Steven Seagal recently visited Minsk in Belarus and found himself treated to some marvellous produce and, reportedly, a meal of lard by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. It’s a visit that’s getting a fair bit of attention and, naturally, the media are focussing on Seagal’s hook-up with the chap they’re describing as the “last dictator of Europe” (this is Lukashenko’s fifth term as President).
Seagal with President Lukashenko
Anyhoo, the visit gave us some great images (we’re awfy fond of Seagal with the watermelons – he looks like he’s had a bit of a chuckle about something), but what’s been mentioned only as a footnote in the reports of Seagal’s Belarus stop is actually pretty swell news, too.
Seagal visiting Wargaming
See, Seagal is the new Heroic Battle Expert to Belarusian online game developer Wargaming. That’s right. Steven Seagal has signed up as an advisor for for a game about naval warfare. Awesome.
“His resume speaks for itself: he’s a man who’s hard to kill, always out for justice, and willing to make an executive decision. With numerous victories against the odds under his belt (and as a guy who knows a thing or two about warships), Steven is the only man up to the task” – Wargaming
You can watch Seagal’s visit to the Wargaming offices below.
The other great news was dropped on us via Seagal’s twitter account.
I don’t have much to say about this. It’s like one of those odd movies that appear on Channel 5. You know the type; the kind that you land on while channel hopping after whatever program you were watching has finished. You don’t intend on watching this kind of film, but it just happens cause you see someone like Seagal in there. And that’s the problem. Seagal is in it for about 5 minutes or so – a minute in the beginning and then 5 or so at the end. So, 6 minutes you’re thinking. No, the minute in the beginning is formed of footage included in those end minutes.
Unfortunately, I went into this expecting more Seagal than was on display. Even though I was aware this this was minor role stuff, it’s since been sold as a Seagal vehicle. He’s right there on posters and the DVD covers (some with just an image of Seagal!) and all the extended trailers were filled with Seagal.
As for the movie, I’m not actually sure what this was all about yet. I mean, I watched it and I’m aware what happened, but there was no explanation for why. Sure, random things happen all the time, but not in movies. Especially not movies like this.
The highlights? Seagal and fellow ‘guest stars’ Stephen Lang and Vinnie Jones, who all have a grand total of 15 minutes screentime between them. Our man Seagal plays mobster Paulie Trunks and he’s clearly digging it. He throws in a New York / Bronx accent and an ace anecdote about how he got his name. Seriously, Seagal is brilliant. Perhaps cause he was relishing doing something different.
Anyhoo, if you can find Seagal’s scene on YouTube give it a watch, but Gutshot really isn’t worthwhile. I want my 85 minutes back.
1 out of 5 (the one is for Seagal, Vinnie, and Lang).
Written by Jerry Rapp. Directed by Justin Steele
Michael Winnick’s Code Of Honor is an interesting one. Seagal plays a decorated ex-Special Ops guy (the best of the best) who has become a super vigilante following the drive-by killing of his wife and son.
Sikes (Seagal’s character) reminded me of Renegade Justice’s Simon Ballister a bit, but likely because he’s taken to dishing out his own justice. He doesn’t say much, but he does dispatch a whole load of bad guys.
However, most of the screen time is taken by Craig Sheffer’s William Porter, who may, or may not be, Sikes’ protege. There’s not much explanation behind Porter’s pursuit of Sikes, but there’s a puzzle for the police (and us) to solve as things play out (I had come to a similar conclusion to the weary Detective Peterson (Louis Mandylor) in the lead up to the movie’s final act).
Porter takes the damsel in distress under his wing and warns Peterson and his colleagues about the formidable Sikes by referring to his awesomeness and how he’s so good that they’d wonder whether he even exists. Even refering to him as a ghost. Quite fitting, actually.
Despite some niggles and even if the intention with the ending was a bit confusing (and maybe a tad derivative), this is a fairly solid flick and Seagal injects a bit of presence and swagger that Sheffer’s missing. Even if he’s more about shooting folks that engaging in hand-to-hand combat.
A solid 3.5 out of 5.
Written and directed by Michael Winnick
With the news that Seagal is all set to reprise the role of Nico Tuscani, we thought we’d look through an old article from Film Review.
Into The Sun finds Seagal playing Travis Hunter. He’s an interesting chap who doesn’t seem to like being a Government Agent. He’s been off the radar a little while, but when some shady shenanigans start happening in Tokyo, he’s the man needed to make some sense of it all.
There’s a whole lot of Seagal’s interests over this one and the character really suits him – sorta weary about the agency he’s working for and with a respect and knowledge of the country he calls home.
The bad guy here, Kuroda (played by Takao Osawa), is, quite frankly, one of the best from his DTV-era. He’s a bit eccentric (think Travis Dane, but a bit more crazy and dangerous) and due to his somewhat ferocious mind is all about killing off the old school Yakuza. Even his supporting bad guys are good for the money and the characters that support Seagal have good back-story, too.
Seagal’s partner, Agent Mac (Matthew Davis), is more of a comedy sidekick, though, and it’s a bit frustrating watching him tumble into the scenario he’s warned against. But we can’t always have the awesome Byron Mann, right?
The bit ‘boss battle’ is one of those great DTV-era moments. Seagal, his student, and new tattoo artist pal decide to take the fight to Kuroda. Cue swords!
Anyhoo, this is a definite favourite at In Seagal We Trust towers! Sure there’s some shoddy voice-over work and Seagal sometimes speaks English to characters who respond in Japanese), but don’t let that put you off. Into The Sun is a very splendid flick with some nice touches and pretty swell set-pieces.
Written by Steven Seagal, Joe Halpin, Trevor Miller. Directed by mink.