Film Reviews

Fishing expeditions

Page 4 of 4

It's all for naught, though, because no matter what life-threatening situations Ryback gets himself into, he always looks utterly disinterested, and Seagal, who keeps getting slower and fatter and more pompous with each new movie, is too unconvincing as a silent-but-deadly death dealer to distract us through sheer violence.

Only two things mark this movie as noteworthy: one is that for the first time in my memory, Seagal actually allows a villain to strike him. But of course, it's just one hit, and the other guy gets bounced around the room like a handball in retaliation.

The other is the picture's title: this is the first Seagal movie that doesn't flow organically from the advertising-ready phrase Steven Seagal Is... Does this signal some kind of creative advancement? I hope not, because I always hoped he'd someday star in a film whose title revealed the true secret behind Seagal's invincibility: Steven Seagal Is...A Wuss.

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Warner Bros. Steven Seagal, Eric Bogosian. Written by Richard Hatem and Matt Reeves. Directed by Geoff Murphy. Now showing.

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home. Warner Bros. Jason James Richter, August Schellenberg, Michael Madsen. Written by Karen Janszen, Corey Blechman, and John Mattson. Directed by Dwight Little. Opens July 21.

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Matt Zoller Seitz