Monday, April 25, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #19, Half Past Dead

Armed gunmen have taken over Alcatraz, which just reopened. They are holding a Supreme Court justice hostage. They are willing to stop at nothing to get what they want. And only one man can stop them: a trained killing machine... played by a 50-year-old, 300-something-pound Steven Seagal.

That's really all you need to know about this movie. The doughy, old Seagal of Steven Seagal: Lawman fame tries and fails to do his one-time action star thing. Ja Rule and Kurupt are both in it and, to the best of my prodigious movie brain, Training Day is the only movie that has more than one rapper in it and isn't awful (but still overrated). There's some back story about Seagal gaining trust as an undercover agent with Ja Rule, but it has nothing to do with anything, really. There's some kind of crazy execution chamber at the new Alcatraz where an inmate can die five different ways, but nobody ever gets killed in it, so who cares? The Supreme Court justice ends up helping someone with their sentence, which is impossible, but it's a freaking Steven Seagal-Ja Rule-Kurupt movie, so anything is technically possible, with the exception of quality.

You only need to know the plot and you need to know about the ending, which incorporates seven of the finest funny-bad minutes you'll ever see. The whole movie, itself, is hilarious, but it peaks at the end. I can't find video to embed because of that pesky copyright thing, so you'll have to see it for yourself. The bad guy, played by Morris Chestnut, has the Justice hostage in a helicopter. Seagal is chasing him in another helicopter. Chestnut throws the Justice out of the copter. Seagal dives out of his and after the woman. You can clearly see that the stunt double for the Justice is wearing a parachute under their coat. Seagal gets the woman in mid-air and saves her. Awesome part, #1. Awesome part, #2, takes place back at the prison where Seagal is visiting Ja Rule to let him know that the Justice has knocked down his sentence. Here starts a sequence as homo-erotic as it gets. Ja Rule asks what his sentence was knocked down to. Seagal replies, "It was knocked down to how fast can you get out of those clothes?" Ja Rule smiles and bites his lower lip. They fist pound through the glass and give each other happy looks while some soft music plays in the background. Such an amazing ending that I made my wife watch it with me and then I watched it a third time.

Kind of hard to believe, but eighty-two movies down, eighteen to go.

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