Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marked For Death (1990) *1/2

Cast: Steven Seagal, Basil Wallace, Keith David, Joanna Pacula

Directed by Dwight H. Little

Steven Seagal is indeed marked for death by a Jamaican drug posse, after using his ex-DEA skills to ultimately offend Screwface (Wallace, the film’s only life) Seagal seems to keep a cool head (for too long, may we add) as it takes a drive-by and an attack on his sister before Seagal looks for vengeance. Meanwhile the film sets up far too much time with the Voodoo mumbo jumbo that we learn little about and that wears out its welcome too quick. Marked For Death doesn’t work because the film doesn’t keep Seagal in action frequently enough, and when the action element finally kicks in, by then it’s too little too late. Also the climax is also poorly done and confusingly staged, as the ridiculous plot twist leads to a not very well lit backdrop where we find it hard to see our invincible hero dispatch the bad guys. The biggest flaw though with Marked For Death is that it just isn’t exciting, interesting or even violent enough. The lackluster story is erratic, the action set pieces fail to add up to much and worst of all it’s just plain boring. Seagal’s got the right moves but the film needed a more vulnerable hero and Seagal as usual seems far too invincible. Only the swagger provided by Wallace provides little of what diversion there is from the predictable plot.

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