Well, it's no longer accurate to call Steven Seagal a Clint Eastwood wannabe. He has now officially become Clint Eastwood.
In fact, his movies are more popular than Eastwood's these days. His latest, "Out for Justice," earned $10 1/2 million over its first weekend. Studio accountants are, needless to say, sitting up and taking notice.Furthermore, Seagal is now co-producing his movies - and if the gossip mill is to be believed, he's also pointing the camera, dominating the editing room and doing everything else except going for coffee.
But that may be more an indication of his hat size than his talent. "Out for Justice" isn't any better than his other movies; in fact, I think it's his worst. Certainly there's more gore here than in his other pictures.
This time, pony-tailed, karate-kicking Seagal plays a cop working his home turf in Brooklyn. He's the same kind of maverick, do-it-my-way loose cannon we've seen in a million other cop movies, not to mention Seagal's three previous efforts. But there is one major twist. His superiors, in particular his immediate superior (Jerry Orbach), don't seem to mind his anti-Miranda tactics. In fact, they encourage it.
The story, such as it is, has Seagal's old childhood buddy (William Forsythe) on a killing rampage, starting with Seagal's partner, whom he kills in broad daylight on a busy street, and in front of his wife and child. Then Forsythe drives off, stopping to take out a woman who complains about his driving. Many more bodies will follow.
Naturally, Seagal goes after him, along with the local Mafia and a lot of other cops. Seagal knows both sides of the street, with mobster and "civilian" friends. In fact, he seems to know every Brooklyn resident on a first-name basis. (He also speaks fluent Spanish and Italian.)
Most of the movie has the invincible Seagal beating people up when he's not shooting them. At one point he uses a meat cleaver to hang a bad guy's hand up on the wall. Later he blows off another bad guy's leg.
But he's a good father, of course. And as the body count rises, his wife will discontinue divorce proceedings and take him back.
Seagal may be a success, but I'm just grateful he only makes one movie a year.
"Out for Justice" is rated R for violence, profanity, vulgarity, nudity and drugs.