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Wow. There's a reason Steven Seagal films are just straight-to-video
fare now. This was another one that was at a friend's house so I
borrowed and watched it when I had a chance and boy-oh-boy, was it bad.
In this film, unlike other Seagal films, he plays a retired CIA agent with a pony tail who always wears one of those long overcoats in a movie with a three word title. Oh wait. That IS every Seagal movie.
Except now it's painfully obvious he doesn't care. He looks like the Michelen Man, his acting skills have not only gotten worse over time, but he didn't even bother to dub his own voice. They got someone else to do most of the dubbing and voice over who sounds absolutely nothing like Seagal, which totally threw me off for a while. I couldn't figure out why the girl was reading the letter sent to her by Seagal's character with someone else doing the voice over until I realized it was just another guy who dubs Seagal's voice in some parts of the movie.
The funniest thing off all, is the "coded message" the girl leaves in the sushi, which was nothing but sushi lined up with a piece of onion between every three pieces, but somehow Seagal's character was able to decipher an actual message from it. We did laugh out loud at that one. And watching the chubby Seagal do those fight scenes: close ups of a hand movie, a guy following and Seagal standing over him, pretty funny too. The fact this guy is still allowed to be in movies is amazing.
I've watched this film many times now and somehow, despite it's many obvious shortcomings, I still very much enjoy it. This is one of those straight to DVD grade movies from Seagal's "Fat Steven" period. By this time he has become a huge whale, waddling from scene to scene, devoid of grace. Also he is unconvincingly overdubbed in many scenes throughout the film, for whatever reason. And yet for me, there is still plenty to enjoy. Firstly the director choreographs what action there is well, so that it is coherent, while still effectively disguising Seagals physical shortcomings, and in general I found the action scenes were shot with a pleasing artistic flourish. Secondly the locations are well chosen, providing the kind of exotic glamour that has been a mainstay of the James Bond franchise for decades. For example the industrial building where the children are taken is completely impractical and irrelevant for that purpose, but it makes for a fantastic B grade "Villain's lair". It's a huge hanger like shed and when the big doors rumble back it is impressive, unfortunately the villains abandon this promising location part way through, before any battle ensues. The wonderful white courtyard of the Politechnika Warszawska Main Building is not a credible residence for a human trafficker either, but to me, an indelibly memorable location. So wonderful in fact, that in my mind it makes up for any shortcomings in the climactic battle between the ponderous Seagal and the villain. The "Stalin building" used for the cocktail party scene and the University Library are further memorable locations to enjoy. Thirdly I also found the casting to be on the money, Matt Schulze is always an effective villain, the kids were appealing and the female police officer struck the right balance in projecting both attractive and competent. Many of the supporting actors didn't speak English well, maybe they don't act well either, but a Polish accent in a film set in Poland adds an authenticity that easily offsets that. The movie follows the Seagal tradition of presenting his character as a disillusioned servant of the military industrial complex, who has become a spiritual seeker, finding peace in communion with animals and nature. And also briefly introduces some facts around human trafficking, which is a real world issue, both are architypal Seagal traits, which I find endearing, provided they don't get out of hand and reach "On Deadly Ground" proportions The script is not so great, but that is often not the deciding factor in the action movie genre. For me it is enough that the basic premise is sound, the vulnerable find a protector and are actually saved, rather than the hero just exacting empty revenge, as happens too often these days.
The rugged and chubby Steven Seagal is William Lansing, a caring ex-
CIA agent who takes care of injured animals and sponsors an orphanage
in Europe who also corresponds with one of the orphan's as a pen pal,
Irena (Ida Nowakowska.)
The orphanage is actually a front for a child sex trafficking ring run by Faisal (Matt Schulze) that kidnaps the teenage girl along with others to sell them to some Middle Eastern types it seems.
Seagal springs into action to rescue the girl. Of course as Seagal has put on some girth we get less action here, presumably not many fat stunt doubles around with martial arts expertise and we see Seagal using more brain power to solve riddles. Which presumably is the reason why he has a carpet on his head.
