Marked for Death (1990) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
97 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
One of Steve's finest
Jakethemuss11 August 2007
Okay, that may not sound much, but after seeing Segal's recent outings I can look back at films like this with a certain nostalgia. This was made back in the day when Segal was in shape, did his own fight scenes and the film makers in question didn't have to resort to using lame CGI and camera tricks during action scenes. It has an edge that is just lost in these hideous later outings (the kind where an overweight, 54 year old man jumps from a moving train with 2 pistols and wipes out a squad of heavily armed thugs).

This time Segal is under the guise of DEA agent John Hatcher. He "retires" from the job shortly after loosing one of his colleagues in a deal gone wrong. Hatcher goes to visit his sister and niece to try and 'find his old self', whilst visiting he also encounters an old friend and military partner Max(Keith David). Hatcher and Max soon run into a bunch of ruthless Jamaican drug dealers who have moved in on the area, and their voodoo practising leader SCREWFACE...

Que violence galore!!

Expect bone breaking violence from this film, as Hatcher and Co. shoot, beat and tackle their way through the posse in order to save Hatcher and his family's lives-who have been "marked for death" by the gang. I would say this is one of Segal's most violent movies, and that is saying something.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Segal film from the old school
roon_baboon29 September 2006
You can split Segal films into 2 categories, the early stuff (Hard To Kill, Nico) and the later stuff (Fire Down Below, Today You Die). The latter group doesn't usually even get to the cinema but the former has some real action gems. Marked for death is one of them.

This film has loads of martial arts, Yardies, drugs, black magic, Drive by shootings, people dressed like Aswad, and the big black guy from platoon who escapes from the shootout at the end by getting rotated back to America. One of the things that ruins Segal films is having too much shooting and not enough fighting, But the action is pitched just right here, with still enough shooting thrown in to spice it up. The guys playing the Yardies are fantastic and the dialogue is second to none, in fact for those IDM fans out there Luke Vibert sampled some in 'screwface'. Other than Segal and the platoon guy the only person I recognised was Danny Trejo, Hollywoods default Mexican criminal. This is an action classic folks, watch it or Screwface will give you a thousand deaths worse than mine.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great action flick
Bjorn (ODDBear)8 September 2005
Let's face it; You either like Steven Seagal or you don't. His movies aren't masterpieces, they're all predictable and pretty similar and old Steve is always...well, just plain old Steve. His older films, starting with Above the Law in 1988 and concluding with (I think) Exit Wounds were however all filled with great production values and a certain kind of ambition to give action fans what they want. From that point on, his films (all going directly to TV) have lessened their standards somewhat and old Steve is all but forgotten. I happen to be a huge fan of Seagal's early work, particularly this film, along with Out for Justice and his Under Siege flicks.

Here, Seagal is ready for retirement when he accidentally pisses off some Jamaican druglords who have in turn marked him and his family for death. Seagal naturally gets mad and what's more important; He gets even.

I love these no-nonsense action flicks that delivers what you most crave for; ACTION and plenty of it. Director Dwight H. Little (Halloween 4, Rapid Fire) handles the proceedings well and actually gives the film some stylistic flair as well. In most parts, the script is well written and it gives Seagal some great one-liners.

Seagal, as always, is reliable and delivers the same performance as usual. His roles don't require much range, but in the action department he kicks ass. Keith David, a regular supporting actor, gives a good performance and overall the cast do a good job.

Unfortunately Seagal's days of high class movies are gone and will probably never come back. But his body of work in the twentieth century will satisfy me, it's the twenty first century Seagal I'll mostly skip through.
30 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Who do it... the white boy Hatcher?" A decent action film from Seagal back when he made good films.
Paul Andrews30 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Marked for Death starts as undercover DEA agent John Hatcher (producer Steven Seagal) decides he has had enough of his job after his partner Chico (Richard Delmonte) is murdered in a botched up drugs bust. Hatcher retires & heads to the town of Lincoln heights in Chicago where he grew up & where is sister Kate (Bette Ford) & his niece Tracey (Danielle Harris) live. Hatcher also meets up with his old friend Max (Keith David), there is a big drug war taking place in Lincoln Heights as Columbian drug lord Tito Barco (Al Isreal) & Jamaican drug lord Screwface (Basil Wallace) fight for control. While in a pub a shoot-out between the Columbians & Jamaicans takes place & Hatcher steps in, he instantly becomes a target of the Jamaican dealers & not only do they make the mistake of shooting Hatcher's favourite bar up but they target his family & shoot his niece which makes Hatcher very, very angry...

