Steven Seagal is Elijah Kane, leader of a special unit within the Seattle Sheriff’s Department. They start off on the trail of local drug dealers after a batch of dodgy Ecstasy pills start to claim several victims. The trail leads to a drug and organised kingpin from Los Angeles, who is trying to corner the market in Seattle, with the help of the usual assortment of local henchmen and corrupt law enforcement agents.

*****

Seagal’s latest venture is a TV series by the name of “True Justice”, of which this is a feature-length spin-off. Feature length unfortunately seems to mean “longer due to padding”, rather than being of greater scope, quality or budget. My wife came in part way through me watching this and said, quite aptly, that it looked like a bad episode of CSI and sadly that is all that can really be said of it.

Although there are a few bells and whistles in the cinematography (swooping helicopter shots, rapid-fire editing) and it is certainly competently put together, there is nothing at all here that elevates it above bog-standard episodic television. The gun battles are frequent and energetic and there is enough blood spilled to elevate it to a proper 15 certificate, but it is hard to care very much about the fate of anyone involved, even without having seen the preceding episodes of the series. Seagal himself has become increasing immobile in physical terms and his hand to hand fight scenes have reached the point of having to be heavily edited in order to work around the clear difficulties he now has in getting around like he used to. Suddenly Under Siege, Hard to Kill and Out for Justice seem like a very long time ago.

Seagal was of course never the most charismatic of performers and although his character here is good natured and effective, his mumbling delivery and dead-pan expressions only serve to disengage the audience, who will struggle to find much else to latch on to among the 1-dimensional identikit supporting characters. Throw in a baddie shown doing some martial arts fight training (I wonder if he’ll fight Seagal at the climax?) and a bit of domestic relational turbulence for a member of his team and you just about fill out an hour, but nothing here warrants the 85 minute running time.

There are of course always worse ways to fill your time and if you have a bit of nostalgic love for Seagal’s halcyon days (whenever they might have been) feel free to check this out. Alternatively, try your hand at our competition and see it for free!

[Rating:1.5/5]

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c82SGr1GZo’]

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.