Thursday, 11 September 2008

Pistol Whipped


Directed by: Roel Reine
Written by: J.D. Zeik
Starring: Steven Segal & Lance Henrikson

Whoa, what, wait a minute. A pretty good direct-to-DVD Steven Segal flick? Yep, after years of dreck, Pistol Whipped comes along as a pleasant surprise. Never reaching the highs of his classics such as Out for Justice or Marked for Death, Pistol Whipped is nevertheless a decent action film with the big man front and centre pretty much the entire time, kicking ass and using his own voice. Wow, what a novelty to watch a Segal picture where he is actually in it.

Segal even stretches himself a bit playing a not too nice guy who has fallen on hard times due to gambling and drinking habits. Enter shady underworld boss Lance Henrikson (Aliens) who offers to erase all his debts and get his life back on track if Segal agrees to ‘take out’ various mob bosses who are causing the city trouble. Segal reluctantly agrees and gets back into ass kicking mode only to realize things may not be all they seem and his own life may very well be in danger. This all leads to one awesomely staged shootout in a graveyard.

Now the picture isn’t perfect and is still plagued by some of Segal’s weird stylings but we’ve berated the guy enough and the flick is overall good so we’ll just sing its praises. Using his considerable bulk as an aid, Segal swaggers through the flick confidently doing his own fights and actually embracing playing a character who, well, isn’t Steven Segal. The film has a mean and moody feel that compliments the story and there is some nice, quirky support from Paul Calderon (Bad Lieutenant) as a heavy sent to keep an eye on Segal. Henrikson is his usual good self but only gets limited screen time.

Segal also delivers the action this time doing most of his own fighting. A great fight in a bowling alley and a rollicking car chase help to keep things moving along and Segal and the filmmaker’s stage an impressive gun battle in a cemetery come the finale which is hard hitting and thrilling in its execution. Slick camerawork, a lean pace and decent acting and plotting make Pistol Whipped a great view and is far better than the equally hyped Renegade Justice which failed to show Segal still had it. Now only if he still kept making films this entertaining.

No comments: