Halb tot (Germany), Mission Alcatraz (France)
The good. The bad. And the deadly.
William T. Bowers
Don Michael Paul
Running Time: 95 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: Germany, United States
I felt let down by Steven Seagals performance in Half Past Dead on two counts. Firstly, he doesnt get to wear his hair in an absurd ponytail until the last five minutes. Secondly, you can only play the usual game of spot the body double if youre prepared to switch your DVD to slo-mo every time hes asked to break sweat. Thankfully, the mumbling chubster does stay true to past form on one front – his attempts at acting are absolutely diabolical. What a relief that is.
In this noisy and utterly predictable shoot-em-up, Seagal plays undercover FBI agent Sasha. I know what youre thinking thats a girls name. Big Steve would never stand for playing a girlie. But its okay, because hes supposed to be Russian, and besides, whos going to be brave enough to laugh at him? Im certainly not. Im too scared hed sit on me.
Assisted by gravel-voiced rap dullard Ja Rule, Susan sorry, I mean Sasha sets about stopping a gang of mercenaries (led by Morris Chestnut and Nia Peeples) from getting their hands on a secret stash of gold bars. The only trouble is, to find out the location of the loot, theyve got to break into the revamped New Alcatraz and get the info out of death row inmate Bruce Weitz before hes sent to the big awful action movie in the sky. And they might be able to get in, but our double-chinned hero will be darned if theyre able to get out.
If Under Siege was a desperate mans Die Hard, then Half Past Dead is an even more desperate mans Under Siege. The acting, direction and dialogue are among the worst Ive ever seen or heard, and the only thing making the movie remotely watchable is the unintentional hilarity of the whole affair. Give this one a whirl if youre in the mood for watching a REALLY crappy film.
It's Got: One-time Pebble Mill presenter Ross King popping up as an FBI agent. No doubt Alan Titchmarsh and Judi Spiers were watching his back, perhaps with Sarah Greene on stand-by to burst through the roof and open up a can of whoop-ass.
It Needs: For casting departments to stop confusing rappers with actors. Then again, few of them are any worse at the job than Mr Seagal.
DVD Extras A directors commentary, some deleted scenes, a handful of trailers and a great Making Of documentary chock-full of misguided enthusiasm. DVD Extras Rating: 4/10
Alternatives:Die Hard, The Rock, Under Siege
One of those God-awful movies thats so bad it actually starts to become a little enjoyable. Note the use of the phrase a little in there.