Originally shot under the title Screwface this early Steven Seagal action flick was directed by Dwight H. Little & comes from a time when Seagal films were actually entertaining. The script by co-producers Michael Grais & Mark Victor certainly won't win any prizes for originality, some ex cop/secret service agent/military soldier has to come out of retirement to avenge a family member/friend/injustice by killing everyone in sight. It's a fairly standard Hollywood action film plot which doesn't hold many surprises although the twist ending was quite unexpected even if the makers wasted the opportunity to do something truly different in favour of having it as another excuse for Seagal to kill people. The usual inappropriate message that violence needs to be fought with even more violence is present & although you know it's wrong you can't help but enjoy it in a satisfyingly macho sort of way as Seagal, the supposed hero, kills all the bad guy's in a variety of violent ways. The violence is extreme, some of the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious like when Hatcher confronts a bad guy he eloquently & poetically notes 'I know your a scumbag & a puke, I don't mind that. You give me what I need & I leave here a nice guy. You don't, I'm gonna f*ck you up' & the cheese factor is entertainingly high. It passes 90 odd minutes with the minimum of pain & overall this is a good fast paced gratuitously violent foul mouthed action flick that even has a bit of Voodoo as well, would we have them any other way? Of course not.

Director Little does a good job, some of the fights are very brutal which were a trademark of Seagal's films back in the 90's. There are some seriously painful looking injuries from broken arms, necks & backs, people beaten with mallets, knifes stuck through throats, shootings, table leg beatings, decapitations, eye gouging, hand severing, naked woman shooting, samurai sword fighting to head smashing fun. The fights & action scenes are well choreographed & there's even a decent car chase too which ends as a car crashes into a jewellery store although where the police are at this point I have no idea. Also, how does Seagal manage to smuggle all those weapons & ammunition into Jamaica? The montage showing Seagal making & testing the weapons was before the shot of the air-plane taking off from Chicago & landing in Jamaica so presumably took place in America, right? Security wasn't so tight back then but it wasn't that bad surely? Besides being very violent Marked for Death also has some fairly graphic gore in it including decapitations, an eye gouging & someone having their hand cut off.

Technically the film is fine, it isn't going to win any awards for style but it's well made having been shot on location in Chicago & in Jamaica. Marked for Death was Seagal's third film coming after Above the Law (1988) & Hard to Kill (1990) & before his 'masterpiece' Out for Justice (1991), back then he wasn't as fat as these days & he actually looks impressive as he kicks the crap out of everyone in some well stage & excessively violent fights. Unfortuneatly Seagal can't act, either now or back in 1990 when this was made & I still think the pony tail looks gay. The rest of the cast are OK with Wallace as Screwface putting in a surprisingly effective over-the-top performance.

Marked for Death is a throughly entertaining overblown unnecessarily violent & foul mouthed action film, the sort of film which Seagal was perfectly suited to star in. Sure it's predictable & unoriginal but when a films this much fun who cares? A must for Seagal & 90's action flick fans.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Seagal delivers
sveknu13 May 2005
Of Stevens Seagal's movies, this is clearly one of the better. It's from 1990, and that was around his prime time as a action star. ("Under Siege" came two years later). There are a couple of really cool fights in this movie where Seagal handles lots of bad guys without any effort at all. The last part of the movie, where he's invading the Jamaica-man bad guy's base is especially entertaining. In this movie, he has one of the best comments of all his films:"One thought he was immortal, and the other one thought he could fly. Both were wrong". Watch the movie to find out what I'm talking about. You won't regret it if you like easy action.
21 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
No superior force can dash Seagal's style...
Nazi_Fighter_David4 January 2004
In 'Marked for Death,' Seagal is simply a retired undercover troubleshooter for the DEA who moves back to his home town ignoring that Jamaican drug pushers known as posses are invading his old neighborhood... He sees his little niece hit after a shootout, and later his sister almost sacrificed in a voodoo ceremony...

