Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Isaac Hayes
What's it about
A famous homicide detective (not Columbo) battles ruthless psychos while maintaining a New Orleans accent and beating a lot of people up.
Is it good movie?
Itís funny. Just before I received a screener for Steven Seagalís latest direct to DVD romp Kill Switch, I had just revisited the action classic Out for Justice with some friends. In that masterpiece, Seagal lived and breathed Brooklyn, demonstrating his love for the city by speaking not only Italian, but Spanish with perfection while smacking around bad guy William Forsythe. He even stops to buy some water from a street kid he knows. Fast-forward nearly twenty years and Seagal still plays the same roles and keeps on beating up bad guys. What else would you expect?
However, one element has changed. In Kill Switch, Seagal drops New York for the hard streets of New Orleans and again demonstrates his flawless ability to adapt any dialect. Christian Bale must be jealous. Seagal plays tough homicide detective Jacob King and tries to inhibit New Orleans with a Southern draw that will induce laughter almost immediately, reminding a little of when Kevin Costner attempted his British accent for Robin Hood. It sucks and is very distracting. But that doesnít even dent the sheer crappiness of this movie. Now before I destroy the thing, Kill Switch does at times verge of pure camp. The action sequences are so inept, so idiotic, that you have to wonder if they were initially done for laughs or not. On top of the action, you have Seagal looking like he had eaten mounds of rotted clams or something. Dude looks bloated, red, and ill.
Written and produced by olí ponytail himself, Kill Switch could quite possibly be the laziest action movie of all time. Seagal should be ashamed of himself. If heís going to continue to present his persona as the baddest man to ever sport a pony tail, then he must accomplish two things. Number one, perform the action yourself. We want to see you do the work, not a stunt double. Number two, get into shape. I donít think thatís asking too much as you do make your living with your body. Itís like a heavyweight boxer who once dominated and intimidated, but by the end of their career, his muscle turned to flab and he no longer had the energy to punch someone.
If you look back at the pantheon of action movies, the hero is only as good as the villain. And with Seagal no longer up to the task of carrying the weight, the evil ones better be bad. Unfortunately, they (there are two killers on the loose here) are bland and generic. Theyíre no Gary Busey, Tommy Lee Jones, the aforementioned Forsythe, or those mean Jamaicans from Marked for Death. No, these two idiots look like murders from an episode of Monk.
Also, Kill Switch has a very annoying habit of adding a glitch to the film, quickly repeating scenes as if the movie has a serious case of the stutters. Itís perhaps the most annoying, repetitive use of instant reply Iíve ever seen, and it borders on abuse. Director Jeff King seemingly has no clue what heís doing or must have been drunk when he shot this. Near the beginning of the film, Seagal throws a guy out of a window no less than ten times. The same guy! And itís not like an impressive sequence or something unique. Ugh.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear 16x9 Widescreen presentation to witness the greatness of Seagal.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Surround.
Sadly, Kill Switch features the great Isaac Hayes shortly before his death. Somehow, heís cast as the city coroner. I know this is the last call, but I felt he deserved a special mention sense a modern Seagal feature probably explains itself.