Against the Dark (2009)
Director: Richard Crudo
Keith David/Lt. Waters
A 28 Days Later rip-off outbreak has turned city folks into plasma craving mutants with bad dental plans. We follow a group of survivors trying to get out of a bloodsucker infested building while Tao (Seagal), a The Rock look-alike and two hot broads that don’t say a single word walk about slashing shite up.
Steven Seagal versus vampires. If like me you’re a fan of the only dude to ever make a ponytail look masculine than that phrase should be enough to get ya foaming at the jaws. Alas instead of giving it an honest shot liked he did in the recent enough PISTOL WHIPPED, Seagal opted for yet another
I’m going OUT OF MY WAY to not be in the film I star in approach. Which of course,
from a fan's point of view, winds up defeating the purpose of watching a Steven Seagal film. Damn you Steven…I love you man
and the Crystal Cave you belt tunes out of, but why don’t you give a shit about
your movie career anymore????
With that limb snapped and shoved up one's orifice, AGAINST THE DARK wasn’t
a total waste of waste. By itself, it managed to be half way entertaining via
its non stop mutant attacks, mucho graphic blood-shed and every Zombie cliché in
the book being jabbed out for better and for worse. Although Seagal didn’t whoop much ass here, slashing his sword at the screen aside, his The Rock look-alike partner (played by Tanoai Reed) was there to put the beef in the cake. The latter caused all kinds of vamp hurting in flamboyant and brutal ways. Thanks bro! Additionally the pacing was pretty damn effortless (for the first hour anyways) and the actors, although far from DeNiro territory did what they had to do adequately.
Let’s face it, even in a so-so film such as this one, seeing THE GREAT Keith David do his thing is always a treat. Man I wish that dude would hit the A-List film level where he damn belongs
already. And whomever cast Jenna Harrison deserves a cold one and a pat on the
ass. Decent actress + very cute look + full/supple lips = Arrow riveted
Problems were many in this bitch' bag of tricks. If you’re looking for something more than wet gore, a couple of good jump scares, some cool fights and Steven Segal walking in slow motion, than you’ll be let down. The dialogue went from meh to barf at best. The rare good ideas at hand were never explored and the linear plot/character muck ups were plenty.
Made the flick feel amateurish at times. Plot holes and dumb moves to serve the story stank the joint as well, with the “elevator one” being my fav - what a trite and throwaway manner to get a kill off the checklist.
COME ON MAN! The redundancy factor of the last block got me antsy in my tub too. We get it, they walk and are attacked by “infected” mooks – can we get something else going on already???
Or how about we get to a new location? Lets start with that! I love decrepit
buildings but NOT that much!
And how hard is it to get out of a shit ass building anyways??? Flick didn't
sell me on the intricacies of pulling that off. Lastly, seeing Seagal do moves AT THE camera in a medium/close shot does not equal seeing Seagal FIGHT! I
assume Steven didn’t have more than 5 days of shooting on this one. Too bad… I’ll speak for myself here and say that I love watching him do his thing even though he’s put on the pounds. He’s still Seagal!
But hey, if the guy doesn’t care, he doesn’t care. All in all; AGAINST THE DARK didn’t come close to matching what the saying
“Steven Segal versus Vampires” should mean, but as a dumb, gory and easy B “time killer” Movie, it kind went down smooth…I stress the words “kind of”. So you gonna take this one to the bank? The blood bank?
Head lopped off, flesh munching, grisly bites, bit off limbs, stabbing, and lots of blood. The red loving was one of this film's highlights.
Steven Seagal (Tao...wonder if he's related to the General... great chicken) walked, slashed and said one-liners –you do the math. Tanoai Reed (Tagart) looked like The Rock and brought in the macho action that Seagal was too lazy to do himself. Jenna Harrison (Dorothy) was at times a pinch off (bad dialogue, not her fault), but overall I dug her vibe. She nailed a couple of strong emotional moments and was photogenic to boot. Keith David (Lt. Waters) deserves MUCH BETTER than these “cash that check” roles. But hey, seeing the dude onscreen was once again a hoot. When given the moments to shine, Emma Catherwood (Amelia) did just that.
T & A
Nope, nope and nope! Shame, shame and shame. This one needed it. Could've at LEAST have had Seagal's 2 window dressing, hunter dames drop their tops or something. Its not like they had lines or did much in the film other than look hot next to Steven.
A couple of fly shots aside, the directing style was pedestrian at best. It got the job done and that was it. I did dig on some of the boo scares, the seldom tension and the wider shot fight sequences though – basically all the fights Seagal wasn’t involved in. NOTE: Whoever came up with cannibalizing footage from the film to use as flashy scenes transitions needs to snort better shit. Tacky!
Yeesh! Score out of a Cracker Jack box anyone? No thanks!
If you’re jonesing for a blood-spattered, one brain cell, action driven, 28 DAYS LATER knock-off that has a fat Steven Segal popping in rarely to say one- liners and blade-f*ck mutants - this one might strike your fancy. But if it’s a smart or/and novel flick you’re looking for… or even a true Seagal film – this isn’t it. Chalk this one up as yet another Seagal middle finger up to his fans. He uses his name to sell a film that he was too damn lazy to TRULY star in. Bugh... an okay time filler but at the same time... I miss freaking the MARKED FOR DEATH days…
Director Richard Crudo was the DOP on Seagal’s Pistol Whipped.
The film was initially titled LAST NIGHT before being changed to a typical Seagal 3 words title.
Arrow idea: if there's a sequel, rip off I AM LEGEND, call it I AM TAO and have a SOLO Segal whooping vamp ass. I'd pay money to see that!