Torture and maiming are posse trademarks and posse gunmen are said to prefer shooting their victims in public... Seagal never gives up and never loses his temper... He lets his actions speak for him... He perfectly knows that he has to strike the root in order to stop the evil-doers... He has to destroy their system, and kill their supreme leader... Otherwise they will never stop until he and his family are dead...

Seagal is steely eyed and calm yet quick on the trigger, skillful with the use of sword, and no superior force can dash his style... However, it is not just his talent as a martial-arts champ that has attracted his growing legion of fans but his enigmatic charisma...
22 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
They sure as hell don't make em like this any more....xXx2 anyone?
jimmykebab1 November 2005
First off, Seagal rules. I don't care what anyone says. He is the greatest American action star (well in his early films at least) and marked for death portrays him at his brutal bone snapping best.

This is one of the fastest films i have ever watched, not only is it never boring but it is constantly entertaining. Seagal slays lots of hapless goons right from the off and manages to act well in the non action scenes. But thats what its about ACTION. No it never won any awards, of course not its an ACTION film. Screw kill bill no one serves up a bit of revenge like Seagal.

You know the plot.........find it elsewhere thats not important he and his family are MARKED FOR DEATH. Of course Seagal cannot have this so he goes and kills a lot of people. Not original but who actually cares? The Jamaican view provides interest,and there's a good twist near the end. The ending itself is excellent, ending much more openly than the average action fest.

Seagal is on top form as always, Keith David is good as his friend, Basil Wallace justly insane as Screwface and Tom Wright is likable as the Jamaican sidekick. Overall more should see this film, but the American version mind, UK one is heavily cut.

Warning: this film is full of extreme violence. If you do not enjoy peoples arms and backs being broken, eyes being gouged out, hands chopped off, people being shot left right and centre the you will not enjoy this film. And thats just what I'm looking for!
33 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Plenty of action, car chases, explosion,corpses and usual violence for this genre
ma-cortes10 August 2009
A war veteran and ex-drug agent named John Hatcher (Steven Seagal) retires himself from his dangerous employment. He returns to his family , his sister (Bette Ford) and nephew(Danielle Harris). But he confronts against a Jamaican dope delinquents led by Screwface (Basil Wallace who's a better villain than Seagal's previous films). And as the title says marked him and his family for death. Hatcher and his pals (Keith David and Tom Wright) are back in action to track down the Jamaican killer who is threatening his family. Then Hatcher and Screwface playing a cat-and-mouse game.

Elaborately produced action film with tough Seagal is just another action film full of struggles ,thrills, noise and lots of violence. Ever-wooden Seagal as almost always, playing a two-fisted and loner cop, he delivers the goods in his own style full of usual violence and fights with snapping wrists and worth it just to see Steve in Jamaica where appears singing Jimmy Cliff. Atmospheric musical score by James Newton Howard though composed by synthesizer and appropriate cinematography by Ric Waite. The picture was made in the Seagal's best period when he played high budget movies such as ¨Hard to kill¨(1990 by Bruce Malmuth), ¨Under siege¨ ( Seagal's best film to date, 92, Andrew Davis), ¨Dark territory¨ (95, Geoff Murphy), ¨Executive decision¨ (96 by Stuart Baird), ¨Glimmer man¨ ((96, John Gray), ¨Exit wounds¨(2001, Andre Bartkowiak), among others. Nowadays he does fairly low standards, lesser budget and direct to video movies, such as ¨Half past dead¨, ¨The foreigner¨ and its sequel and many others.

