After the horrific Sniper: Special Ops, the recent Steven Seagal movie that marked possibly a new low in his career, we jump back up slightly to normal Seagalism. This is like one of his older DTVs from the 2000s. It’s a movie that will have certain qualities, but only to a certain brand of Seagal student. The type who considers many of his roles to be almost true stories, method acting. Once again Steven Seagal is playing an ex special forces colonel in an outrageous movie. Every time he shows up, there’s fun to be had. Not many will get it, but then again, not many will watch it. This review will contain spoilers.
The film opens with two hordes of gangbangers meeting up to buy and sell drugs from each other. Nearby, Seagal is simply sitting, yet the man is fascinating despite not even uttering a word, I think they call this charisma. There is a ‘bloody massacre’ by he who the media refer to as the ‘super vigilante’. It’s Mr. Seagal, and he kills them all from his sniper’s position. He then abseils down the side of a giant industrial pipe and carves up one of the survivors with a giant knife. As an FBI agent (Craig Sheffer) shows up to catch the super vigilante, he warns those around him that Seagal “is a man who can blend into any city, any terrain, with unmatched skills in combat and explosives”. Thus, Seagal goes on a rampage killing dealers, pimps and assorted trash. In fact, the movie tells us, soon the super vigilante gets a higher approval rating than the mayor! Not to be outdone, the FBI agent hunting Seagal begins carving up miscreants of his own, down those side alleys. Um, yeah…
Sounds good, but let’s list the usual VOD tricks. First, there is a ‘twist’, the FBI agent is an alter ego of Seagal’s. This is used to have Sheffer fill in for the screen time where Seagal should have been deployed. The twist is so obvious that it can be spotted at six hundred paces, early in the movie. I could even spot the hilarious plot holes that it was obviously introducing ahead of time. Second, John Travolta’s ‘I Am Wrath’ can rest easy, it has a new competitor for the single worst piece of doubling of all time. Seagal’s fight scene at the end has some dude filling in for him who is about 190lbs lighter, it’s so obvious, insulting. Also while we’re at it, the movie is also a strong contender for worst CGI blood ever seen on a screen. I know I’m saying ‘worst of all time’ here in movies like this recently, but VOD movies are getting worse. Go ahead and marvel at the worst CGI blood ever, check it yourself, we’ve plumbed new depths.
However, there are definite Seaglisms in here. At one point, Seagal threatens to blow up his pursuer… and all people surrounding them. “… if mah finger comes off this detonator, everybody ‘gon die!” The scene which then follows this, a shoot out that does not feature Seagal, had me roaring with laughter. As an action sequence it was so ineptly filmed yet so eagerly violent that had it gone on any longer, the tears would’ve rolled down my face. The fact that both men put hundreds of people at risk apparently does not figure into their line of thought. Nothing made sense about that scene, little does about the movie overall.
Helena Mattsson is in this movie. Christ, this woman is stunning and I mean steaming… just by standing there your attention is automatically brought back. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a celebrity as hot as this and a good actress to boot. She plays a stripper, however, the scene where she’s supposed to be stripping in front of Chief Seagal appears to be performed by a double. Damn it.
I have to say, Code of Honor harkens back to the days where Seagal movies were fun to watch for the wrong reasons, but only in small doses. He’s not in this movie enough, but when he does appear, the ruthless and yet indifferent mass murder of miscreants by him may qualify as drinking material for 4am if you’re awake enough to forward to his next scene. It’s almost like an awful Predator 2 in some ways, with Seagal replacing a rarely seen Predator.