Marked For Death marks (pun intented) as the third movie starring Steven Seagal. This time Seagal, a retired DEA officer named Hatcher, takes on an entire Jamaican drug posse that’s flooding his neighborhood with drugs and shot his niece. Viewers of previous Seagal movies, Above The Law and Hard To Kill, know that when you touch Seagal’s family, all hell breaks out. Fortunately for us the bad guys in the films are not aware of this. Thus the bone-breaking begins.
Marked For Death, another three-word-movie from action star Steven Seagal is an entry like us viewers would expect at this point from the aikido master. A simple straightforward plot in which lots of bad people die in lots of nasty ways.
The movie starts with a drug deal gone bad. When Seagal’s partner gets shot, by a topless prostitute no less, he decides to retire from the DEA. He drops by his sister and an old army buddy (Keith David) who teaches football at a high school. Enter the Jamaicans who push the drugs all around town including this school.
Seagal is reluctant to do something even delivering a speech to Keith about leaks in the dam and putting body parts in those leaks. Of course Seagal just so happens to cross paths with a Jamaican gang member who he beats up out of self defense. This does not sit well with the Jamaicans. From that point he and his family are… Marked For Death.
Marked For Death is brutal. Imagine the last 20 minutes of Hard To Kill stretched out over an hour. We get more broken bones, limbs pointing in the wrong direction, people shot, people thrown through glass, decapitations, impalements… It’s kinda crazy. Especially the leader of the drug-posse takes quite a beat-down. His is name is Screwface and he is played by Basil Wallace in a fun performance. He gets beaten up, sliced by a sword and his eyeballs pushed back into his brain. But it does not stop there. Seagal then snaps his spine and throws him down an elevator shaft impaling him on some kind of steel pole… Somebody certainly won’t be back for a sequel.
This is a fun flick to watch. We all know what to expect and the movie delivers on that. I just wonder how Jamaicans look at this movie as almost every Jamaican is a violent drug dealer. Seagal is aided by a Jamaican cop (Tom Wright) who is only really here just to show us that not all Jamaicans are evil drug dealing scum. He even has some exposition dialogue about how less than 1% of Jamaican immigrants ends up in a drug gang. I’m glad they put him in this movie or else I would have gotten very prejudiced against Jamaicans.
I must warn you that a suspension of disbelief is required as Seagal goes on a killing spree that nobody seems to care about. Aside from one inquiry nobody is even remotely interested that there are corpses popping up everywhere.
There is a car chase through busy day time traffic which ends with them crashing through the window of a department store. Seagal and David then have a gunfight in the store until the bullets run out and Seagal violently takes on all the Jamaicans. Destroying large parts of the department store in the progress. All this is witnessed by dozens of shoppers. Yet nobody comes knocking on Seagal’s door afterwards. It’s probably one of his many aikido-skills. They should make a movie about that:
Steven Seagal is…
Under The Radar!