A Dangerous Man (2009): Breakdown by Rantbo
Steven Seagal is, a dangerous man.
After being chased off from assaulting Seagal’s wife, a scum sucking car-jacker inadvertently ends up butchered and the blame comes to rest on our hero. Imprisoned for a crime he was too tubby to commit, Seagal spends the next six years doing hard-time in a government shit hole. During which, his wife leaves him. Seagal (Shane Daniels) is An Unlucky Man. Now released (after some new DNA evidence came to light), Seagal is out on the street, pissed off and above all—not safe.
Problem is, Daniels is apparently a giant shit-storm weathervane, and it’s been a cloudy decade. Not a day out of prison, he’s already been held-up, mixed up in a martial arts showdown, shot at and somehow wrapped up in a large scale Chinese military/human trafficking/kidnapping/drug running conspiracy. Or something like that. To tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure just what the motives of the three different sects of bad-guys are in this film other than that they all seem to want a Chinese Accountant, known only as “The Uncle”. And Seagal is just there to help “The Uncle” and his niece, a pretty young thing named Tia, get reunited. Because he’s A Nice Man.
I had such high hopes coming into this film after the previous collaboration between Seagal and director Keoni Waxman (THE KEEPER), having been so much fun, but alas, Seagal has slipped back into the murky-clear waters of incoherent DTV Hell. Or, at least, the story did. The game changer, apparently being that Waxman also slipped into the writer’s chair this time, and I’m guessing that he was a fan of the early Aught Seagal DTV storylines of mass confusion and over-complification. Not to say that I wasn’t able to follow the film, but it seems like at least two, if not three separate action film plot-lines converged into one, and for no apparent reason. First, you have Seagal’s tale of wrongful imprisonment, and the forced path of rebuilding his life. But this gets abandoned almost immediately. Second, you have Seagal’s chance meeting with Tia and his willful involvement in bringing down a corrupt Chinese military operation. And then there’s also this giant mess with a Russian Mafioso, his dumbass kid and a sub-plot with some crooked cops that connects them all. Well, except for who really killed the car-jacker. Which is the big problem I have. You never get to find out what really happened six years ago.
Meanwhile, Seagal is pretty straight forward. Daniels is, as the title would suggest, a dangerous man. Easily wrapped up into ludicrous and convoluted danger, Seagal ends up demolishing everything in his path, be it furniture, limbs or basic camera blocking guide-lines to set things straight. So, he’s pretty much himself, yet again. Which is great, and pretty much the sole reason I keep watching his new films, week after week. But my problem with the film remains, why bother having the whole prison subplot? It never goes anywhere, or amounts to anything. The film could have honestly just started out at the twenty minute mark, and not made a lick of difference.
But, that’s not to say A DANGEROUS MAN isn’t an enjoyable experience. Seagal could very well be at a level of brutality unseen since MARKED FOR DEATH. He’s fuckin’ vicious. While his body count isn’t high, Seagal’s limb-breaking count’s through the roof. If extremities were uncooked spaghetti noodles, Seagal would’ve been able to boil an entire bag’s worth in a coffee mug.
On top of all that, the last half hour or so is just one long shootout, with occasional bouts of Seagalian beat downs and novelty kills. So, all-in-all, it wasn’t too shabby. The action editing could have used a little work, but I’m guessing with the added task of having to cut around Steven’s stunt double, they did the best they could. And it was also nice to see Byron Mann and Seagal re-united again. Especially so, since BELLY OF THE BEAST is probably my favorite DTV flick of Seagal’s. If you only watch one DTV Seagal film this year, I’d pick up THE KEEPER instead. But, if you watch two, I guess I’d recommend A DANGEROUS MAN. At least until the next one drops onto shelves in a month or two…
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Steven Seagal is Shane Daniels
Richie: …The guy’s a fuckin’ killing machine.
As I mentioned before, Daniels hearkens back to the early 90s Seagal in the abusive dick department, as he spends nearly every other scene needlessly and/or gratuitously maiming other criminals. Now I say “other criminals” as even though Shane is acquitted from the crime of murder, it takes him less than a day outside before he’s relentlessly beaten 3 men (nearly to death) and stolen a videotape from a convenience store security camera deck. But I guess prison changes a man…
Then, by the third act, Seagal is in full-out berserker mode, physically destroying and killing every man in his path, like a pudgy martial arts prone Michael Myers.
