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Customer Review

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars To think that this guy used to be one of my heroes!, December 30, 2006
This review is from: Attack Force (DVD)
Like many of the other reviewers here, I've been a fan of Steven Seagal's since Above the Law came out in the late 80's. I've enjoyed most of his American made films right up to Half Past Dead and Exit Wounds. When Seagal severed his relationship with long-time production partner, Jules Nasso, and then Warner Brothers ended its relationship with our martial arts hero, the quality of Seagal's movies went downhill rather quickly as did his salary. He dropped from making sixteen million a movie to a little over two million a picture. In other words, to keep up his high standards of living, he now has to do four-to-five movies a year just to equal what he used to make on one Warner Brothers' picture. Part of this is due to the increase in age (he's now 55) and weight (at least eighty-to-a-hundred pounds overweight for his height of 6' 4") and his inability to do the fighting scenes that made him famous almost twenty years ago. Add all of the above to bad directing, terrible scripts, and poor photography, and you have an actor who's barely hanging on to his career. I have to also say that Seagal isn't the only actor who's had to resort to making films almost entirely in Europe. Wesley Snipes has found himself in the same boat (though he could be avoiding the IRS) and so has Sylvester Stallone (Sly, however, is making a comeback with Rocky Balboa and a fourth "Rambo" film due out this summer). And, like many of the other people who've reviewed Attack Force, I, too, keep hoping for a really good "Seagal" film that will display his talents as they used to be in his earlier movies. Unfortunately, unlike the other reviewers, I didn't just buy Attack Force, I also purchased Today You Die at the same time. I should've read the reviews first, but I didn't, and now I'm stuck with two clunkers. Stupid me!!!

Attack Force has Steven Seagal playing Marshall Lawson, the commander of a strike-force team, somewhat like Delta Force. At the beginning of the movie, Lawson's team is almost completely wiped out at a night meeting. Then, a little later, three of his remaining soldiers are murdered in their hotel room by a psycho bitch high on a new type of drug that has turned her into a killing machine with abnormal strength and reflexes, not to mention a strange pupil dilation that causes her eyes to look like those of a werewolf. Now, as it turns out, this new drug is being developed by the United States to create a superior fighting soldier. Because of Lawson's involvement due to the death of his men, certain members of the government decide to have him eliminated so that the cat isn't let out of the bag, but it's now too late. More people have been infected with the drug than first realized and the government has to put them down before a mass epidemic of murder starts taking place in the French countryside. Lawson is the only man who can do it, so he's chosen to lead a new strike force. I think this kind of sums up the plot. I'm not entirely sure because I was somewhat confused throughout the movie. I didn't always know who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Example: Was the French detective a good or bad guy? I don't know. I suspect that this was a plot device designed to keep the viewer on his toes so that he wouldn't fall asleep due to movie-induced boredom. .

I'm now trying to think of something good to say about the movie, but nothing comes to mind except that the women in the film looked beautiful and deadly. Steven Seagal likes to surround himself with beautiful women in his movies, and I don't blame him. After all, he was one of the producers on this film. I wonder if he pulled another "Jenny McCarthy" with them and made each potential female star take off her blouse so that he could check out her talent as an actress. Oh, here's the big standout about the movie. Mr. Seagal's voice was dubbed over dozens of times during the film. Like one of the other critics, I originally thought something was wrong with my DVD and checked the "Language" section on the menu. Nothing wrong there. The only thing I can think of is that after the movie was completed, the director discovered that Seagal's voice didn't come through in every scene and so it had to be dubbed in certain places. Also, because the drug-induced villains moved so fast and looked so strange, I thought at first that maybe Attack Force was a horror movie. I mean a French undercover cop would be faced with a killer-crazed woman with weird eyes. He'd turn around to run away and then she'd be standing in that direction, waiting for him. I don't know of any drug that can make a person move with the speed of light. Not only could these people move fast, but they also had super human strength. They could knock a person through three walls instead of just one. That's one hard punch. Even Bruce Lee couldn't do that! I guess the victims had super human strength, too, because they'd get right back up and try to defend themselves against these killing machines. If I got knocked through three walls, I'd still be lying there unconscious, or else I'd play like I was unconscious so I wouldn't get killed. The movie was filmed almost entirely at night, which made the action extremely hard to follow. Maybe that was for the best. Steven Seagal does very little fighting in the movie till the very end and then it's against a beautiful babe in leather shorts. I wish I could make a living doing that! By the way, at the end when the new strike force goes after these voracious killers, each member is picked off one by one just like in the usual "teen-murder" flicks. Rather than sticking close together, the strike force makes the mistake of letting each other out of sight for a few moments, thereby enabling the enemy to kill them. The only one who acts with any common sense is Seagal's sidekick, Na-boo, who stays glued to him like a new wife, while keeping a sharp eye out for anyone trying to sneak up behind them. That was kind of funny to watch. I guess this is the best that we can now expect from Steven Seagal. He'll be sixty in a few years and doing wine commercials like the late Orson Wells. I certainly don't anticipate his future movies getting any better. I feel like everyone else in that I should've rented this film, instead of buying the damn thing. Of course, I bought two clunkers, instead of one, so I've really learned my lesson this time around. I'm now marking Steven Seagal (7th Degree Black Belt in Aikido, guitar player, director, producer, writer, former Tibetan monk in a previous lifetime, former husband of Kelly Le Brock, former C.I.A. operative, and who knows what else) off of my to-buy list. Tomo aregato, Sensei Seagal.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 10, 2007 6:19:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2007 6:22:11 PM PDT
Anonymous says:
Great review! Thanks for taking the time to "warn" everyone about Steven Segal's new film with his "dubbed in" voice. I will avoid it like the plague! How disappointing that the quality of his movies has gone way down! My "condolences" to you for having wasted your money, and I sure understand how you feel! Unfortunately, all Steven Segal's fans are very unhappy with the caliber of his latest films.