Director Dwight H. Little who gave credibility to Wesley Snipes in 'Murder at 1600' teams up with Aikido expert Seagal for this action-filled cop thriller. The result is a strong outing for action enthusiasts and Seagal is fun to watch.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of Seagal's finest
w.w.screwface22 July 2000
I cannot believe this film got such bad ratings as it is one of my favourite action flicks of all time. Marked for Death has Steven Seagal playing John Hatcher a cop whose out for revenge against a gang of Jamaican drug dealers. The film has some terrific action sequences and set pieces, example being the shopping centre fight which really showcases Seagal's talents. This has excellent pacing as well as good location shoots. The score for Marked for Death is amazing, suiting the film so well, giving it the right sinister kind of atmosphere. The voodoo elements were cool, Screwface has to be one of the best villains and the twist at the end is unexpected. The violence in the uncut version is some of the most brutally realistic you can find in a mainstream action flick, with Seagal snapping bones as if they were twigs. Be warned though, like most of Seagal's films, in the U.K Marked for Death was cut badly by the censors so nearly all of the bone breaking violence is now gone, leaving just a standard badly edited action film. If you want to see the real power of Marked for Death then you would be advised get your hands on the uncut versions somehow. The only minor flaw with this film is that the beginning in Mexico is a little ropey, but apart from that the only Seagal flick that Warner bros didn't make but Fox did, deserves a place next to Under Seige 2 as being one of my favourite Steven Seagal films.
14 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I hope they weren't Triplets...........
FlashCallahan19 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher has just returned from Colombia, where his partner was killed in the line of duty by a drug dealer who has since been taken down.

As a result of his partner's death, John has decided to retire, but his retirement may not be permanent. On the next day, after reuniting with his sister Melissa and Melissa's daughter Tracy, John gets into a shootout against a Jamaican drug kingpin known as Screwface, taking down some of Screwface's men.

John brings himself out of retirement when Screwface retaliates by attempting to kill Melissa and Tracy. After the shooting, John is reunited with two old friends - a local high school football coach named Max, and a Jamaican Chicago cop named Charles.

John and Max set out to hunt Screwface down, only to discover that Screwface has gone back to Jamaica.

John and Max take Charles with them to Jamaica for an all out war against Screwface and his drug empire.

Back in the day when Seagal had his ponytail, he made some great movies and they were a lot of fun and action packed, but than fire down below happened and it all went downhill from there.

This has got to be his most fun film to date, it's got one of the best villains ever, who is genuinely menacing and psychotic, and instead of going for the normal Gangsters AKA Italians in this movie, they opt for a Jamaican Posse, who have an eerie mysticism of their own.

We know that the villain is bad, because he wears really awful jumpers, gets mad when plays dominoes, wakes up from nightmares in a really dramatic way, and spits Bacardi in Seagals sisters face.

But the more evil and over dramatic the villain, the more we Want Seagal to Kick the guys butt, so Kudos to Basil Wallace.

As for Seagal, he's how he normally is, Average acting, getting heavier, and starting to wear odd clothes. But his fighting skills in this are some of the best he has ever done, and the set pieces are awe-inspiring, even if they do get a bit over the top toward the end.

It's more fun than Above the Law and Hard to kill, and on a par with Under Siege.

A great film to start with Seagal.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Vintage Fun!
namashi_122 February 2012
'Marked for Death' is Vintage Fun. Power-Packed, Fast-Paced, Action-Packed & Loud, it has it all. Also, its damn cool to watch bad-ass Steven Seagal getting it right completely.

'Marked for Death' stars Seagal as John Hatcher, a former DEA troubleshooter. Upon moving back to his home town, Hatcher finds it taken over by a gang of vicious Jamaican drug dealers, led by the twisted Screwface.

'Marked for Death' is Power-Packed, Fast-Paced & Loud Cinema at its best. The film never loses pace & always keeps you engrossed. Michael Grais & Mark Victor's Screenplay is Great Fun. Dwight H. Little's Direction is decent. Cinematography & Editing are fair, while the Action-Sequences/Fights are awesome.

Performance-Wise: Seagal gets it right completely. His fights are a pleasure to watch & does his part with great energy & style. Basil Wallace as the twisted Screface is frightening. Keith David is perfect.

