Thursday, April 10, 2014

Steven Seagal's Top 5 Movies

Sometimes you come across some interesting things when you're just bopping around the net. What I found is that today is Steven Seagal's birthday. The pony-tailed one is turning 61. Though he's spent the last decade or so putting out one crappy straight-to-DVD movie after another, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for him. Throughout the 90s, he supplied me with many of the most awesome martial arts flicks featuring an American actor ever made, no matter how much alike they all were. I know, I know, Chuck Norris, blah blah. There was nothing like watching Seagal play the same character in every movie, badly at that, almost never kick anyone and break limbs like No. 2 pencils while avenging the death of a loved one(s). Regardless of his weight. Oh, and I can't forget the hilariously bad Arnie Schwarzenegger-esque one liners. So, as a birthday gift, I'm counting down...

Steven Seagal's Top 5 Movies

5. Hard to Kill
As cop Mason Storm, Seagal is actually gunned down by intruders in his very own home! No worries, he doesn't die from his wounds, 'cuz he's hard to kill and stuff. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for his wife and young son who did not survive the attack. After a stint in super secret hospital and hooking up with 80s "it" girl Kelly LeBrock, he hunts down the bad guys responsible.

The Arnie-ism: I'm gonna take you to the bank, Senator the blood bank!

4. Above the Law
In Seagal's debut he plays Nico, a Chicago narcotics cop who once quit the CIA over some things he saw and disagreed strongly with in 'Nam. While he and his partner are investigating a drug trafficking operation they find out some more stuff and are forbidden to continue on the case. Think that'll stop him?  C'mon man, he's above the law! And he's got one of my lifelong crushes on his side, none other than Pam Grier.

The Arnie-ism: You guys think you're above the law? Well, you ain't above mine!

3. Under Siege
This time, our hero is playing Casey Ryback. He is a former Navy SEAL who is still a sailor, but now a cook aboard the battleship Missouri. It's about to be decommissioned and the Navy is having a big celebration to send it out in style. Of course, things couldn't be so simple. A gang of terrorists come on board and take over. And you know who is the only one who can stop them. This one benefits from a really good supporting cast that includes a nutty turn by Tommy Lee Jones as the bad guy who puts the ship under siege and draws our hero's full wrath. Gary Busey and Colm Meaney are also fun in their roles. This is the only one of Seagal's movies in which he plays the protagonist, to get a sequel. A rather insane one with Morris Chestnut as his sidekick. And I promise, the well endowed Erika Eleniak jumping out of a cake topless has nothing to do with this lofty ranking.

The Arnie-ism: (Before a knife fight breaks out between Seagal and Tommy Lee Jones, Jones tells him the difference between them is that Jones doesn't have faith. This line comes after killing Jones by stabbing him in the head) Keep the faith, Strannix.

2. Machete
This is the only movie on the list where Seagal doesn't play the hero, and the only one from this century. As drug kingpin Rogelio Torrez, he's quite the opposite. Instead of having his own loved ones killed, he gets to do it to good guy Machete, played by Danny Trejo. Wracked my brain trying to come up with a dumb pun to jam in here using the word machete, but couldn't. Consider yourself lucky. For my money, this is far and away the best acting job Seagal has ever done. The movie as a whole is amazing, in my opinion. In fact, it really is much better than the movie I have at number one. However, I have my reasons for not giving it the top spot. We'll get to that in a sec. First, we have to get to...

The Arnie-ism: You're Machete's girl. I know , 'cuz you're his type. (Asked "What type is that?) Dead.

1. Marked for Death
As DEA agent John Hatcher, Seagal has an especially rough start to this one. Down in Colombia, his partner gets killed during a drug bust. If you've seen it, then you know 'bust' is the operative word in his death. Once back at home, he has a run-in with the Jamaican street gangs who are dealing drugs under the leadership of the charismatic Screwface, played in scene stealing and scenery chewing fashion by Basil Wallace. From then on, Seagal and his family are marked for death. True, this is not as good a film as Machete and it's not even close. It gets the top spot because it is Seagal at the absolute height of his powers. The movie is completely bananas, possibly a bit racist, and winds up with a wacky twist that adds another fight scene for us. The mall scene stands as the best moment in Seagal's career. Period.

The Arnie-ism: I hope they weren't triplets.



  1. I used to love a bit of Steven Seagal in my younger years. I agree that his turn in Machete is fun. I still love Under Siege though, that's one of my favorites.

    1. There was a time when I couldn't wait for the next Seagal flick. Ah...those were the days. And yeah, Under Siege is all sorts of fun.