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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.2%
Worth A Look: 6.12%
Average: 2.04%
Pretty Bad: 36.73%
Total Crap44.9%

4 reviews, 25 user ratings

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Half Past Dead
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by Scott Weinberg

"I don't want Steven Seagal to die. Honestly. Just his career. Please."
1 stars

Complete Truth: I had a full review already written for Half Past Dead. There it was, fully-written and ready for pasting, when... error message... MSWord goes into auto-freeze and [poof] the review was gone. Vanished, as if I hadn't just spent the past 40-some minutes explaining, in specific detail, the true catalog of awfulness to be found in the latest Steven Seagal schlockfest. Sigh.

Don't feel too bad. This happens to every online writer I know. It's just that I hate to spend so much time thinking about Steven Seagal movies. And to have to review the same Steven Seagal movie twice? Well, that's the movie critic equivalent of picking up your boss' dry cleaning.

Anyway...yes. Here we have another Steven Seagal action movie. Logically, this means we're talking about a movie that you need never see. Ever. Unless maybe you've been invited to interview Mr. Seagal and you want to screen all his movies in an effort to dissect the trascendent ways in which he commands the screen and does a stunning credit to the fine art of acting...

Like I said, Half Past Dead is a movie you'll never need to see. If, however, you're just itchin' for a several-years-late ripoff of Michael Bay's The Rock, done with shoddy Matrixy FX, gangsta-rapper co-stars (which help boost those soundtrack sales, doncha know) and a stunningly questionable "PG-13" approach, by all means borrow your Dad's Blockbuster card and make an immediate beeline for the DVD box entitled Half Past Dead.

It's a toss-up as to which is the more entertaining pastime: picking out which movies Half Past Dead steals from, or choosing which actor humiliates themself the most hilariously. Since we are talking about a movie in which Steven Seagal earns most of the screen time, you have to choose someone else. It's only fair.

Morris Chestnut is a worthy place to start, as the generally-likeable young actor delivers what's easily his worst performance ever. The guy simply looks like he's reading off of cue cards. Oh, but there are so many others: perky Nia Peeples earns the role of ass-kicking assassin, which is all fine and good until the cutie opens up her mouth to speak. Seagal's requisite rapper co-star this time around is Ja Rule, who is no better an actor than are DMX (Exit Wounds) or Nas (Ticker). Obviously Seagal's command is: find me rapsters who cannot act! They make even ME look like a thespian!

The plot is this: some people are holding hostages in a prison. Prisoners are there, and Steven Seagal is too. Only he's undercover. Then a helicopter smashes into the roof and everyone splinters off into their own individual action scene. (If that makes it sound like the action sequences are either plentiful or exciting, then I've failed to do my job here.) Eventually some of the hero types die, and so do several of the villains. Then there's a big fight. Seagal lives at the end - thereby breaking the Executive Decision rule of filmmaking: if you kill Seagal in the first five minutes, the most succeeds instantly and by default.

Sure, perhaps my (second) review of Half Past Dead seems a little unfair, the smug and snippy ravings of a movie fan who's simply sick to death of Steven Seagal and the simple fact that he still has a career. But I think I've earned the right to vent. Seagal simply must be stopped. He's the Olsen Twins of the Action Genre.

Above the Law, Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Out for Justice, Under Siege, On Deadly Ground, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Executive Decision, The Glimmer Man, Fire Down Below, The Patriot, Exit Wounds, Ticker, Half Past Dead, The Foreigner, Out for a Kill, Belly of the Beast ... Oh, and on the horizon I see three new Seagal masterworks called Out of Reach, Into the Sun and Unleashed! This is what Steven Seagal has contributed to the realm of American Cinema. Sure, pick one or two of 'em that are "kinda fun in a stupid way" - but just look at generic blandness of those titles! I'm stunned he's never made one called Action Movie Man or Series of Explosions or Overweight Double-Chin Plays Chinese Slap Fight Part 4.

Those tempted to dismiss Half Past Dead as "mindless and derivative yet watchable time-filler" would be better served, say, watching a few of the classics for a second or third time.

"Half Past Dead" makes something retarded like "Con Air" look like an absolute action classic. And that's saying something.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 05/17/04 03:32:56
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User Comments

11/10/11 matthew thompson dalldorf The title describes this movie pretty well 2 stars
6/23/09 Dave This movie is hilarious, awesome B grade, I still talk about it 7 years later. Hilarious 5 stars
9/23/07 The Real Segal Masterpiece. I could not have seen this coming. 5 stars
8/27/07 OutforaCookie One of the worst movies to hit the big screen... Seagal is worse than ever 1 stars
6/03/06 Rossi Lester made the movie. Lester was THE MAN! 4 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer Give it a chance, if nothing else it is entertaining. 4 stars
2/13/06 Anthony Rent it when nothing new is out 2 stars
6/15/05 R move over, Matrix! 1 stars
5/17/04 Jack Sommersby Bombastically uncouth, but it entertains. 3 stars
5/14/04 Stuart Time to retire aight! 2 stars
12/17/03 God CRAP! 1 stars
10/14/03 Ingo Sucks bigtime. 1 stars
10/11/03 iffet arkan STEVEN SEAGAL !! He is AWESOME again !! 5 stars
9/08/03 Sugarfoot Hey Seagal call 1800-03 -Jenny! 2 stars
5/17/03 georgiana phelps lots of action 5 stars
4/06/03 wayne oh my goodness 1 stars
3/10/03 Erykk This "film" was the equivalent of shaving my ass with a cheese grater. 1 stars
2/14/03 Andrew Carden Despite Good Action Scenes, The Film Is Far Too Confusing and Boring 2 stars
1/16/03 Diana Flores It is a little better than Fast and the Ferious but Ja Rule is so so so so so so so hot in 5 stars
12/21/02 SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/22/02 Danielle The movie was pretty good 4 stars
11/21/02 steven seagall i starred in this movie, and even i think it ... 1 stars
11/17/02 Uncle Salty Are you kidding me? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? 1 stars
11/16/02 wintermute Don't expect Oz or Lockup - and Seagal really needs to lay off the junk food and cue cards 2 stars
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  15-Nov-2002 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Don Michael Paul

Written by
  Don Michael Paul

  Steven Seagal
  Morris Chestnut
  Matt Battaglia
  Ja Rule

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