Posted on May 10, 2007 7:52:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2007 7:55:08 PM PDT
Loves Blue Gems,
I have to say that this was one review I hated to write. Film critics have put down Steven Seagal's movies since Above the Law was first made, but I've loved his films up until the last three years or so. His earlier movies always had decent scripts, good directors, great photography, and a fabulous cast of supporting actors, many of whom went on to achieve wonderful film careers in their own right. Since he started doing movies in Europe, however, the quality of his films have dropped dramatically. They're so bad that they're almost comical in nature. There was one on the USA television network about two weeks ago that I'd never seen. I was only able to last through ten minutes of it before finally changing stations. I don't even know what the name of it was, but his voice was once again off with the soundtrack and the whole thing was simply horrible. I thanked God that it was something I hadn't purchased on DVD. Still, there must be a big market for his films in Europe and the Far East. The terrible thing is that I know I could do as good a job as Seagal. With my black hair combed back and a long leather coat on to hide my stomach, I could act as good as he does without a question, and my martial arts training is good enough that I could fake the fight scenes with the help of a good editor. I'd be more than happy to trade places with him for the two million that he makes on each flick. That sure beats working for a living! LOL.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 9:44:06 PM PST
The reason Seagal is dubbed so much in this one (and in Submerged) is that between the time the cameras stopped rolling and the time the film was finally edited, the plot was completely changed. When Seagal was involved, the story was about vampiric alien invaders. That's why the ending takes place in the creepy castle, and the drug addicts have super strength, and everyone uses futuristic looking bladed weapons, etc (in fact the character of the chick Seagal fights at the end, Ileana Lazariuc, is often credited as "Alien Queen" ). After Seagal was done with the project and onto the next thing, the producers decided to change the plot to one about the gangsters dealing a crazy superdrug. So, a whole lot of the dialog had to be changed to fit that story. They could hire the lesser known actors to redub their dialog or even reshoot entire scenes, but Seagal was no longer available. So they just used another actor to do the dubbing.

I think if they'd just left it as Seagal vs Alien Vampires this could have been an entertaining little action flick.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009 7:43:42 PM PDT
Curtis,

Sorry about taking so long to reply to your information, but I don't through my reviews but once or twice a year to catch any new comments that I might have missed. Your information explains a lot, and I wished I'd known that before writing the review. Still, there are more of his movies that have come out since I wrote this, and they, too, have been pretty bad. For me, his best films will always be his first six or seven. That was when he was at the top of his game.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009 7:44:15 PM PDT
Curtis,

Sorry about taking so long to reply to your information, but I don't through my reviews but once or twice a year to catch any new comments that I might have missed. Your information explains a lot, and I wished I'd known that before writing the review. Still, there are more of his movies that have come out since I wrote this, and they, too, have been pretty bad. For me, his best films will always be his first six or seven. That was when he was at the top of his game.
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