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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
BACK TO BASICSJan. 30 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
The career of Steven Seagal has jumped from high to low to mediocre. When he began his action film set the bar for fight sequences just as it had been set by Bruce Lee years prior. But as he aged and became more popular, his films began to take on a different tone, preaching instead of fighting, made by less skilled directors more focused on his acting ability than his martial arts skills. And it was those skills that drew fans to the seats, not the acting.
This is not to say that Seagal's acting skills aren't up there. While made fun of by impersonators and joked about by night time talk show hosts, he's actually not bad. Unfortunately a number of his movies were. But that involved more plot lines, scripts and directors who didn't quite no how to use him. Such is not the case with THE KEEPER.
Seagal returns to form as tough as nails cop Rolland Salinger whose dirty partner shoots him during the film's opening sequence. Rolland survives and even gets revenge when the cop tries to kill him in the hospital. But even though wronged, the force demands he take an early retirement (a nice plot line that plays to Seagal's age rather than ignore it).
At home recovering, Rolland continues to nurse himself back to speed while relying on pain killers to help him out. Not overly so but to Rolland this is a sign of weakness and as the film progresses, he depends on them less and less.
While deciding what to do about the forced retirement, Rolland gets a call from old friend Conner Wells (Steph Duvall), an ex Texas policeman who struck it rich. It seems that someone has tried to kidnap Conner's daughter Nikita (Liezl Carstens) and taken out her bodyguard in the process. Knowing Rolland's skills at personal and property protection, Conner hires him to be the new head of security and Nikita's personal bodyguard.
Not only does Rolland improve security, in watching Nikita he has the chance to find out just who is behind the kidnapping scheme. One person involved is Nikita's boyfriend, an up and coming boxer backed by Conner. A self interested player, he's tied into a criminal named Jason Cross who has a past with Conner.
Various fight sequences that demonstrate what Seagal brought to the genre years ago result in broken bones and hurt feelings when Nikita feels over protected. At the same time she develops a respect for Rolland as well.
With all the attempts to kidnap Nikita, we know eventually one will work. It is then that Rolland gets the entire story from Conner. Cross is trying to steal Conner's land from him, land that has more value to it than mere oil. Now he must sign over that land to Cross and in return Nikita will be released.
Too bad Rolland doesn't like to play games by other people's rules. With a little help from some friends, Rolland sets out to track down Nikita and Cross and to make sure that this story winds up in his favor. Trust me, it's not a spoiler to tell you who comes out on top in the end. I mean come on; this IS a Steven Seagal movie. Then again he didn't finish well in EXECUTIVE DECISION.
With enough fight sequences to demonstrate Seagal's technique, plenty of guns and explosions and several good looking women to satisfy the male chauvinist pigs, this movie brings Seagal back to the fold of solid action stars. The movie may have gone straight to DVD but it will be a treat for fans.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
He's not only getting older, he's getting betterFeb. 9 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Lots of his direct-to-DVD flicks are hit and miss (I like 'em all), but this movie was better than most. Maybe he's working out, or losing some weight from his TV show, whatever the reason: Seagal is getting into better shape, and the quality of the D2D movies are better as well (I do not miss the crappy voiceover dubbing of some of his movies).
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
297 Pounds of neck snapping glory!Nov. 2 2009
Sid the Elf
- Published on Amazon.com
Recently wrapping up of very enjoyable October month of nothing but horror we decided to get back into another foundation; glorious b action. What better way to start the evening off then with a double feature opening with the transcendent Death Ring? Absolutely nothing is exactly right. Naturally the only way to close it out would have to be with the legendary Steven "Panda Bear" Seagal. Now you may be wondering how we got our hands on The Keeper before it's release date. Well Sid and the old boy Seagal go way back and always get a pre-screen run before the masses get their hands on it's action packed goodness. Coming off some recent "less then desirable" features, The Keeper proved to be somewhat of a throwback to vintage Seagal. Sure he's still quite portly but smart as a whip and really picked up the a** kicking factor that he's famous for.
This round we start with Seagal playing the usual rogue LA cop character named Rolland Sallinger. He along with his partner bust up a drug ring taking 2 of their members out with some sweet gun action. As Rolland gets ready to call it in his partner winds up shooting him since they couldn't come to terms on stealing the cool 2 mil sitting in front of them. Naturally Seagal plays by the books and winds up shot and retired because of it. He was a good man. Being newly retired doesn't keep him down for long when he gets a call from an old pal with a problem. He brings Seagal in as a high payed bodyguard to is daughter, which of course proves to be the best move. The rest is filled with some very entertaining beat downs, great laughs, and an actual audible dialogue from the 99% of the time whispering Seagal.
