Bigger Screen :: Attack Force (Starring Steven Seagal!)
May 19th 2011
Nick La Rosa
You know when you go to the video shop, and the shelf is half full of terrible looking movies that you’ve never heard of, starring actors that you have? Guys like Cuba Gooding Jr, Val Kilmer, Christian Slater and Wesley Snipes. Are these even real movies? Or some kind of elaborate tax write off? Does anyone actually watch them? I decided to find out by watching Attack Force, starring Steven Seagal. I choose it because it was in the ‘new to weekly’ section, and also because it was the shortest.
Did you know Steven Seagal released a relatively well received Blues Album called Mojo Priest (!), and also a line of energy drinks called Steven Seagal’s Lightening Bolt?! I do, because I googled him. I also learnt that he has been accused of keeping Russian sex slaves. More to the point, IMDB says that Attack Force was originally about invading space aliens but they decided after they shot it to turn it into a movie about a party drug that turns sexy French people into a killing machines. Killing machines whose main talent appears to be the ability to throw people through walls.
Imagine shooting a movie and then later figuring out what it was about? What a strange way to make a film. Anyway this super drug, CTX, was going to be used on soldiers, however, they decide to put it into Paris’s water supply instead. I didn’t quite catch why. Unless I am mistaken, Seagal’s Attack Force didn’t actually stop this mass poisoning, they just had a huge brawl where everyone but Seagal and this one other guy was killed. After the fight Seagal and the other guy just get in a car and leave as the credits role. I am pretty sure that the shot of the car driving off was already used earlier in the film as well. So tough shit Paris.
The first thing that you will notice about this is that Steven Seagal has piled on some pounds since Under Siege. The second thing is that he is still rocking the Neil Perry ponytail. Good for him. The third thing you will notice is that he doesn’t seem to actually be speaking most of his lines. There is this terrible dubbing over whole chunks of his dialogue, including the whole first 20 minutes, to the point where you are not really sure who is supposed to be talking. This gives you a clue as to how this business works. I’m guessing Seagal (who is also credited as co-writer and co-producer) shows up for a couple of weeks, records some scenes, punches some sexy French women in the face, gets thrown through a wall, fires some guns at stuff off screen and then pisses off after cashing a cheque that’s probably three quarters of the films budget. After that, they try and make a movie out of what they got, papering over the dialogue and adding in scenes to try and string together a plot. Not trying very hard mind you. This thing has long external shots of a car driving through Paris, while we listen to the conversation apparently inside the car featuring a voice that is meant to be, but clearly is not, Steven Seagal explaining what the movie is about.
Seagal has presence onscreen, I‘ll give him that. This huge guy with the weird widows peak hairdo and flowy oriental robes is about the only interesting thing on screen. He was pretty great as the bad guy in Machete last year. Maybe if he just, you know, put a bit of effort (or even just dubbed his own lines) he could again scale the heights of Half Past Dead or The Glimmer Man. That s