Pal "friend"; a young girl through a Polish orphanage.
However, it becomes apparent that the foster orphanage is not what it seems. When the girl is taken out of the orphanage; the "pen pal" letter communication is intervened. Suspecting something is wrong and head to Poland to investigate! What follows from that plot; is actually return of Seagal's "best moves". I haven't seen Belly of the Beast fully yet; but after the two Oblowitz movies in 2003; this really seems as a "phase" on the correct track. Whether, it will bring Seagal back into the big screen and return to his glory "Warner Bros." days is doubtful. He still comes off as a sick old guy that has stunt doubles doing his work for him. But who knows?!
7/10 A BIG IMPROVEMENT CONSIDERING HIS RECENT PREVIOUS FEATURES!
Well, I have to say I am very disappointed. Again. I'd like to start
this commentary by saying that I'm myself a fan of Mr. Seagal and have
followed his career in motion pictures since I first saw the superb
"Above The Law" back in 1989. This information is just to clarify, that
I'm not here to bash Seagal just because it seems to be the "hip" thing
It's fair to say that Seagal's cv hasn't looked very impressive since "Under Siege" over ten years ago. It's been a slow downhill with a few exceptions like fairly enjoyable "US 2" and dumb but entertaining "Exit Wounds". With his Hong Kong influenced "Belly Of The Beast" outing I dared to expect something of a comeback for our beloved thespian, but "Out Of Reach" sends him right back where he was with the dreadful "The Foreigner" and even more horrible "Out For A Kill". You could sum this commentary with one sentence: no more polish action films. The production values of "OOR" are minimal, script has holes for trucks to go through and the acting. Oh lord, the acting. Through out the entire film it is just plain torture to watch. Let's face it - Seagal has never been exactly Oscar material, but he has had his moments. Not in this one. I just don't get why on earth they have to dub his voice with these totally moranic voice overs? And this time it happens a lot, even in the middle of the scene in where he has spoke with his own voice in the beginning.
Seagal has dropped some weight, but it is still a stretch to buy him as an action hero. His moves are slow (still the show them most of time in slow motion!!) and he uses stunt doubles a lot. Action in "OOR" is quite minimal and fairly up to basic standards even for a movie this scale. The brothel shoot out is OK, but the final duel between Seagal and Matt Schulze is a major let down. And while speaking of Mr. Schulze it should be noted that Seagal's acting really isn't the worse in "OOR". Schulze, who delivered good performances in "Blade 2" and "The Transporter" is totally lost with the role of Faisal The Ultimate Bad Guy. His pseudo sophisticated character is probably one of the most lame villains ever supplied with incredibly stale dialogue.
Like noted, the acting in whole is pure crap and it seems that many of the polish actors don't even know English - they just repeat what the director or who ever tells them to say. There really are no good performances in "OOR" except the small cameo of Nick Brimble and momentarily the girl who plays Seagal's pen pal. There are numerous just idiotic scenes like the one where the little girl is held captive in the basement of a castle where villains are having a big party. She is guarded by one of the villains and asks him something like "Why are you not invited to the party?" The bad guy totally loses it and screams: "Stop trying to get inside my head!" Whoa. Then there are the goofy scenes where Seagal wanderers in the forest "looking for injured animals". It is of course a beautiful concept, but the guy looks like a lost-in-the-woods member of a motorcycle gang. And the final still picture before the end credits start to roll. What the heck were they thinking in the editing room? "Wow, NOW this movie works like it should!"
I did my best to come up with even one positive thing about "OOR", but it just seems impossible. How can talented(?) people mess up this bad and what in heaven's name did Seagal see in this project that made him want to get into it? Is he proud of his Poland era of film making?
If you are a fan of Seagal you have to ask yourself a question: did you like him as the arrogant ass kicker from his Warner Brothers days or do you prefer this independent (no big studio wants to touch him with a ten foot pole?) filmmaker -version of him? If your heart beats for his neat ponytail wearing, black leather jacket and jeans -period then do your self a favor and leave "OOR" alone. As sad as it might seem.
This was a stink bomb. Please, let "Into The Sun" be better.
The frowning morose pony tailed log never quits, man. I mean he has
been a retired CIA/soldier/environmentalist since forever. All his
crappy movies have the f**king same plot.He lives a quiet blah-blah
life in a quiet place and the stupid and loud evil man comes and
disturbs his well balanced life. He then turns into this quiet and wise
fighter who not only beats the living crap out of the bad man, but
insists on him to admit he was wrong, this being the ultimate
punishment/humiliation his simple high school bully-like mind can dream
of.Also he wears the same pretentious ugly three quarter length coat
with an elaborate trim in every movie, be it set in the jungle, the
city or a remote village.Nowadays he really looks like a retired
something and he still doesn't quit, although the budget, supporting
cast and generally C-type film quality is a hint as to where it's all
going.I mean is he really going to make the same movie over and over to
I'm looking forward to the retirement from show business of this sad Buddha reincarnation wannabe. Not even good to laugh at anymore.
