Fox // 2009 // 94 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 29th, 2009
They took his daughter. So they're taking him down.
Join me in this liveblog (or LiveBLAHg) as we experience Steven Seagal's latest martial arts opus: Driven to Kill.
1:15: On the promise of a threesome with his girlfriend and her friend, our hero, Ruslan Druchev (Steven Seagal) shows off a magic trick with cups.
1:25: Thankfully we're spared from watching the fleshy payoff.
2:25: Carrying groceries like the total badass he knows he is.
3:12: What is this accent? Russian maybe? I think it's supposed to be Russian, but Seagal is mumbling so badly he could be speaking Cockney English.
5:30: Yeah, this is a Russian -- Brando dialect. Druchev almost certainly just got back from a root canal.
6:35: Looks like an action scene coming up...for no reason. Just a couple of jackasses in track suits.
7:25: And the fight is over. One punch and one kick. The end.
8:00: This has to be one of the big villains. He just slapped Druchev's ex-wife. Bastard is going to pay. Maybe he'll even last through two punches!
9:25: Geriatric Russian flirting!
10:46: Meeting the future father-in-law for the first time. Wow, Seagal as an in-law. Those would be nigh-indecipherable conversations.
12:11: Zzzzzzz. Wake me up when someone gets attacked with a pool cue.
13:07: "Of all the people I worked with, none of them lived to tell the story." Thanks Dad! Looking forward to Thanksgiving!
15:32: The caterers look pissed...and they have tattoos. A lethal combination.
17:34: The Calve Cam!
18:49: Daughter's stabbed and unconscious. Dad seems to be taking it pretty well.
20:07: And...the accent is gone.
21:44: I think it's back. Whew.
23:45: A walking-down-the-street-with-a-concerned-look-on-his-face montage, though it doesn't look like he's making any actual forward progress.
26:13: Drachev enters the seedy underbelly, to buy his tools of vengeance. My do these guys look seedy.
28:53: Oh yeah, gearing up for another fight. Drachev versus four gun runners. I predict he'll kick once, punch twice, and sneeze. That should take care of it.
29:25: Nope, it's gunplay.
30:00: And a hand-to-hand scene that doesn't go well for the bad guy.
30:20: Why are you still getting up?!
33:02: Hey, Steve, why didn't you buy the fancy necklace?
36:44: No one will be seated during the pawn shop sequence.
37:28: Yikes, was that necessary? The guy used an abrasive tone. Does he deserve to have his head bashed in?
37:29: That's a rhetorical question by the way.
40:02: What better way to get to know your future son-in-law than with an armed assault?
41:56: The most one-sided knife fight so far.
42:30: Shot the bad guy before he could talk. Way to go. That's not how you ingratiate yourself with pops.
46:33: The villains meet...and stroke Seagal's ego by lamenting his badassness.
47:58: Mandatory strip scene.
48:08: "Sweetheart, please don't look directly at the camera."
49:59: Having a heart-to-heart with your father-in-law about killing people in front of a gyrating topless woman isn't awkward at all.
51:28: The most one-sided knife fight so far.
51:44: I though the Russian mob was supposed to be tough. Seagal's a black belt and all, but he's like 80. At least land a punch.
54:24: This guy's real father is an even bigger douchebag.
55:02: Stevie-S is getting his stab on.
55:31: I have to say, I'm not entirely sure why he's killing all of these people. What did the bartender do exactly?
58:02: These cops bore me.
59:25: What possible reason would you have to not pull the trigger?! The guy has killed half the Russian gangster population.
60:20: Ah, exposition. I see.
60:42: That might be the worst line reading Seagal has ever given.
61:55: The old "upside down shotgun snatch."
63:44: A construction site. Excellent venue for a fistfight. If "fight" is the right word.
64:06: Nope, not the right word. The guy didn't even land a fingernail.
66:33: That unnamed Russian thug is a diminutive Jason Statham doppelganger!
69:36: This music does not fit with what's happening onscreen.
73:18: Here we go, the big shootout finale...and they're wearing Kevlar. If they think that'll stop Seagal's fist, they're sorely mistaken.
75:18: Gunfire everywhere!
77:02: What happened to the gunfire?
77:32: There it is.
77:34: BAM! Right in the kisser!
79:53: The fire department is on the scene. Thank God.
80:36: "Why don't we wait and let them kill everyone, show up late and sign the paperwork?" Your taxpayer dollars at work.
82:47: More shooting. Someone is bound to get hit soon, right? Right?
84:27: That is one nasty-looking IED.
85:17: Has standing motionless while unloading an entire machine gun clip while screaming ever worked for anyone?
86:47: This is a drawn-out finale.
87:53: Finally, the Final Bad Guy fight.
87:58: Hey, he landed some blows! But that was most definitely not Steven Seagal receiving the punches.
88:42: The arm break!
88:50: The choke out!
88:59: He's actually putting up a decent fight.
89:10: Not, he's not. He's getting demolished.
89:20: Yeah, like stabbing him in the shoulder blade is going to do anything but irritate him.
90:05: It's the drum technique!
90:29: And there it is, the Final Bad Guy Death -- a gun barrel in the eyeball. Not bad.
92:08: Behold! His power is not limited to snapping arms! He can bring people out of comas with naught but a few words! Hallelujah! Hosanna in the highest!
94:03: And that's your movie.
The final analysis: I have to say, when judged against some of the more recent Seagal direct-to-DVD efforts, Driven to Kill isn't bad. The plot and characters are still expendable, but at least they got the action down and, as far as I can tell, Seagal himself was privy to most of it. His voice wasn't dubbed, though the horrifying nature of his accent will likely prompt most viewers to wish that it was. The best thing I can say is that the film kept me largely entertained and no one embarrassed themselves. But, if you've seen any other Seagal movie ever, there is absolutely nothing new happening here.
The DVD: an okay 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a loud 5.1 mix. No extras.
It's Memorial Day and I just ate some delicious steak, so I'm in a good mood.
Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R