The Keeper had a bit of a "Man on Fire" feel just way more b and with much much less emotion. This was a happy day for Sid seeing a glimmer in the chances of Seagal's career getting back on track. Ok, lets not get nuts here. No it won't get him back in the mainstream but should impress his group of followers out there. He's not and will probably never return to his former notoriety except among the action b loving community who will continue to watch his monthly features. At this point you can't expect too much and have to realize as long as their laughs to be had, then Steven Seagal is your man. From all angles this one was gold for us and has us awaiting the next release.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Guilty PleasuresMay 9 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Really good Steven Seagal movie. I like them all. Maybe It's because I did some research into what the man has been about. His accomplishments as a human being 'blew me away' (ha ha). I like 'good' movies too. But sometimes it's nice to sit back and watch some good old fasioned macho alpha-male kick-ass fake violence. God knows, there's enough real violence in the world to run away from once in a while. And I pretty much know exactly what I'm getting and how it's going to end and who's gonna win! Bottom line - I don't know why I like him and I don't question it. I don't like all action stars or action movies, or action genres - zombie flicks and tons of blood don't do much for me. I don't review those movies 'cause I don't watch them. I don't understand why anyone would take the time to dis a Steven Seagal flick because they don't like him. If you don't like his stuff, why are you watching it? Duh.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Your luck can only take you so far..."Jan. 26 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
"The Keeper" comes off the heels of the debut of Steven Seagal's Lawman TV show and the better-than-average Driven to Kill. With the exception of a few small blunders, Seagal's career has been on a roll, but while his 32nd self-starring action feature continues the trend of storyline coherency and good production values, it's the least remarkable of his recent flurry of decent outings. It's an okay movie, but Seagal doesn't have time for merely "okay" at this point in his career. I was hoping for a few more touches of ingenuity that I had come to expect from the Buddhist Bonecrusher's recent activity, but overall, this one is a step back in quality.
The story: following a near-fatal double-cross by his partner, detective Roland Salinger retires from the police force. Following rehabilitation therapy, he's contacted by an old friend and Texas socialite (Steph Duvall, Open Fire) with an offer to protect him and his daughter (Liezl Carstens, promoted from her grieving widow role in Urban Justice) from the dastardly efforts of a local crime boss (Luce Rains, Appaloosa) to steal their wealth.
Promotional material for this film likened it to The Professional and Man on Fire; in my opinion, this borders on the sacrilegious, but "The Keeper" does manage to express a fairly nice relationship between a girl and her bodyguard. Sure, it's an awfully forced one and you can't have a movie where a woman thirty years his junior isn't smitten with Seagal, but Liezl Carstens gives a passable performance and inspires some extra effort in Steven, which is always nice for a change. Surprisingly, the film is full of mildly-interesting little snippets to temporarily relieve the monotony: it makes allusions to Seagal's real-life police work and his genuine fondness for pistols, features him speaking fluent Spanish at length, and contains a couple great scenes of him dispensing righteous Seagalian justice on women-beaters. Though the film opens with a body double and some obvious dubbing, the film steers clear of that for most of its remainder. The acting isn't great, but the aforementioned cast - including Arron Shiver (Save Me) as Carsten's turncoat boyfriend - is solid and consistent.
As for the action? Well, there's a pretty fine car chase and a decent woodland shootout to look forward to, but that covers all of the good stuff. Steven's obviously doing his own martial arts again and there's a thoroughly awesome instance in which he stabs a goon through the throat with his bare fingers (!), but with the possible exception of a single encounter, the fight scenes all suffer from the same shoddy camera angles and restricting cinematography that you'll find in the worst of his movies. The film defines itself as a DTV production via some weird, time-killing collage shots and other nonsense involving post-production editing. With the exception of Seagal getting shot in the beginning, the story sports absolutely no unexpected twists or otherwise intrigue; it's hinted that his character's addiction to painkillers may be a point of interest, but this is dropped before anything significant happens. In other words, the only reason you have to watch this movie is if you like watching Steven Seagal, even if all he's doing most of the time is walking around in sunglasses.
After having upped his game via the efforts of directors Roel Reine and Don Fauntleroy, Steven's work with Keoni Waxman (Shooting Gallery) is enough to make you forget that his recent revival ever happened. Please, buy this one over the likes of Kill Switch, but say a prayer with me that Seagal's upcoming Waxman collaboration won't inspire a lower rating than this one.