Steven Seagal, it would seem, is a man of many talents. As a martial artist, he’s so highly skilled that he was the first foreigner to operate an Aikido dojo in Japan. As a musician, he’s toured and played with the likes of Stevie Wonder and B.B. King. As an action star, he’s amassed a cult following owing to his now damn near exclusive straight-to-DVD fare.
And as a movie director, he’s… not… uh, he’s not good.
Part of what makes On Deadly Ground such a weird experience is that, as well as having a pretty solid cast and being many kinds of stupid, it’s actually also extremely didactic and heavy-handed in its attempts to encourage sympathy with the environmental movement and social change. One scene actually has him beat a racist asshole in a bar until he says he needs time to change his ways.
However, the peak of the film’s ridiculously preachy nature comes at the end, when Seagal delivers his big speech against the dangers of Big Oil and government corruption. Reportedly, the original cut of the speech was 11 minutes before Warner Bros. stepped in to cut it down. Doesn’t matter, because through music, montage and searing indictment, Seagal takes the wrong-doers to task for their crimes and presents his points for a better future for us all. And all done 12 years before An Inconvenient Truth hit cinemas.
Take that, Al Gore!
Setting the scene: Though Taft has taken out one of the most powerful men in the world, and murdered several other people, he is asked to deliver a speech before the press at the Alaska State Capitol, highlighting the dangers of pollution and chemical dumping. Dignitaries and journalists assembled, he takes the stage to set the world straight on the oil issue…