Wednesday, August 3, 2011

HARD TO KILL (1990) - Classic Seagal revenge movie

As stupid as it may sound, I actually have a soft spot for Steven Seagal, as anyone who visits my blog would probably notice seeing as how I go out of my way to watch his flicks, which most people tend to avoid. Most of his films, okay... nearly all of his films rate highly on the crap factor, but in the '90s the guy had a decent enough run that ended with his biggest hit ever, Under Siege, which everyone seems to remember for the random topless scene rather than for its outrageous villains and good share of hilarious lines. Hard to Kill is probably his second best movie, and holds a special place in my heart for being my first Seagal flick. Aside from a truly terrible poster, it's really not that bad at all.

Mason Storm (Steven Seagal) is a badass detective working a major corruption case, and as the movie kicks off, he's snooping around a Mob meeting, trying to collect some evidence for an arrest. He gets video implicating some important government official ordering an assassination, but he's spotted and chased off. Storm calls his partner back in the office and tells him about what went down. Unknown to both of them though, two corrupt cops are on the other line listening in. Storm heads home, but not before managing to  interrupt a store robbery, beat four Mexican punks senseless, and pick up some champagne for the missus without breaking a sweat.

Family man by day, Aikido ass-kicking machine by night.
At home, he stashes the evidence he collected and gets into bed with his hottie wife. Displaying a very bad sense of timing, a bunch of goons bust through his bedroom door right as he's about to get some sexy time with the wife, and shoot them both, killing his wife and leaving Storm in terrible shape. They also manage to blast Storm's partner as well, and as Storm is wheeled into the hospital, he's pronounced dead. Storm is hard to kill though (get it, get it?), and has in fact fallen into a coma. Only one of Storm's friends in the department knows the truth, and keeps quiet about it.

Kelly LeBrock? More like... Kelly LeHot.
A few years later, Storm miraculously wakes up from his coma, no doubt motivated by the fact that his nurse Andy is played by the babetastic Kelly LeBrock. He pleads with the hospital staff to get him out of there, and soon enough word gets out of his recovery. The bastards who betrayed him realize he's alive and send more assassins to take him out. Storm has to save himself, and before long, he'll be building up his strength to kick some ass, save his long-lost son and get his hard-earned revenge. His main enemy is a well-known Senator, Vernon Trent (William Sadler), who has half the city's police department in his pocket and will stop at nothing to kill Storm once and for all.

Martial arts are good. Guns are better.
As usual, you get what you expect from Seagal movies. Acting should be the least of concerns in these, but aside from Seagal himself, everyone else in this one is pretty much terrible. Sadler plays a decent bad guy, and Kelly LeBrock is hot enough that it's easy to ignore the fact she cant deliver a single convincing line. The rest of the thugs are laughably bad, but truth be told it all just adds to the cheese factor that makes Hard to Kill a classic Seagal flick. The story is original enough that it stands out from most of the crap that Seagal has filmed over the years, and the action is top notch, with some memorable kills.

Open wide, pal!
Hard to Kill is definitely one of Seagal's best movies, even if it never quite matches the fun factor of Under Siege. It lacks a good, memorable villain, and is mostly predictable. It does have decent pacing, scattered comedy and classic Seagal action sequences which make for an entertaining movie. It's not high art, that much is obvious, but in the realm of manly, no-frills action films, it's good enough to merit a watch.

Best scene: Mason finds the guy who shot his wife, stabs a pool cue through his throat, and kicks him in the face while delivering his best line... (below)

Best quote: "That was for my wife! Fuck you and DIE!"

TL;DR - Not even a 7-year coma can stop Seagal from avenging his wife's death - 6/10


  1. It helps that his missus was in it but it's not bad, Seagal "The Slim Years".

  2. Definitely a guy's guy movie. Loved Kelly from that flic as well as weird science.

  3. BTW...made you blog of the day.

  4. I think this is the best Segal flick of them all. I'll follow your blog of the century.

  5. I need to catch up on my Seagal. Nice changes to the blog btw

  6. Segal used to be in shape back then :P

  7. I remember watching this movie A LOT in the early 90's. So many bullets/senseless was awesome!

    Also, Segal's epic homeless/coma beard is legendary!

  8. Oh man, I can't believe I forgot to mention the Coma Beard! I hadn't seen this movie in years and when I saw the beard again I couldn't stop laughing.

  9. Segal used to be somewhat less crazy back then :P

  10. Oh man, look at Segal's fingernails. You can tell he spends a lot of time in a tanning bed.