Top critical review
Terrible, Really Terrible, and That's All I Can Say
on May 1, 2004
Shot back-to-back with terrible "The Foreigner" Steven Seagal comes back with another terrible movie. It is beyond my capacity to describe how bad it is, but I can say that I slept while watching it in theater (yes, they released it theatrically in Japan, you know, what a silly decision).
The plot is non-existent, but it should be alright if there are good amount of exciting actions. Sorry, but there are none, and though the film is supposed to follow the one-man's vendetta against Chinese mafia after his beloved ones are killed by them because of the drug lord, there is no emotional power that would make us relate to the hero Steven plays. His "Hard to Kill" is not a classic, but it has a power enough to make it worth watching.
Anyway, Steven Seagal is dressed as an eminent professor of archeology (!) who receives an award from Yale University. Seriously. Well, there still would be no reason for us to doubt the authenticity of that character if only his name was something other than "Robert Burns." Come on! Is this a bad joke using the name of famous poet? The naming is as laughable as that of "Postman" where Kevin Costner called a fictional American president "Richard Sterkey" (aka Ringo Starr).
And actions are terrible. Just terrible. Because of the poor, choppy editing, you don't know what is happening on the screen. The murky lighting also damages the actions, and if they think they are shooting a noir film, they are utterly mistaken -- see how Steven Seagal's character speaks the line like "You killed my wife" as if ordering a cheeseburger, and you will know why.
Director Michael Oblowitz once made "This World, Then Fireworks," a so-so noir starring Bliiy Zane, but "Out for a Kill," together with "The Foreigner," totally erased what impressed me before. And as to Steven Seagal ... what can I say? It was 11 years ago when he hit the No. 1 at the US box-office with "Under Siege," and that was really a long time ago.