The plot is nonsense with lots of plot holes. At least Schulze takes it all seriously as the baddie and brings some style and menace as the villain. As an action film its boring and shows us a Seagal way past his glory days.
I'm checking out these later direct-to-DVD films of Seagal after years
of putting it off. Fearing the worst, I'd been a bit nervous about them
having read such dire reviews for most of them.
"Out of Reach" is really not good. Which is a big shame 'cause there's a decent story here lurking about which is given shamefully bad (incompetent?)treatment and the result is a forgettable and overall bad movie.
Human trafficking and the scumbags who deal in them is always a potential for powerful stuff. It's one of the most widespread problems the world faces and only the most despicable individuals involve themselves in it. Which is weird as well because it's so widespread. How can so many people be involved (directly or indirectly)? Well,"Out of Reach" may have had a higher purpose at some point but all is lost in this nonsensical and absurdly ridiculous film. It tells the tale of a former CIA man with a past (Seagal) who's been corresponding with a young girl in an orphanage in Poland. The girl is taken away by some traffickers and once her letters stop coming, Seagal gets suspicious and goes looking for her.
Implausibilities abound here as one ridiculous scenario is swiftly followed by another (the way the girl communicates with Seagal in codes is beyond absurd). The actors are bad, Seagal looks disinterested and, quite annoyingly, he's also partially dubbed by an actor who sounds nothing like him.
Good points; solid fighting scenes. Seagal always looks solid in the action department and the final sword play scene is well executed,though it looks like it belongs in another film.
"Out of Reach" could have been an OK film about a very important subject. Sadly it's not.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Steven Seagal stars as a former CSA agent, William Lansing, who discovers an orphan girl he corresponds with, Irena(Ida Nowakowska) has been kidnapped by Poland human traffickers, joining forces with a Warsaw detective, Kasia(Agnieszka Wagner) to find her(and to stop this whole sleazy operation by eliminating all those involved). Matt Schulze is the loathsome creep, Colonel Faisal, behind the whole human trafficking network, with plenty of foreign clientèle willing to pay big bucks for pretty girls yet of age. The CSA must be some sort of shadowy organization who send out assassins to remove specific targets for political reasons. It's a past Lansing wishes to cleanse himself of, yet those who were once his associates, will not allow him to. Robbie Gee is a former partner, Lewis, who seems to have a shaky history with Lansing. Actually, OUT OF REACH is one of Seagal's lesser violent outings, and his character is more humane and tender-hearted than in other action fare where he annihilates a host of scumbags. Sure there's a shootout in a high class brothel, but there aren't a vast number of action set-pieces Seagal flicks are known for. I think the choice of villains, both the human traffickers and the CSA willing to help out these cretins to remove "an old dog who needs to be put out of his misery", are perfect slime for Seagal to euthanize. Still, you would expect, for instance, a major set piece to erupt in the Turkish Embassy Ball, or in that enormous castle where Faisal has laid down roots, but really there are few adrenaline-pumping sequences showing men being blown apart by bullets or hoods getting pummeled by Seagal. I'm frank in that these flicks, which are most often than not generic and predictable, should at least give us what we expect. Anyway, the climax where Lansing and Faisal duel, with swords(Faisal is a fencing geek) as Irena watches, is less than spectacular. Schulze is all growl and no bite. That's been a major problem, I think, in many of Seagal's films, a worthy adversary for his heroes to combat. While Seagal continues the always reliable "silent, man of few words" routine, I thought he had good chemistry with Wagner. Jan Plazalski portrays a kid named Nikki who was in the orphanage at the time the girls were carted off to be potential call girls in training, assisting Lansing with identifying those involved in despicable operation.
Steven Seagal plays William Lansing who investigates the disappearance
of several orphans in Poland. Agnieszka Wagner, an experienced TV
actress, joins him as the Polish police woman Kasia Lato. She is ready
to suffer, apparently, as she has Lansing cut a bullet from her
shoulder the wild west way, although a hospital and doctors are nearby.