Oh, and the first thing he does after being released from prison? Buys a bottle of dime store liquor called Jack’s Old Country Bourbon. Made in the U.S.A. Just like Seagal (maybe) was. Though I’m not really sure why they felt the need for not just one, but two close-ups of the bottle. I can only guess they wanted to make sure you got their little joke of a guy named Daniels buying a bottle of Jack.
[THE BODY COUNT: 52]
If memory serves, this number is uncharacteristically high for a Seagal flick. And also, quite abrasive as most of the kills take place within the final thirty minutes. Seagal racks up a pretty standard 11, including several sweet novelty kills, which you can read about in the Body Count Breakdown. The rest of the count is 98% death by gunshot. The other 2% by way of the blade. All-in-all, it’s a pretty bloody affair.
Check out the Body Count Breakdown, HERE.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]
Mao Vs. The Sensei
After mercilessly beating, breaking and all-around abusing Chen’s head thug, Mao, Seagal decides enough is enough when the desperate fool pulls a knife in a last ditch effort to stop his pain train. Accepting that his vicious aikido flips aren’t enough to keep this hopped up glutton for punishment at bay, Seagal grabs the closest thing he can to defend himself against the an incoming blade attack. A chop stick.
The sheer horrified look of pain on Mao’s face is not so much from the location of the entry point, or the bluntness of the device, it’s more so the fact that Seagal hammers it ALL the way in with the palm of his hand. And it takes several agonizing tries. Outstanding.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Vlad: Let me explain something to you. Where I come from, we FUCK cops in the mouth when we run out of farm animals.
While not necessarily gay, the above is enough of a societal fringe statement, so outside the norm of acceptable sexual behavior, I thought it bared mentioning.
Then there’s The Colonel, who is so completely disinterested in women, that he actually would rather see them dead than have them dancing in the same room as him. That has to mean something… I mean, sure they’re just a bunch of soulless floozies, but a free exotic dance is a free exotic dance. Am I right?
Other than that, Chen, the human trafficker, claims his prize slut has the ass of a 9 year old boy. How or why he would know this, or even make the claim is a question best left unanswered.
But as far as Seagal is concerned, as per usual, there is practically nothing. Best I can come up with is, for some reason during one of his “sexy dance” memories featuring his topless wife, I’m pretty sure that every shot featuring the back of Daniels’s head is Seagal’s stand-in. Which is most of them. And for all the scenes to call in a stunt double, you would think the one where you’re getting a lap dance by a gorgeous woman would be the least necessary. But, maybe Seagal’s just shy…
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
So, aside from the aforementioned silly titty dance by Seagal’s ex-wife, there’s also Chen’s trio of hoochie Asian sex slaves, which if we are to believe his propositions to The Colonel, are up for grabs if you’re in need of a quick bump ‘n’ grind. And later, all three of them are shot dead by The Colonel and his men. But it’s not like it matters, as they were all dead inside a long time ago.
Also, our heroine Tia begins the film in the trunk of a car and ends it with a bullet in her chest.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
EP-M: Fuckn’ ‘em Up, Ugly
Seagal [To A Couple Street Thugs]: Let me tell you sumthin’, I just got outta prison, for something I didn’t do and before that—I used to like, you know, study REAL hard and learned all kinds of different ways to kill mother fuckers, just like you… So, let me go, just let me go on by—or I’ll fuck you up ugly.
The head thug does not comply. First, Seagal breaks his wrist, naturally, which also causes the gun to misfire into the ruffian’s own shoulder. Next, after pinning him into place by trapping his coat in a car door, Seagal pistol whips the lad about the head. Then, Seagal pulls of the slide release on his new pistol and proceeds to do something I previously thought impossible: HE STABS THE THUG IN THE FACE—NINE TIMES—WITH THE GUN.
And then he kicks him though the driverside window, into the car. Making damn good on his threat promise. Simply—amazing.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
Money can’t replace a life. And where Seagal comes from, the definition of death is emptiness.
[THE SYMPTOMS OF SEAGAL: 4 outta 5]
[X] Background With Government Organization
[X] Performs An Overkill
[X] Snaps A Bad Guy’s Appendage
[X] Speaks Another Language
[ ] Sports a Ponytail
[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[ ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[ ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
A Dangerous Man (2009) © Legacy Filmworks