On the whole, 'Marked for Death' is Vintage Fun!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
one of seagal's best
thebobo117 May 2010
only problem I had with this movie is with the over-dramatic ending fight scene.. Seagal should have kicked the guy's ass and "THE END". Instead, it was overdone just a bit. A lot of seagal's aikido is on display in this movie which I really like. and , once again he's wearing the same puffy black jacket as he did in his other earlier movies to cover up his gut..(but who really cares about that anyway.)

A shame his career/life took such a dramatic turn for the worse. He could have been known as one of the great martial artists in history.

well, I don't have 10 lines yet so I can't post this review so I will just write this so it will give me ten lines. I have nothing more to say about the movie.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One thought he was invincible, the other thought he could fly....They were both wrong!
Seagalogist17 November 2009
Of course they were! (That is the best line from this, or perhaps any movie)

This, the third of Seagal's 4 greatest movies ('Above the law', 'hard to kill' and 'out for justice' being the others) delivers on all fronts. It is vintage Seagal. If you have seen and enjoyed 'Under Siege', then check the afformentioned titles out. They are truly gritty action movies, with the usual glimpse of Seagal-like humour. Simple stories with simple and often brutal outcomes.

In Marked for Death we focus on John Hatcher, who is forced to retire from the DEA after his partner and friend is killed when undercover. Fed up with the system, he returns to his hometown and finds gangs of 'Jamaicans' (known as Posses) selling drugs to schoolkids. This sickens Hatcher, and when he and an old friend try and stop it, they become 'Marked for Death'.

I must say, this is a great action movie, they just don't make it like this anymore. My personal favourite, 'Hard to kill' is slightly better in my opinion, but they are all great movies. They don't try and complicate the plot too much, because it knows the audience wants action, not plot twists and a simple story, that's somewhat believable.

One fault is the ridiculous body doubles used for some Jamaicans in some fight scenes (white people with Bob Marley wigs painted brown), but for me, this just adds to the enjoyment.

Check it out for sure.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Very Brutal Mon!
Here's another Steven Seagal movie I've enjoyed. "Marked for Death" is another martial art flick that really gives the term of butt-kicking. Just like the other films he was in, it also proves a point as well. Another law enforcement officer who tracks down a Jamaican by the name of "Screwface"(Basil Wallace). At first this was some seriously cruel joke, but when I saw his face, I said, "Man, with a face like that, anything else would sound a little more horrid". That 1970 Ford Mustang was the bomb baby. Love that car! It's such a shame that Screwface and his cohorts had to blow it up, after he tell John Hatcher(Seagal) to meet his sister "goddess of fire". Screwface really went to far when he did a ritual on Hatcher's sister. And the sword fight was amazing, first he beheads Screwface. And then, he breaks his back a sends him down the elevator shaft hoping "he doesn't have triplets". That's a laugh. So what was Screwface? The modern day Hydra? Better yet, his name should have been Hydra. This movie is another hit for Seagal, and I would disagree with anyone else about it. There was enough action to make it watchable. Rating 4 out of 5 stars.
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Seagal tosses aside any pretense at style and heads full throttle into exploitation. (* 1/2 out of * * * *)
Frank Rizzo19 July 2005
Marked for Death (1990) spends more time on action sequences, than it does with focusing on its characters. After his first two impressive efforts, Above the Law (1988) and Hard to Kill (1989), this third Steven Seagal picture makes the idea clear: anyone who opposes him is meant to look like a fool; the bad guys are just there to make him look good.

Seagal had been steadily building an audience that seemed a bit larger than those that follow the kick-'em-up antics of Chuck Norris or Jean Claude Van Damme.

In Marked for Death, Seagal tosses aside any pretense at style and heads full throttle into exploitation. This film contains loads of graphic violence, gore and nudity that seem to be there for no reason other than to please rowdy moviegoers, who are unable to distinguish between action pictures that tell a story and those that simply pour on the thrills without rhyme or reason. And he deserves some real blame for this lapse in taste as a producer of "Marked for Death."