The villain Faisal is portrayed by Matt Schulze at his most eccentric,
from a black leather coat to a white fencing suit, doing meaningless
things like burning a rose or drugging someone he already holds
hostage, but always looking cool. Looking cool is really the point
here, especially the duel in the white palace is as surreal as the
ending of "2001 - a space odyssey". They must have said that if the
script doesn't make any sense, we can at least make it look
interesting. Something which worked extremely well is the child actors.
The boy who helps Seagal as well the girl who communicates in a secret
code are portrayed by very talented kids. Ask any director how annoying
kids can destroy a movie, and he can probably tell you a story or two
about that, but in this case, they both make an important, successful
You can accuse this movie of anything except mediocrity, and I actually enjoyed watching it enough to vote 6 of 10 here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
steven seagal has got many kick ass action flicks out there, sadly this ain't one of them, this time we find seagal writing to and supporting a young orphan girl, and when one day she is took away to be used as prostite, seagal goes looking for her, i mean come on the story alone is bad, steven seagal goes to rescue pen pal it's laughable, and while there are some decent little action scenes, there is nowhere near enough and that remains one of the films biggest flaws there is simply not enough action in it, sure there's more than the patriot but simply not enough, overall possibly one of seagal's worst movies if not the worse, come on seagal you can do better than that you used to be the king of action flicks
i found that this one is much better than say the last 3 or 4 direct to DVD movies. He stars as Billy Ray Lansing ex-CIA,, now some kind of Park Ranger or something,, he is helping a child overseas kind of like one of those programs where you send a child letters, and they tell you how they are doing,, anyway it turns out unknowingly he is helping a sex slave human trafficking program, i guess when the girls turn a certain age, the bad guys in this movie put them on a boat to somewhere, and sell the girls, well our character good guy Billy Ray gets involved and starts to start kicking some major butt. The villain in this film ain't too bad either,, the final fight scenes are very good as well. this movie has a decent plot with a good message, all in all not a bad film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Out Of Reach is as bad as it gets,Being the big Seagal fan I am,I check
out his films even though most of his DTV films are terrible,I stay
loyal,but if this keeps up,I don't know for how much longer. What
really irritates me is that Seagal's arrogance has gotten so bad,he
didn't even bother coming back to dub his own voice!,I think the man is
a great martial artist,but the looks on his face in this film describe
"I just wanna get this over and done with I want that paycheck". Does
he even care anymore?,or does he let all those Cheeseburgers he's been
shoving down his mouth do the thinking?. The action is very limited and
when it is,it's extremely cheap and amateurishly executed. What also
annoys me is Seagal's obsession with Nature and environment ,for Pete's
sake man,we get it,we saw it in On Deadly ground,Fire Down Below,The
Patriot and god knows what else,I appreciate it,but don't shove it down
our throats.I didn't give a damn bout what happened to the kids,the
film certainly didn't seem to either,and how bout that unintentionally
hilarious scene with the kid drinking Seagal's alcohol. The only
worthwhile thing in this film was a little better then average fight at
the end with the villain,even that underwhelmed me.
The Acting is Terrible!. Steven Seagal coasts his way through this film,barely showing any emotion and when he does it looks forced,He mumbles his lines,fights with hardly any effort,the paycheck must have been big for this one,Seagal where oh where did you go,will the real Seagal please stand up?.Ida Nowakowska is a typical kid wooden and unconvincing. Matt Schulze is a decent bad guy we all know that,and here he tries his best with what he's given but even he can't save it.
Stay away from this film at all costs,even die hard Seagal fans will wanna skip it,this is sad man,just sad to see what a legend like him has become,burn all the copies you see cause that's what it deserves! 2/10
I am being very generous here giving it a 5.... It was not great, but
at the same time it was not terrible either..... It did have some good
action scenes that were done by Seagal himself.
However the story line is typical, and the dubbing in his voice for added scenes (?) was just horrible and shows how low budget this movie is... I cant say much els about the movie, it was OK at best.... keep in mind I am basing this off his last few movies that were just horrible.... Foreigner, out for a kill etc etc... compared to those it was actually enjoyable. Its still not even close to his standard of movies like Out for Justice, Glimmer Man, Above the Law but we know what were getting from steven now and if this is all were getting then I thought it was actually OK.
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