Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Foreigner (2003)

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Tagline:

If they think they can stop him, they're dead wrong.

Movie Review:

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Here's another DTV Seagal I've finally caught up with, 2003's The Foreigner. Seagal did two other movies that year: Out for a Kill and Belly of the Beast. I've not seen Belly of the Beast yet but I have seen Out for a Kill, which was below average with lots of dubbing and stupidity abound, but it does have this scene (skip to 3:40) which makes it awesome. The Foreigner was followed up two years later with a sequel, Black Dawn; perhaps I will make that my next Seagal outing.

Seagal is an agent-for-hire with a girlfriend half his age (again) who is given a job to deliver a package from France to Germany. He initially doesn't want to take it because his father has just died, but agrees in the end. Along for the ride is another agent-for-hire, Dunoir (Max Ryan from Death Race). They arrive at the package collection point and find two guys with their tongues cut out, then masked guys burst in the front door with machine guns and shoot the place up. Seagal and Dunoir escape, Seagal deciding to continue on with the delivery. He eventually decides to open the package and discovers it contains a black box flight recorder from an aircraft that went down in suspicious circumstances, and for whatever reason the recipient - tycoon Jerome Van Aken (Harry Van Gorkum) - has an interest in its whereabouts. Seagal discovers that he is being pursued by various agents and assassins, some known to him and some not, while Van Aken's wife Meredith (Anna-Louise Plowman) also seems to want to get hold of Seagal's package (fnyar fnyar).

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This wasn't bad but it was a little confusing, at least to me; I probably need a second viewing. After a while I started forgetting who is double-crossing who and all that kind of stuff. There was a few decent fights that, while they appeared to be slowed down or zoomed in, seemed to be done by Steve himself, though I could be wrong - I've never been good at picking non-obvious body doubles. There was also no line dubbing, at least not on Steve. There was one or two random scenes of non-Seagal characters having lines inserted for them when the camera was looking elsewhere which were a bit annoying but nothing too bad.

The best part of the movie for me was at the thirty-five minute mark. One of the many assassin types after the package catches up with Seagal and knocks him unconscious. Once brought around, the dizzy Seagal is being interrogated by Mr. Mimms (Sherman Augustus from Virus, Rumplestiltskin, Digital Man), someone that looks like they were robbing bookies in Snatch. The wordplay is pretty amusing and very British gangland. Seagal convinces the guy that the package is at a train station locker so the two go down to retrieve it. For some reason the guy decides to open the package in the bathroom and Seagal takes the opportunity to take a slash. Just as the guy tears open the package, Seagal with tackle presumably still out dives out of a conveniantly placed (but closed) glass window and the package detonates in the guys face. The whole building goes up in what must have been 2/3rd's of the film's budget - a very impressive explosion indeed.

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I liked seeing Englishwoman Anna-Louise Plowman in this. She was one of my favourite characters from Stargate SG-1 as Osiris and her character in The Foreigner, whilst entirely removed from a mythical Egyptian god, is quite pivotal to how things play out. She's not done much in the way of movies so it makes sense that she's in a direct-to-video film and does a good job being extra British.

Seagal is on pretty good form though nothing outstanding. A lot of shooting, a few slap-fu fights that aren't too bad but a distinct lack of mutherfukkaz and his usual slang. He's also not quite the jam donut he becomes by Pistol Whipped. It's pretty violent overall with a bloody torture scene. One guy actually dies three times, though I won't spoil who. Worth it for the scene with the big arse explosion, which unfortunately is the climax to the trailer below.

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The Video:

Clean and crisp like most modern DTV movies Seagal has done, with clear audio (except when Seagal mumbles into his coat). Runtime 92 minutes.

Sourced From:

In a box set of 6 other DTV-era Seagal movies that I think cost me $50 for the lot.

Trailer:

More Screens:

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5 comments:

  1. I agree with you. This wasn't too bad. Decent Seagal DTV fare. Have you've seen the sequel to this, Black Dawn?

    Out For A Kill was hilariously bad and the title is ridiculous. "I'll be right back, I'm going out for a kill."

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  2. Haven't seen Black Dawn yet but it will probably be the next Seagal I get around to!

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  3. Cool. From what i remember, it was pretty goofy and it has lot of Seagal stunt doubles.

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  4. This is one of my favorite Seagal DTV flicks. I loved it's cool film noir vibe. It just worked on a lot of levels for me.

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