What really singles out ON DEADLY GROUND is that a real actor, in this case Michael Caine, appears in the film. Here's a new debate for everyone: which check made Michael Caine feel the most "dirty": ON DEADLY GROUND or JAWS: THE REVENGE?
The one truly inspired moment of this film comes at the very end. After decimating an army of thugs and blowing up an Alaskan oil refinery that resembles an earthbound version of the Death Star, Seagal appears at a press conference to lecture us ON SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT! No kidding. He single-handedly destroys our 49th state and then warns us about the threat of pollution.
If you really want to see an impassioned anti-pollution film featuring a hero of limitid acting range, then seek out GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER. The Big G was onto the environment message years before Seagal started polluting the screen.
Seagal starred in some quick but competent cop on a mission flicks in the late 80s and early 90s. Then something happened. He got power, and he decided he wanted to make a statement. This is rarely a good idea for actors, specifically action movie stars with ponytails.
In this one, Seagal is fighting the evil oil industry. A massive oil company is up to some shananagins in Alaska, and it's up to Seagal as an EPA agent (with a shadowy background) to stop these injustices.
Seagal's solution to the violence and environmentally unsound practices of the company is to kill a number of people and then cause more environmental damage by blowing up a pricey oil rig. The company is headed by none other than Michael Caine, who is sporting oil-black hair and some ridiculous rubber-face makeup. Caine makes the film worthwhile for those who are morbid enough to watch a fine actor's most shameless hour.
I believe, most of the time, that bad movies are not born but made. Seagal may feel that the oil industry is shafting the people, and he is likely right, but the form his statement takes is ludicrous even if he doesn't realize it. Actually, Seagal probably believes he's making an important statement and serious film (while satisfynig fans) and this sincerity is what makes it all the more laughable.
The film is appalling in most respects, but it offers the violence you came to see. Seagal was just plain fat by this point (though he would, in fact, get fatter) but it doesn't stop him from dispatching all level of minion from Caine.Read more ›