Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Driven to Kill



DRIVEN TO KILL (2009)

Directed by
: Jeff King
Starring: Steven Seagal, Dimitry Chepovetsky & Igor Jijikine

Seagal has been making direct-to-DVD stinkers for a while now but recently they’ve been turning around in quality and getting better. Sort of. Driven to Kill continues this new trend, and while it’s still a long away from the likes of Hard to Kill and Under Siege, it’s a decent enough, if predictable, Seagal flick with some hard edged action.

Here he plays a one time Russian gangster called Ruslan, now turned crime novelist. Well he’s been a chef, an environmental warrior and even a doctor (!), so why the hell not: Seagal can be a crime novelist. This is all by-the-by as it’s mentioned all but twice and serves little purpose to the plot which sees Ruslan’s daughter being attacked and seriously hurt by some nasty mobster heavies. This means Ruslan steps back into action mode as he hunts down those responsible and dishes out the pain. Ok it’s all pretty straight forward and standard formula but there is one twist that makes it just a little different from all the out-for-revenge Seagal flicks. His daughter’s fiancĂ© (played well by Dimitry Chepovetsky) accompanies Ruslan on his quest for vengeance, his gangster father responsible for his future wife's attack. However, he is not the gangster is father is and nowhere near as capable at dishing out the violent retribution like Ruslan. It’s a unique dynamic and gives Seagal a different kind of sidekick: one who wants to hurt the people that have hurt the one he loves but finds it difficult to do so.



More surprisingly, Seagal is in pretty much all of this flick. Doubling and dubbing is kept to a minimum and its fun to see Seagal actually be in one of his pictures all the way through. He even tries to act a bit. Just a bit, mind. The action is not bad either, again Seagal partaking in most of it. He has a wicked extended knife fight with a bad dude, there’s a great shootout in an enclosed parking lot and the sustained running gun battle in a hospital is exciting and explosive stuff. The action is clear and crisp and the fights punchy and brutal, Seagal getting to face off with Indiana Jones 4 bad guy, Igor Jijikine.

So, not great but not bad either with some solid action. And these days, that’s pretty good for a Seagal flick.

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