Seagal plays John Hatcher, a retired DEA agent who comes home to Chicago, where his family is being attacked by a Jamaican street gang, who attack his sister's house, and the film proves that it isn't squeamish when Hatcher's niece (Danielle Harris) is shot in the crossfire. Hatcher gets mad, and he decides to team up with his old friend, Max (Keith David), a school gym teacher, and Charles (Tom Wright), a Jamaican cop.

Naturally, Hatcher declares war on the chief bad guy, a dread-locked Jamaican voodoo priest called Screwface (Basil Wallace), a nickname that apparently means "outrageous overacting."

And it is almost unbelievable in the way Seagal picks off various members of the gang: he gouges one guy's eyeball, he breaks a guy's back, and he breaks numerous arms and limbs.

All logic for this movie is thrown out the window- -through the glass, that is. Why aren't Hatcher and friends indicted for all the property damage they cause or the body count that piles up? And how did they get their cache of automatic weapons from Illinois to Jamaica by plane without being detected?

Seagal has a Clint Eastwood stoicism about him that fans once seemed to enjoy, and despite the three different characters he's played in as many films, each dresses in Oriental black bathrobes, and wears a ponytail. One of the problems that I have with some of Seagal's movies is that the main characters never seem to be in serious jeopardy, and because he's the star, of course, no one can lay a glove on him, except for the bad guy.

Seagal's heroes are all interchangeable, as are most of the plot lines and action sequences. Regardless of whether he's masquerading as a ship's cook, a fire fighter, or an L.A. cop wearing love beads, Seagal is always Seagal, which is exactly what his fans want. In fact, the sameness of these films is such that, if I wanted to, I could take an old review, change the names, and have a reasonably accurate take on the new movie. Not that I'd ever really do that...
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Action packed
iron t21 May 1999
Seagal goes to confession early in this one and actually tries reforming, but when Jamaican drug dealers target him and his family, well... he has a relapse. A perfect example of the kind of action picture he does best: short, simple and lots of good action scenes. And I have to admit, I wasn't expecting the little plot twist at the end.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
a highly entertaining action movie
angie-2720 March 1999
Marked for Death is an entertaining movie. Steven Seagal stars as retired Drug Enforcement Agent John Hatcher who is hot on the trail of a Jamaican drug lord. The fight scenes are excellent, confirming my belief that Steven Seagal is one of the best action stars in the world. The movie itself is exciting and dazzling, and it moves at a fast pace. It is one of Seagal's best films.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Screwface, mon VS de Whiteboy Hatcha
Shawn Watson8 June 2000
Marked for Death is a bit of an anomaly in the early, golden-age of Seagal cinematic rampages. The man was virtually owned by Warner, but M4D was released by Twentieth Century Fox. As his third big screen movie, it's not really THAT much different from the rest of the vintage. Once more he's out for revenge/justice, and is hard to kill and above the law as he does so.

Seagal plays John Hatcher, a ruthless DEA agent who lives the life of killing/maiming absolutely everything and everyone in sight. There's virtually no one he hasn't killed. Tired of making death a living he retires to the cozy, strictly white and middle-class Lincoln Heights suburb of Chicago. Upon arriving home he greets all his old pals, and his mother who appears to be Italian or Spanish (another lame attempt by Seagal to quietly imply that he's got some mysterious roots when in reality he's Steve Seigel, an Irish-Jew). It's not all happiness and handshakes though, as the terrifying Jamaican Voodoo Posse, run by Abu Qua High Priest madman Screwface, have infiltrated Chicago and are dealing death to schoolkids.

Irie, Irie.

Hatcher wants nothing to do with it, and would rather just mind his own business despite the protest of best friend Max (a mostly wasted, but brilliant as always, Keith David). But after a couple of close encounters Hatcher just can't help himself and returns to the business of killing absolutely everyone and everything in sight.

Basil Wallace, as Screwface (and Screwface), is honestly one of the most enigmatic, mesmerizing, and downright weirdest movie villains of the 90s. He's really, really out there. I recommend watching this with the subtitles on as you'll have absolutely no idea what the Jamaicans are saying. Some of the things they say, while being mostly gibberish, are highly quotable. One of Screwface's many quirks is the fact despite his millions and magic powers he spends his spare time sitting around playing dominoes with his minions while wearing the world's best jumper.

