Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Driven to Kill... Ms. Daisy vs. The Russian Mob
Driven to Kill: 3 out of 10: I have no hope of ever being Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian no matter how much I work out; and no amount of dedication will ever give me the moves of a Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee; Steven Seagal on the other hand? I can do that. Find me an all you can eat buffet next to a tanning salon and I will be in Seagal shape in no time.
Whether it is Liam Neeson rescuing his daughter in Taken, Harrison Ford taking on the bank robbers in Firewall or those geriatrics in Lethal Weapon 4 there is plenty of room for action heroes that are more AARP than Tai Kwan Do.
So I am not going to harp on the fact that Stephen Seagal’s film reminds one of an alternate past where Orson Wells had starred in Good Guys Wear Black. Nor will I point out that his hand eye coordination is so out of whack he cannot even type at a keyboard convincingly on camera. Heck I will not even mention his Costner-esque* mastery of a Russian Accent.
What I do want to know why this is considered a return to form for Seagal by some critics. (Seagal is back and he is hungrier than ever crows one.) With a revenge plot so simple Charles Bronson would have blushed, Driven to Kill is the geriatric revenge plot boiled down to its simplistic core. The movies idea of a plot twist is a character, who practically wears a t-shirt that says I’m a bad guy ask me how, turns out to be “gasp” a bad guy. The fist fights remind me of Blazing Saddles (You Brute You Brute) and the gun fights are right out of Top Secret (Two guys five feet from each other hiding behind crates.)
Throw in some CGI gargoyles and this wouldn't be out of place on the SyFy Channel. The obvious fact that the actress that plays Seagal’s ex-wife (Inna Korobkina) is a year younger than the actress that plays his daughter (Laura Mennell). They put an old lady wig on Korobkina and hoped no-one would notice. (On another strange side note IMDB also has Ed Anders as thug #3 and Mike Desabrais as thug #5 but no word on the fate or identity of thugs 1, 2 and 4.)
I have liked some quality Seagal films in the past such as Under Siege and its sequel. In addition I have found other Seagal films very entertaining in there sheer over the top incompetence. (On Deadly Ground is one of the funniest most entertaining bad films I have ever scene.)
Driven to Kill is unfortunately not bad enough to be entertaining and lord knows it certainly isn't good enough either.
*Kevin Costner in Robin Hood set the standard for the disappearing reappearing never right in the first place accent.
I have to give some credit to Driven to Kill for having a strip club with actual topless strippers. If I see one more movie where the strippers are wearing bathing suits I am going to scream (This is especially egregious in an already "R" rated film). Fully clothed strippers have been a cinematic pet peeve of mine for years with one notable exception (see below). BTW Francine Cohen and Rita Edwards are the girls featured in this clip.
And that one exception is Jessica Alba in Sin City because Miss Alba can do no wrong and unlike other movie strippers (I am looking you way Jessica Beals of Flashdance) she doesn't have to take off her clothes to entertain an audience. Yasmine Vox, on the other hand, probably does have to take her clothes off to entertain an audience; but to her credit she does it quite well in the clip above.
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