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Hollywood action star Steven Seagal (EXECUTIVE DECISION, GLIMMER MAN) provides big-screen heroics in this exciting, nonstop hard-hitting thriller where every second counts! Dr. Wesley McClaren was the government's top immunologist before giving it all up for a quiet practice in a small Montana community. But the peace is abruptly shattered when a violent extremist group unleashes a rapidly spreading lethal biological agent and takes over the town! As more and more people die from a baffling illness, the edge-of-your-seat suspense only intensifies as McClaren races to outsmart the militia men and find a cure before the insidious disease spreads worldwide!
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Nevertheless, this is one movie that was quite entertaining and VERY well acted - by virtually everyone in the film - not just Seagal himself. Well worth the purchase price, I think!
The story: Wesley McClaren (Seagal) is an ex-government immunologist and physician working in a small Montana town with his daughter (Camilla Belle, 10,000 B.C.) and loyal farmhand (L.Q. Jones, A Prairie Home Companion). When Floyd Chisolm (Gailard Sartain, Ernest Goes to Jail) - the leader of a violent militia - unleashes a devastating virus upon the population of the town and topples an intervening response team, Wesley must engineer an antidote to the virus before it's too late.
For all non-canon purposes, "The Patriot" could be the third installment in Seagal's line of movies that include On Deadly Ground and Fire Down Below. It's not as overtly environmentally-themed as those two, but the power of the Earth is definitely represented. Those familiar with Seagal's filmography will realize that this type of approach calls for a reduction of adrenaline scenes: flower-power is played over arm-breaking and neck-snapping (although Steven does score a nifty kill with a wine glass), so for those of you who won't be able to live without the violence of Out for Justice should steer clear.
Those of you who stick around, however, are treated to a direct-to-video film that's miles ahead of anything Seagal would make later in his career under the same label. First-time director Dean Semler manages the picture with dutiful attention to detail, and the script calls for plenty of meaningful character interaction - the kind where even bit players are given an endearing personality. The cast is one of the most underrated of any Seagalian picture: Sartain, Jones, Belle, and Whitney Yellow Robe as Wesley's assistant all share an enthusiasm for their roles that defies non-theatrical expectations, and even Steven manages a little something extra for his character, especially when interacting with his daughter.
Where the film's faults are concerned, the lack of Seagal's bread-and-butter moves (i.e. bone breaking) comes to weigh on even my mind, though the story is generally successful in avoiding situations where it would be necessary. In addition, Sartain's militia-leading character is portrayed strangely: I can't help but think that the voiceover referring to him as neo Nazi was inserted solely because the filmmakers feared his anti-government ideology might end up appealing to some viewers. Still, I like the movie a lot, and I'm still unsure of why so many folks don't. I mean, who can't appreciate Seagal rocking a cowboy hat? If you ask me, any real fan of the aikido master would be daft to put any of his lesser DTV titles on their shelf before this one.
When you think this, you’ll still doubt that everything was O.K. about Steven Seagal; it’s Steven Seagal. You like him; you hate him because it's just not normal to have this much mystery surrounding one human life.
Blah, blah, every perfect individual can throw a stone.
Having never met the man, I like his entertainment, ‘nuff said.