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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 8.33%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 16.67%
Total Crap75%

1 review, 6 user ratings

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Kill Switch (2008)
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by Jack Sommersby

"Another Steven Seagal Atrocity"
1 stars

Any more of these awful direct-to-video atrocities of Seagal's, and a citizen's arrest might just be warranted.

It's rather difficult to assess whether Kill Switch is Steven Seagal's worst direct-to-video action flick since so many of them are of the bottom-of-the-barrel variety, but, upon reflection, they weren't quite as joylessly cringe-inducing as this recent one. Set in Memphis, Seagal stars as Jacob King, a troubled detective on the trail of two serial killers, one of whom enjoys thrill-of-the-moment homicides who's set free from custody because of King's excess brutality of him before his arrest, and an unknown one nicknamed The Grifter who slays his victims according to constellations and leaves astrological signs carved into his victims. But instead of the story having heft and mysteriousness, it's episodic and underdeveloped in trying to cover too much ground, with a suspicious FBI agent critical of Jacob's strong-arm antics thrown into the mix, with even the possibility of Jacob himself behind the Grifter's murders. This is Seagal's fifth solo screenplay, and it's predictably chock-full of idiotic dialogue ("You could hear a rat piss on cotton."), stock characterizations (King can't just be an average cop but an ex-Desert Storm medic and small-arms expert, as well), futile flashbacks (a young Jacob witnessing the murder of his best friend at his birthday party has no payoff and is present simply to make us suspicious of him as an adult), and very little in the way of ratiocination to the plotting (the clues seem to materialize out of thin air and the ensuing actions stemming from them incongruent). True, one shouldn't expect Shakespearean-level writing from someone of dubious talent as Seagal, but his ambition to color things up with two adversaries like in his career-best Under Siege backfires because neither one is particularly interesting or menacing and comes off like second-rate James Patterson instead. Of course, some of the film's flaws could be somewhat alleviated if the action and Seagal himself were up to par, but the former is atrocious and the latter insufferable. In his feature-film directorial debut, TV veteran Jeff King shows a terrible eye for composition and an even worse one for staging fight scenes that contain far too many jump cuts and frenetic editing -- they're also fatally overlong: it takes Seagal a good five minutes to win each time he goes mano a mano with someone. (Also, this hoary hero, who couldn't hit the side of a barn with a double-barreled shotgun, is, hands down, the worst shot in probably of all cinematic history.) And digging the knife in even deeper are Seagal's somnolent performance and a pseudo-southern accent as corrosive as paint thinner. In fact, in a film of countless inanities, writer/star Seagal's overarticulated vowels come off as deadlier than the almost-always-missing bullets.

Check out "Under Siege" and "Marked for Death" instead.

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originally posted: 07/31/08 23:01:36
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User Comments

4/04/12 moose rapper Seagal's worst? 2 stars
11/10/11 matthew thompson dalldorf Everything about this movie gave me a headache 1 stars
8/21/10 Sugarfoot Somehow more awful than the usual STV Seagal output. 1 stars
6/22/09 albert very good 4 stars
5/30/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess The editing gave me a headache 2 stars
9/07/08 andy trash 1 stars
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  N/A (R)
  DVD: 07-Oct-2008



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