The Glimmer Man with Steven Seagal & Keenen Ivory Wayans (Arrow Recommends)

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

"Arrow Recommends is a column that has my sorry ass advise older movies to your royal asses. I will be flexible in terms of genres i.e. I will cover whatever the bleep I want. For now, it will be the way to keep my voice on the site."

PLOT: A serial killer named “The Family Man” spends his night crucifying his victims to their living room walls – hey, we all need to have hobbies. But when LT. Jack Cole (Seagal) and Detective Jim Campbell (Wayans) are put on the case, they uncover a sinister plot that goes deeper than the obvious. They go on to f*ck people up until they get to the truth. One’s a little bit country; the other is a little bit rock n' roll!

"Is that the best you got, boy?! Cause if that's the best you got, I'm just gonna have to kill you." –  LT. Jack Cole 

LOWDOWN:  As I predicted my re-visit of MARKED FOR DEATH sent me on a tailspin of old-school Seagal. I wound up tapping ABOVE THE LAW (awesome), HARD TO KILL (dated but with priceless one liners), OUT FOR JUSTICE (f*cking badass), UNDER SIEGE (overrated, too soft for Seagal), ON DEADLY GROUND (great cinematography – not funny enough to be so bad it's good though) UNDER SIEGE 2 (it was okay), FIRE DOWN BELOW (so-so), EXIT WOUNDS (meh), HALF PAST DEAD (better than EXIT WOUNDS) and BELLY OF THE BEAST (wish I saw less of Seagal’s stunt double and more of Seagal).

Although the films ranged from outstanding to average; one thing was constant – I HAD A BLAST going back to a kind of filmmaking and action hero that I understand. Which brings me to THE GLIMMER MAN (WATCH IT HERE); the latest Seagal that I tapped and most likely the last solid flick that he did before entering the STD/VOD Zone. Funnily enough; when I first tapped it upon its initial release on the big screen, I thought it was decent, nothing more or less. But clocking it today; holy shit did it deliver! THE GLIMMER MAN has aged very well and it’s an even better movie now than it was then.

A jamboree of laughs, brutality and gritty action! Easiest way I can put it. Allow me to expand, cause, well, that’s what I get paid for. When SEVEN killed the box office in 1995; it unleashed a wave of copycats serial killer movies. Hence it was a matter of time before somebody took the SEVEN formula and nade-dropped Seagal into the mix – and that’s pretty much what went down in THE GLIMMER MAN. But instead of going the morose way in terms of the buddy cop dynamic, it took the LETHAL WEAPON sequels route and played shits for laughs and it worked like a hand job on a lazy Sunday!

The Ying and Yang that was Seagal (as a bead whoring Buddhist anti-violence cop – what else) and co-star Keenen Ivory Wayans (as a no bull wisecracking cop machine) was simply genius! Both gents worked off each other ideally, with Wayans being the extrovert and Seagal doing his soft-spoken, deadpan shtick perfectly (and often for laughs). The result had me spitting out my cornflakes! No matter how they felt about each other on set (I heard things); their chemistry here was palpable and I simply couldn’t get enough of it.

Now, although the story was of the connect the dots variety, not going too deep into anything; the ride was still a very groovy one. Killer one liners, Seagal beating the ever living shit out of everybody much to my delight (wait till you see what he does with a credit card…), a handful of visceral action set pieces (that running way from an epic explosion in slow-mo bit was one for the books) and intentional and un-intentional chuckles galore (Seagal telling a white dude to get his ugly white ass out of there got me giggling).  NOTE: Don’t you love it that in 90’s action films, you can always trust for some oil tanker to be parked somewhere during a car chase – waiting to be crashed into to blow the hell up. I LOVE IT!

Jenga on top of all that jaw dropping stunts (loved the rappelling down the building bit), able directing (some fly shots here), a solid supporting cast (Brian Cox, Bob Gunton, Stephen Tobolowsky), a lighting fast pace (I hear most of Scream Queen’s Michelle Johnson’s scenes were edited out to nail that pace) and a final mano et mano battle to be reckoned with (“Is that all you got boy?!”) and you get a flick that is much better than its rep has it be. So much so, that as the end credits rolled I craved a sequel! Alas it was not to be.

If you’re seeking potent insight into the human condition, look elsewhere, but if a serial killer doing the grisly doo, hilarious banter, rocking action and Steven Seagal snapping limbs mercilessly like it was a sport is what you’re craving, then give THE GLIMMER MAN a call and he’ll deliver the pie with all the toppings! Am somewhat sad that my old school Seagal run is now finito but as they say: all good things must come to an end.


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