Director Dwight H. Little handles the action competently, if not brilliantly. The fight scenes and chases are relatively straight-forward, but in terms of story coherence the editing is all over the place. It appears that the original cut of the film was in a different order, and had much more plot. There are several established threads (the Voodoo, the Professor, the Columbians, the FBI) that are never developed. At 93 minutes, M4D is too rushed and has a rather abrupt ending.

James Newton Howard provides a score that is sporadically brilliant, much like the movie itself. There are some lovely cues in there, but overall it's brought down a few notches by the generic nature of the rest of it. If only a few more elements of M4D were developed and taken a few stages further we would have had a true classic, as it is it's merely low-brow entertainment with a truly bizarre and outrageous villain.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Marked for death is a waste of time , stupid as anuthing.
julesdil30 April 2013
Marked for death , is corny , i don't care i hate this film it is a story about Jamaican drug fdealers ,, oouuggg horrible the accent and dialouge goes into a childish form , kids will love this garbage but as an action film it is a cartoon , the violence is tame and horrible because the film has no realistic fights the revenge action scenes ares simple , ohhhhh , shoot em up , no death that is good. Steven is a bad actor and in this mutters a stupid plot and just puts you off , i mean the actors and characters are in some kind of wannabe good film but is only for you cheesy corny film lovers . Avoid anyone who is good.Overrated 15 certificate for moderate violence and language.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Undercover cop takes time away from job only to get marked for death.
Aaron13753 March 2010
Yes, first he was "Above the Law", then he was "Hard to Kill" and after that "Marked for Death". There was "Out for Justice" after this one, but that is the weakest for me of the three I have seen. The only one I never saw was "Above the Law". This one was rather good, not quite as good as "Hard to Kill", but not all that far behind either. This one does not have quite as a good plot as "Hard", but it was more evident than the almost plot less "Out for Justice". This one has Seagal as a cop who has been undercover for a while and has done quite a few terrible things during his years undercover. He confesses his sins to a priest and the priest suggests he steps away from his life of fighting crime the wrong way and go back to his family so perhaps they can help him become the man he once was. Well he does just this, unfortunately the neighborhood he goes to is having some trouble with drug dealers. So instead of getting out, he gets pulled back in to take down the strange Jamacin's who control the drugs in this neighborhood. Suffice to say the action is probably the best I have seen in a Seagal movie as far as the ones I mentioned. The plot is a bit simple though and it is basically Seagal kicking butt, but it is done pretty good here. They try to do a bit of a plot twist near the end, but it does not really add anything or take anything away from the movie.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
By far one of fat boy's best
philllipveburst6 September 2017
People, come to your senses. This is Steven Segal here. His first four films I see as a group of four. This is by far the best of the bunch (in my opinion). Super well edited, moves along a a perfect pace. The characters are all very colorful. Have you heard anything about the Jamaican posse after Stevie "took them out"? No... of course not. He took them out! Single handily took out a menace that was messing up the good old U.S.A.. Then comes "Under siege". It's pretty obvious it's his "best" film by far. Turned my nose up at it initially at the video store. New hair due, military crap... etc. Got it on a freebie from a friend too lazy to ever return movies on time to the store. I got it back on time (rented movies for 20 plus years, returned movies late twice. Natural disasters responsible.) old Stevie got too cocky for the Warner Bros. executives to handle... and the rest is history. He posed through his next several movies, they just wanted to get rid of him. I think he had a nine picture deal with Warner.... wow, who was his agent!?! Went to "straight to DVD" after that. And the rest (as they say) is history. He appears to have complete disdain not only for his critics (who never liked him anyway), but also for his fans. People who enjoy his straight to DVD stuff..... I don't know... what planet have they in fact flown in from!?! It's pretty obvious the Asian Mob has their claws deep into his flesh. Seems drugged most of the time to me. Self induced? I'd rather watch a Pro Football game... seems more real. Just a sign of the times I guess. When the crap he puts out now passes for "entertainment"... It must be another sign of "the end times". He used to crank out one O.K. Movie per year. Now they might as well be episodes of some bad TV show. Same route John Wayne took, Eastwood, etc..
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent Seagal action flick
Tweekums6 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When DEA agent John Hatcher's partner is killed he decides it is time to retire as no matter how much they do and how many villains they arrest there is always somebody else waiting to take there place. When he returns to his home in Chicago he finds the Jamaican Posses are selling drugs. At first he doesn't want to get involved but eventually he has no choice and deals with one of the gang. This puts both him and his family firmly in the sights of Screwface, the gang's leader. After an attack on his home leaves his niece critically injured he sets about hunting Screwface down; a mission that will take him from Chicago to Jamaica and back again and everywhere he goes he fill have to take on Screwface's many men and the black magic they claim to wield.

