These days no one would expect much from direct-to-video films starring Steven Seagal. It was only five years ago (in 2001) when his `Exit Wounds' hit No. 1 in the US box office chart, and thanks to DMX that was a decent action film. It was a long time ago.
`Submerged' is yet another B-film from Millennium Films directed by Anthony Hichox, known for B-horror/action films like `Waxwork' and `Jill Rips.' If you have seen the latter one featuring another direct-to-video star Dolph Lundgren (remember?), you know what you will see in `Submerged.' I can write it with one word - TERRIBLE.
[BAD ACTIONS] `Submerged' has a wide assortment of terrible actions and vapid shoot-outs, plus incomprehensible story no one can understand, and as if they are not enough, very bad acting too. The last one could be forgiven if only Steven Seagal had listened to the advice of the people who know filmmaking better, and tried to lose some weight to look more like `action star' as he did before shooting `Exit Wounds.' Apparently he is too busy to do that, making as many as three or four films in a year.
[BAD STORY] Now `Submerged' seems to be about the conspiracy in South America, where some terrible plot is going on, It looks like someone is using the high tech called "mind control" for no other reason than making some money. And this is yet to be confirmed, but someone is giving a help to the scientist to do a profitable business or something.
[BAD, BAD, BAD] Add to this clichéd story, laconic Steven Seagal as `Cody' our hero released from the prison. As always, Chris Cody is assigned a mission from US Navy to attack the secret laboratory of the doctor. Chris Cody leads his `Dirty-Dozen' team only to find bits of tired actions, like bits of submarine scenes (where cheap version of `Under Siege' can be seen briefly), and another cheap version of Doris Day's `The Man Who Knew Too Much' with confusing editing and meaningless conclusion.
[AND TRIVIA] Usually this kind of action is made with several set-pieces. If they are well-crafted, the numerous plot holes or bad acting can be ignored. In `Submerged' as the title suggests, everything - car crash, explosions (including that of miniatures), and shoot-outs are badly shot and poorly edited. You see distorted, cheesy CGI of `visions' of the brainwashed, or inexplicable fast-forward and slow motions, but they just don't make any sense. The fact that Hichox's mother Anne V. Coates is a respected film editor and four-time Oscar nominee (most recently for `Out of Sight') only makes me very sad about the poorly done editing of `Submerged.'
And as to Steven Seagal, what can I say? His acting is lazy and his action is slack, as if he doesn't want to do anything. Even the film's `Uruguay' is in fact Bulgaria, so no exotic location can be enjoyed. In short, this is a truly terrible film with no redeeming merits. Forget all about it.