Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Born To Raise Hell


Directed by: Lauro Chartrand
Written by: Steven Seagal
Starring: Steven Seagal, Darren Shahlavi, Dan Badarau

Reviewing new direct-to-DVD Steven Seagal films is now a cut and paste job. They are becoming less indistinguishable, Seagal playing pretty much the same character (himself!) in every flick as some sort of cop/federal agent/former special forces dude, who has to rescue someone (his daughter/his wife/his friends daughter) usually in Eastern Europe somewhere all punctuated by some decent if hardly ground breaking shootouts and fight scenes. While I enjoyed his last few recent efforts (The Keeper, A Dangerous Man), as they were at least a little better produced with solid action, Born to Raise Hell is a step back once again.

Ugly, predictable, ludicrous and to be honest, often dull Born to Raise Hell packs a punch in a few ok action scenes but it's all just run-of-the-mill Seagal dubbed and doubled nonsense. He's out to avenge the death of his cop buddy (ok, so it's not his wife or daughter this time) which leads to a rather anti-climactic fight with Darren Shahlavi. Yep, even poor old Darren is wasted in this. Despite being a proven action actor and fighter (Bloodmoon, Ip Man 2) he gets a thankless bad guy role and a fight with Seagal which lasts all of a minute and a half and is completely one sided favouring Seagal. Mr Shahlavi could have at least been allowed to get a few kicks and hits in to make the fight more worthwhile.

Maybe Seagal is just tired of churning out these low rent action flicks and should just retire. But I guess when there is still money to make, then why not churn out a couple more? It's just a pity the opportunity to be entertaining and another action star's talents are wasted in the process. Maybe Seagal just bought a bunch of action movie titles (from Today You Die to Driven to Kill) and is contractually obligated to make them (though I'm still no sure how anyone thought Belly of the Beast makes for a cool action movie title!). Some have been entertaining (like Pistol Whipped and the aforementioned A Dangerous Man) but Born to Raise Hell (a title which promises much action fun) is just a lazy mess.

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