If you enjoyed other early Seagal films you are sure to like this as it is packed with bone crunching action; he frequently has to fight several thugs at once. As well as the expected martial arts action there is plenty of gunplay, a car chase and even a sword fight! The story isn't too deep but there is an unforgettable twist that first time viewers are sure to enjoy. Seagal isn't the best actor in the world but he knows how to do action so if that is what you want you won't be disappointed. Some of the Jamaican patois is a little hard to understand but that doesn't spoil anything as most of what they say can be guessed anyway… it is nearly always a threat of some sort!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Who is "John Crow"?
Michael A. Martinez21 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This one gets my vote for "best" Steven Seagal action picture. Sure UNDER SIEGE is slicker and more expensive, ABOVE THE LAW has a more serious and compelling story, and OUT FOR JUSTICE has Seagal at his self-righteously most over the top, but none of those are half as fun as this little gem.

Admittedly the plot to this film is on the simplistic side and it takes itself quite seriously for the most part. Seagal here is an originally unwilling crusader against drug gangs and violence but of course kills more people and causes more mayhem and property damage than any cartel ever did. Already at this point was he starting to exhibit some of his quirky mannerisms (obvious stunt doubles and enigmatic heroes who disappear to let their lackies do the "boring" stuff) which turned into B-action tropes over the years. He also starts to find his own identity as a bonafide 80's era action star with snappy post-mortem one-liners and creative almost artfully balletic corpse-kills.

A lot of the fun comes from the ethnocentrism at hand in the form of the ridiculousness assigned to the antagonistic Jamaican cartel. Their heavily accented dialog and Basil Wallace's performance as their leader makes it feel as though Seagal is up against a gang of cartoon characters. The movie casts aside any shred of realism and treats us to seeing Seagal cathartically and unemotionally taking down multiple adversaries at once without even breaking a sweat. This was the only film I think Seagal did for 20th Century Fox so perhaps that's why it breaks a mold a little bit and allows the villains to land a few punches on our mighty hero (not that it makes any difference).

One cannot talk about this movie without mentioning Basil Wallace's delirious portrayal of perhaps the most emotionally unbalanced villain of any action movie, and that includes anything Vernon Wells has ever done. He enthusiastically incantates voodoo and mysticism with wild-eyed abandon in an effort to intimidate his posse, but it largely comes across as quite comical. He's the polar opposite of the wooden and inexpressive Seagal, who just sort of drifts around and looks annoyed when there's no more baddies to murder.

Pathetically the film tries to go the PC route and with the casting of Jamaican Tom Wright as a vindictive Island cop and American black character actor Keith David as Seagal's buddy vigilante. Amazingly, David's character is the close-minded one and no chance is spared to teach him how Jamaica as a tough but unfortunate breeding ground for vermin, though mostly populated by mostly good people. I don't know if it was out of PC-ness or in keeping with the tone of the villainy in the film, but the soundtrack contains a lot of great reggae tracks, largely by the one and only Jimmy Cliff who even appears in the film as himself singing about the upcoming death of the film's villain (!). The film ends on a high note with a nonstop action spectacular and immediately rolls into one of the most unforgettable reggae songs of all time. I really don't know who John Crow was or what he had to do with anything (perhaps they changed Hatcher's name at some point during production?) but at least we got a great song out of it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews