Hard to Kill (Steven Seagal): Reel Action

I have a complicated relationship with the films of Steven Seagal. As a kid, I thought he was the greatest, and I went to see all of them in theatres. His aikido moves were badass, I dug his ponytail, and I always thought he was more charismatic than people gave him credit for. However, time has not been kind to either Seagal or his legacy. Nevertheless, his early films hold up as slick nineties action flicks, and this week on Reel Action, we’re taking a look at one of his best, Hard to Kill.

For Seagal, this would be the movie that made him a mega-star. Sure, Above the Law had been a surprise hit two years earlier, but the grosses didn’t suggest a new movie star had been born. That would all change with his follow-up vehicle, which ditched the more complex themes of Above the Law, instead delivering a straightforward cop-vengeance movie that would strike a chord with fans. It would team him with his then-wife, Kelly LeBrock, in the story of an honest cop, Mason Storm (badass name), who emerges from a seven-year coma to seek revenge on the mob-connected senator (William Sadler) who had his family killed.

The movie was a smash, making more than twice what Above the Law did, and his follow-up, Marked for Death, would be just as big. Thus, 1990 would end with Seagal as one of the biggest action heroes in the world. His career would peak with 1992’s Under Siege, but he would never rise quite so high again.

Reel Action is written and narrated by Travis Hopson, edited by Gonzalo López, produced by Chris Bumbray, and executive produced by Berge Garabedian. Check out some previous instalments below!

What’s your favorite Steven Seagal flick? Let us know in the talkbacks!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.