Half Past Dead

Half Past Dead


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Some action pictures should dump the script and have the actors shoot at each other. That's what happens here.

Steven Seagal is a big guy. Now he's bigger. It could be the cheeseburgers. Certainly his deft karate skills have become slow and ponderous. In real life, he wouldn't last two minutes.

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The island prison in San Francisco Bay, once called Alcatraz, now called New Alcatraz, is filled with a select cell count of hardened criminals. One rainy night, a group of commandos parachute in and start killing guards. They are disciplined and heavily armed. Their purpose is to force an old man who is about to be executed to tell them where he hid the booty from his last heist.

Seagal, who plays a Russian with an American accent, organises the cons, collects weapons from the store and the first of a thousand firefights begins. There is absolutely no point to any of it; even the violence looks fake. A short girl (Nia Peeples) with full makeup and leathers makes a brave attempt at a dominatrix, using guns instead of whips.

The brutality of the senses continues uninterrupted. When the mind is mulch, they send in the cavalry (FBI). More people are killed, more guns go off.

Co-producer Seagal has lost the plot. Certainly, this one by director Don Michael Paul could hardly be described as such.

They went to the former East Berlin to shoot the film in one of the Stasi jails. Why bother? They could have built a set in the studio and then systematically destroyed it.

Perhaps, the Germans enjoyed watching the Americans behave like hooligans.

Reviewed on: 01 May 2003
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Steven Seagal helps jailbirds in New Alcatraz fight commando raiders who attack the prison.
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Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: Don Michael Paul

Starring: Steven Seagal, Morris Chestnut, Ja Rule, Nia Peeples, Tony Plana, Kurupt, Bruce Weitz, Linda Thorson, Hannes Jaenicke, Michael "Bear" Taliferro, Richard Bremmer, Matt Battaglia

Year: 2003

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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