159 user 68 critic

On Deadly Ground (1994)

1:55 | Trailer
A mystical martial artist/environmental Agent takes on a ruthless oil corporation.


Steven Seagal
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Seagal ... Forrest Taft
Michael Caine ... Michael Jennings
Joan Chen ... Masu
John C. McGinley ... MacGruder
R. Lee Ermey ... Stone
Shari Shattuck ... Liles
Billy Bob Thornton ... Homer Carlton
Richard Hamilton ... Hugh Palmer
Chief Irvin Brink Chief Irvin Brink ... Silook
Apanguluk Charlie Kairaiuak Apanguluk Charlie Kairaiuak ... Tunrak
Elsie Pistolhead Elsie Pistolhead ... Takanapsaluk
John Trudell ... Johnny Redfeather
Mike Starr ... Big Mike
Sven-Ole Thorsen ... Otto (as Swen-Ole Thorsen)
Jules Desjarlais Jules Desjarlais ... Drunken Eskimo


Forrest Taft (Steven Seagal) is an environmental Agent who works for the Aegis Oil Company in Alaska. Aegis Oil's corrupt C.E.O., Michael Jennings (Sir Michael Caine), is the kind of person who doesn't care whether or not oil spills into the ocean or onto the land, just as long as it's making money for him. He even makes commercials that make him look like he cares about the environment. Jennings is almost finished with building his new state-of-the art oil rig: AEGIS-1. The problem is that if he doesn't finish building the rig in thirteen days, the land rights will be returned to the Eskimos and the Alaskan Government. When Jennings finds out that Taft's best friend Hugh Palmer (Richard Hamilton) has a computer disk that contains information about defective equipment on AEGIS-1, he sends out his goons to murder Palmer. When Taft tries to interfere, Jennings tries to kill Taft. But an Eskimo woman named Masu (Joan Chen), who introduces Taft to her father Silook (Chief Irvin Brink), ... Written by drayj65 <drayj65@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


His Battle To Save The Alaskan Wilderness And Protect Its People Can Only Be Won...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This is one of two movies released in 1994 to have a main character named Forrest. The other being Forrest Gump (1994). See more »


When Forrest enters Hugh's cabin, the gun cabinet is briefly visible, with a bolt action rifle on the left, a single barrel shotgun in the middle, and another rifle on the right. When they come down from upstairs, the two rifles have swapped places, and the shotgun is now double-barreled. The two boxes of shells have moved from beside the rifle butt in the bottom right corner, to a shelf near the top of the cabinet. See more »


Masu: [When McGruder shoots Masu's father, Silook] YOU!
McGruder: Son of a bitch!
Masu: I will watch you die!
McGruder: [as he is leaving] You saw that! He ATTACKED me! HE attacked *ME*!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first half of the end credits run over images of Alaska and its various wildlife, until we see Forrest Taft & Masu in a canoe, with Taft pointing out to Masu, a crow in front of them circling over the water (supposedly meant to be Silook in another form) See more »

Alternate Versions

All UK film and video releases are cut by 1 minute and 9 seconds to remove violence and get a "15" rating. See more »


Inuit Throat Singing
Performed by Qaunaq Mikkigak and Timangiak Petaulassie
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User Reviews

Eco-action movie that preaches a mixed message
11 February 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Forrest Taft is a trouble shooter for Michael Jennings' oil company. When the rig foreman comes to Taft with tales of faulty equipment Taft looks into it and finds Jennings is rushing the rig, compromising safety in order to drill within a 13 day deadline before the oil rights revert to the Eskimos. Jennings kills the foreman and frames Taft for industrial terrorism, bringing in mercenaries and the FBI to stop him. With Taft saved by the Inuits and taught the way of the bear he arms himself to stop the rig drilling.

In Seagal's debut as director he is given clear reign to base a story on a muddle of mysticism and environmental concern. The story is pure cod but it allows him to not only battle evil oil corporations but actually do physical battle with them. For half the film Seagal `dances with wolves' before he dumps all thoughts of spirituality, arms himself with a cabin full of weapons and does battle with the mercenaries as he tries to blow up the oil rig - he conveniently ignores the environmental damage done by this!

The action is the usual unimaginative stuff where Seagal does moves on baddies who come at him one at a time. He's starting to look a little old and out of shape here, but if you like his fighting generally then this is OK. It's a little hard to swallow when he takes on a elite group of soldiers but I suppose that if you're watching this type of film then you're happy with whatever you get! Once the film ends we are treated to a straight lecture on the environment and big business - it is full of open statements and sweeping requirements with no real practical solutions. Unlike his fights he doesn't hit the target once.

Seagal is as usual a terrible actor - only one facial expression, terrible one-liner delivery and generally no talent. Here, he shrouds himself in smugness and native American mysticism making it even harder to accept him. Caine has a laugh, hamming it up as the oil baron, but it's not a performance one could describe as good in any sense of the word - his American accent keeps changing to Cockney and back again! The rest of the cast are neither good or bad - they don't really have the material to do anything with - but it has a load of `name' actors. John C McGinley is alright, Ermey does what he always does (but has done better) and Billy Bob Thornton is in there if you keep your eyes open!

Overall it's slightly worse than most Seagal's films because of the environmental message being unsubtly rammed down the audiences throats. However if you like his fighting then there's maybe 15 minutes of enjoyment to be had here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Inuktitut

Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Warrior See more »

Filming Locations:

Carson, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,679,573, 21 February 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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