Genius or Arse #5: Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal: Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing good actors in shit films for a quick buck. However, I never experience more intense bouts of simultaneous anger and apathy than seeing Steven Seagal‘s latest releases. Seagal shot to fame in the 1980s with a rapid bout of mainstream action films; Nico (AKA – Above the Law), Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Under Seige…  While none of them were ‘Best. Movie. Ever’ status, they were all quite enjoyable but – most importantly – fitting for the time. Not one to let past glories fade, if you pick any point over the last 30 years I bet that SS was working on the same old hackneyed one-man-army B-Movie action film.

There’s not much else that Seagal hasn’t dabbled in: directing, producing, writing, choreography, he’s got a blues band with two albums, he’s a Reserve Deputy Chief with his own ‘reality’ TV show (Steven Seagal: Lawman), he has released his own therapeutic oils and an energy drink (‘Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt’), aftershave (‘Scent of Action’), knives, and is in the process of designing his own gun with ORSIS rifles.

Verdict: I don’t really care that he has a bunch of dodgy lawsuits, or is friends with Putin, or still tries to convince everyone he’s a total badass (Video)… What bothers me about Seagal are his crimes against cinema. His films are literally all the same. He’s always an Ex-Black Ops / Mercenary / Hitman. He’s never in danger. Every synopsis is the same. And practically every poster & DVD cover is identical: his big face – usually close up – with an equally massive gun, pulling a ‘badass‘ pose. Even the titles are impressively unimaginative like “Ultimate Revenge”, “Out For Vengeance”, “Retribution Overload”, “Payback Force”, “Explosive Justice” or other such nonsense.

Verdict: Arse

Justice Genius or Arsey Ryback – YOU DECIDE!



  1. I have to agree. He’s the end product of Michael Orvitz’s belief he could ANYBODY a movie star.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      As an action man, I think he had potential to become an Arnie / Stallone type figure. But whereas they branched out in to more adventurous movies (Sci-Fi / Sports / Comedy) Seagal was so intent on keeping up the badass facade that he handicapped himself too much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. Stuck too long with the same shtick. Thank you. :-)


  2. mmanuel1602 said:

    Yeah he kind of fell off the wagon. I liked him in Machete though haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, he was surprisingly effective as the bad guy there. Enjoyed his brief role, and demise, in ‘Executive Action’, too. ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Hahaha – was funny to see him pop up as a baddie (something he rarely did). Fat Seagal and Trejo circling each other is an image that will haunt me forever!

      Liked by 1 person

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