After the semi-entertaining,back to basics approach of Belly of the
Beast it appeared that Seagal was on a minor comeback.Then along comes
out of reach to flush all that down the toilet.
Seagal is a retired agent(how many times can one man play a retired agent!!!)who crashes a human slavery ring in Poland headed by Matt(Transporter)Shultze.Get ready for some bone-breaking,gun-fighting,neck-breaking mania that never happens.Its not that it is totally boring,just unexceptional.
Out of reach is missing a lot of the trademarks that make up a Steven Seagal movie.Not a lot of hand to hand action.More gunfighting instead. The final Mano a Mano between Shultze and Seagal is just modest at best.Seagal actually takes a few hits.The setting seems like the same faceless location of his last three movies.
Seagal is a little better here.He handles the fights okay.But the dubbing and the raspy voice make one question his health.Ida Nowakowska holds her own and does a pretty good acting job as the cop helping Seagal.Matt Schultze is the best thing Out of reach has going for it.He plays a nasty villain as usual with high potential.But ends up wasted and Ill used.
Good Idea undone by producers?Bad Director?Star?Who knows.It had some potential.Its mauled by one of those freeze-frame-feel good endings.
I paid nearly 4 bucks to rent this and I don't feel good.
Steven Seagal picks good topics and he takes good positions on them, but this film is like most of his others in failing on the level of craft. I don't know why this keeps happening to someone whose martial arts experience obviously taught him about the importance of precise execution and continuous refinement, but in any case this film is sloppy. Sometimes it's as simple as parallel action whose locations aren't clear, or too-familiar action scenes, or very slow staging of the obvious, like the initial seizure of the children. More importantly, it's careless or shallow thinking about the characters and their relationship to each other: the villains are pure psychopaths, the kids are pure innocence, the trafficking is simple kidnapping from a crooked orphanage - nothing beyond the matinée B-movie level of white/black hats is made concrete. There's something stubborn and unnecessary about Seagal staying on this mediocre level.
I feel so ashamed...I watched this movie from beginning to end. What
can I say? I'm an idiot. I could have spent the time doing something
much more enjoyable, like blinding myself with toothpicks or drinking
lit Sterno. But, no, I watched and I suffered.
Segal's acting was never passable and his movie scripts were always formulaic and tedious, but his mastery of Aiki-Jitsu made the movies great. Now, he relies on gun battles almost completely. I think it's because he has trouble lifting his arms. The use of a double was so apparent throughout the film one has to wonder if Segal spent more than a weekend in Poland working on this movie. They even had a double dubbing his lines. But, to his voice double's credit, he did do a superb job of getting Segal's voice exactly, perfectly wrong. Either he's so fat that he can't breath deeply enough to talk (can you say Orson Wells and Marlon Brando) or they couldn't keep the food out of his mouth long enough to record the tracks. Judging from his sweaty, greasy, bloated and just plain frightening close-ups, what time he spent in Poland was most likely spent at the blini stand. Really, he looks like a Mr. Potato Head that's been dipped in oil. I think he has become the evil clone of Elvis. A huge, disgusting mockery of the genre. Unlike Elvis, though, he never really had talent. His self-created persona of the "Special Ops Killer" turned Ghandi is wearing so thin that even Paris Hilton has more credibility. However, I'll bet Segal's breasts are bigger.
Another point... I don't understand going to another country to make a cheap movie. There isn't anything in this movie that isn't here in America. We have lots of nice buildings and plenty of lousy, unknown actors. But, it seems the really bad American movies have to be made in foreign countries. Perhaps his next movie can be filmed in Nauru or Tuvalu. Or, even better, how about in his backyard using his cell phone camera? Can't be any worse.
Here are a few title suggestions for his next movie:
1) Out of Breath 2) Out of Ideas 3) Out of Cheetos 4) Out of His Mind 4) Hard to Watch 5) Out to Lunch 6) The Fatriot 7) Belly of the Star 8) Box of Clementines 9) Today You Diet 10) Enormous Shadow Man 11) Heart Attack Force 12) Fat of Fury and, of course... 13) Marked for $1.99
We all know what the story line will be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Steven Seagal followed the great action movie Belly of the Beast with the slightly inferior, but still highly enjoyable Out of Reach. I am glad to say that although Steven Seagal is an action star, he did a great job of acting too, and I think that Out of Reach carries his best performance in years. The story wasn't only supported by action and gun battles, but by good acting all around, being Steven Seagal and actress Ida Nowakowska the ones who gave the film's heart and soul. In Out of Reach, Steven plays Lancing, a former, retired CIA agent seeking for inner peace by living in contact with nature, helping wounded animals and exchanging letters with an orphan girl, Irena, with whom he develops a beautiful friendship. Things take a tragic turn when Irena is abducted by scumbags who sell children in the black market for prostitution. Decided to make matters his own, Steven comes out of retirement to bring back the girl and give the scumbags what they deserve. As I said, I enjoyed Steven's job here, people complain about his weight, I should add that for his age he is still great and a lot better looking than he was in Ticker, for example. As a matter of fact, he doesn't let weight get in the way of his fighting skills, and as usual, delivers his impressive martial arts moves impressively. Ida Nowakowska as Irena was a joy to watch, a gifted, talented and beautiful new actress, she gave depth to her character, I hope to see more of her in the future. Agnieska Wagner paired well as a sidekick with Seagal. The action scenes were well staged and shot. The use of locations were terrific, specially by the ending, a fight between Seagal and Matt Schulze that takes place inside a castle, great photography there, and over all, a good use of the landscapes of Polony. The only weak link here is the final fight scene, I must say. SPOILERS AHEAD It started out great, but when Steven Seagal and Matt went on with a sword fight, it lost a little bit of its power. I prefer the hand to hand combat scenes, for instance the ones in Under Siege 2 and in Clementine, when he can clarify that indeed he is incredibly gifted in martial arts, being Judo in the end of Under Siege 2, when he beats Everet McGill, and Aikido, in Clementine, when he beats Jun Lee. There is a little bit of fight in the end of Out of Reach, basically Steven tries to choke Matt, he delivers a few blows to Seagal's stomach, runs away, Seagal chases him and then they get into a sword battle. END OF SPOILERS. Out of Reach is an obligatory must have for Seagal fans, don't believe the bad reviews, it's a typical, good action movie, entertaining like the old ones made in the eighties, that unfortunately aren't made like they used to be anymore.
