Monday, 25 May 2009

Korea loves Steven Seagal

Wow, didn't this happen just six weeks ago? Maybe. Korean cable TV is running another Steven Seagal movie season right now. I cannot explain the love affair that this country has with him. You can maybe go back to some early films of his and say they are OK B level action movies but anything after 1992 with him in it is shockingly bad. Yet curiously enjoyable.

Last night's film was Glimmer Man. In case you haven't seen it, here is the plot summary taken from Wikipedia.

Jack Cole (Steven Seagal) was once a government intelligence operative known as "The Glimmer Man," because he could move so quickly and quietly that his victims would only see a glimmer before they died. Having left the Glimmer Man job behind him, Cole—steeped in mysticism and not used to working with others—has become a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Cole is partnered with Jim Campbell (Keenen Ivory Wayans), a tough, no-nonsense cop who has little patience for Cole's New Age philosophies and outsider attitude. Cole and Campbell have to set aside their differences when they're assigned to track down a serial killer called "The Family Man," for his habit of killing entire households.

So Seagal is steeped in mysticism and is not used to working with others...hmmm, and we have a no nonsense cop. And they have to work together to solve murder cases. OK you may have seen something like this before but wait. Seagal demonstrates his powers in one scene, in a morgue overseeing a dead body his colleague comments on the dead girls dead body. Seagal "A little bit too nice" then promptly takes a scalpel and removes her breast implants and tracks down her identity from this. You had to see it to believe its outrageousness. In another scene, Seagal demonstrates that he can actually fly.

Usually Steven Seagal AND Keenen Ivory Wayans are straight to video guys, but not this time (1996). How can you not watch this when it's on Korean TV at 3am? Somehow they got Brian Cox to stoop low enough to be in this film. Shame on you Brian. Literally unbelievably Wikipedia claims this had a budget of $45,000,000. If so I wonder what it was spent on. Clearly not on Seagal's wardrobe. Perhaps on his lunch.

It is easy to parody Seagal and many have done so, but just like Jason Staham, fun can had watching his films. Yes the quality goes down film by film, as we see him grow larger and larger. Yes Seagal carries not weight of expectation but only the weight of ridicule. BUT how can you not enjoy this clip?

I guess my standards are slipping blame Korea! Glimmer Man, I think I have seen the film maybe four times here during my time in the ROK and I still don't know how it ends because I always fall asleep. A perfect cure for insomnia so everyone is happy.

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