Thursday, December 31, 2009

'The Glimmer Man' is beginning of end for Seagal

The Glimmer Man (1996)
Starring: Steven Seagal, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Bob Gunton, and Johnny Strong
Director: John Gray
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

A Bhuddist New York City homicide detective with a mysterious past (Seagal) and his street-smart, wise-cracking Los Angeles counterpart (Wayans) form an uneasy partnership as they persue a serial killer known as the Family Man, because he viciously butchers entire households.

"The Glimmer Man" is a film with a "Lethal Weapons" vibe that also anticipates the "Rush Hour" films with its structure and mixture of martial arts and (partially racially based) humor. Unfortunately, it's dragged down by jokes that simpy aren't funny, action sequences that leave alot to be desired, and lead characters that are just too close to being cliched carticatures to be enjoyable. To make it a perfect storm of crapitude, the film also has an unneccesarily complex script into which the writer apparently felt obligated to draw every single bad guy and sinister organization that you'd expect to find in an action flick from the late 1980s and early 1990s--street gangs, organized crime, serial killers, the CIA, FBI... probalby even the PTA if you look close enough. Too many players in the story cause it to be a muddled mess beyond the writer's meager talen to control.

It's actually a shame that the script isn't better, because this is the last movie where we'll see Steven Seagal in full fighting trim. He has a couple of okay fight scenes, and he actually doesn't do that bad a job with what he has to work with. The same is partially true about Wayans, although while Seagal's character shows the occassional twinkle of charm, Wayans character is just obnoxious from the get-go, and never rises above that state.

"The Glimmer Man" is the demarcation line between the Mostly Good Seagal Movies and the Mostly Crappy Seagal Movies. It's a point beyond which you should not pass if you want to remember when he still had a shot at a respectable acting career.

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