Does Seagal watch his own movies anymore? This was the WORST Seagal movie EVER! And I love Seagal. It lacked everything including action and acting. This movie went no where and made no sense. It jumps from scene to scene with no explanation at all about what happened. I cannot believe I sat through this waiting for it to get better....it never happened. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME! A girl that writes codes in the Caviar? It goes to a building with phones that ring and give their entire plot away and Seagal just walks in to a dead guy on the phone after Seagal steals all the information he needs. I cannot say again....DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
William "Billy Ray" Lansing (Seagal) is an ex-military, ex-government
agent who now spends his time wandering around the woods of Alaska
aimlessly and being a penpal to a 13 year old Polish girl. Seems like a
natural career transition. When Billy Ray senses something amiss, he
heads to Poland to see if Irina (Nowakoska), his penpal, is alright.
While there he teams up with local law enforcement agent Kasia
(Wagner)...and discovers a nefarious human trafficking operation led by
the super-evil Faisal (Schulze). Luckily, he taught Irina how to create
and read secret codes (which is perhaps why she signed on to this
penpal program in the first place, why else would she?) - so they
continue to communicate via code even though they are separated and
he's hot on her trail. Will Billy Ray find her and take down the
baddies in the process? Seagal's hair in this particular outing is just
silly. It's a black, strange-looking mullet of some kind. Perhaps he
caught it in the wilds of Alaska where he now lives. By "him" we mean
Billy Ray, of course. This movie might even make an ideal double
feature with Radical Jack, because that features one Billy Ray Cyrus.
And it's not just his odd hair and choice of winter coats that's funny.
A lot of his dialogue is overdubbed by someone who is clearly not
Seagal. The guy they chose to do this voice-over work has a much
higher-pitched voice, not to mention the fact that he speaks clearly
and doesn't slur his words. So that's funny, and there are many scenes
that are clearly not Seagal in front of the camera as well, most
notably his "walking around in the woods" scenes. Did they think the
audience wouldn't notice it's some other guy? But while the movie gets
off to a very strange start, it eventually falls into a cross between
Taken (2009) and the TV show To Catch A Predator, with a little Seagal
on top for good measure. (Also, Seagal is some sort of master of
disguise in this movie and goes by a bunch of different fake names, one
of which is "Nikolai Rachenko". This is also Dolph Lundgren's name in
Red Scorpion, 1988. Could this be just a coincidence? But if not, the
writers really shouldn't remind the audience of a far superior action
star). Schulze makes for a good baddie, and you know he's evil because
A. He has evil blonde highlights, B. He plays chess and enjoys fencing
and C. He seems to live in an M.C. Escher painting. But don't forget
that there's an illegal Polish internet. And to never eat sushi without
decoding the secret message invariably buried within the California
But this is another slyly insulting title for a Seagal movie, along the lines of Belly Of The Beast (2003) and Shadow Man (2006). Who's titling these things? And are they getting a good chuckle? And is Seagal getting wise to it? Isn't it a bit too easy -- "Out Of Reach" -- for a sandwich? For a donut? Make up your own fat joke. And the fact that some of the movie was set in Turkey can't be an accident. The filmmakers probably asked Seagal where he wanted to shoot the movie and he just blurted out "Turkey". But odds are he was just going to blurt that out anyway and wasn't paying attention to what they were saying to him. But to be fair, there is some cool camera-work and good shots in this movie. But Out Of Reach needed more Martial Arts. Fencing battles and gunplay is all well and good, but we want to see Seagal do more of his classic slap-fighting. Isn't that why we're all really on board? In all, Out Of Reach is a pretty entertaining entry in the 2000's DTV canon of Seagal. There's enough out-and-out silliness to keep you engaged, and that's more than you can say for a lot of his other work.
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