[REVIEW] The Mercenary: Absolution (2015) – ManlyMovie

[REVIEW] The Mercenary: Absolution (2015)


After 17 years of DTV slop, you begin to notice that there are three different types of movie Steven Seagal makes these days.  The first and easily the most rare is the ‘average’ DTV, one which is mediocre by film standards but good by DTV standards.  The second is the one that is so inept, lazy and absurd that it fills in as a comedy.  Those are also less common.  The third is the movie that is so bad that it’s just plain bad, unwatchable, unredeemable.  That’s what this lousy movie is.  A waste of time where all involved knew and yet went ahead with it anyway.

Steven Seagal is John Alexander.  And he’s a mercenary.  I mean Jesus Christ, is there a creative paralysis going on with these guys?  Anyway, he and his partner, Chi (played by Byron Mann) are hired to take out a terrorist.  Ground breaking stuff, I know.  However, it goes wrong when they find out that their handlers are scum, with one of them being Vinnie Jones, a man who likes to carve up screaming babes in a basement.  Seagal and Mann decide to protect the one woman who has escaped and go to war with Jones and his crew to uh… atone for their sins.

The woman is Adina Stetcu by the way.  Hotter than hell and I mean that, which kind of eases the torment for people who for whatever reason which this piss ’till the end.  Great rack (real, a man can tell) and curiously tall, even if it was due to high heels, she is still taller than the Sensei in some scenes.  I like this one, a lot.  Any other praises?  When the camera is aimed at the actors (always a good idea) and the reel hasn’t been edited by a dog ripping the film to shreds, there are a few, and I mean a few, decent fight scenes with Seagal and Byron Mann.

Some of the dialogue is also funny, in a direct way.  “Fuck you bitch”, says Seagal to Vinnie Jones, before meeting him and telling him that he’s going to kill him, in a way also so lazy and nonchalant, yet sincere, that it is one of the few unintentional highlights of the movie.

But you know what wastes this movie?  It’s not the abominable script, which despite being bluntly simplistic is often baffling.  It’s not even the dog-cheap locations, or the laughably bad soundtrack, or the ‘they can’t be serious’ acting.  It’s the director.  Keoni Waxman hired two guys, Steven Seagal and Byron Mann, who looked to have at least put efforts into their fight scenes.  Mann gets some incredible kicks, Seagal gets some competent throws and punches.  But the camera work is lousy, like it was filmed by someone sending something into WorldStarHipHop.  Terrible angles, terrible focus with intermittent shaking.  To top it off?  The editing is garbage, ruinous.  When someone gets kicked… cut!  To something else.  It’s a mess.

Just stop this shit already.