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Case Number 18210

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The Keeper

Fox // 2009 // 94 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 29th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is a keeper. At least, that's what his wife says. (He hopes.)

The Charge

He promised to protect her. He'll kill to save her.

Opening Statement

Steven Seagal returns as superstar action hero Steven Seagal in this Steven Seagal movie!

Facts of the Case

Seagal is Rolland Sallinger, a hard-boiled LA cop betrayed by his long-time partner and left for dead. And with that superfluous plotline behind him, he travels to Texas to help out a friend.

This guy's daughter is apparently an attractor for big-time trouble, having endured numerous kidnapping attempts. Sallinger agrees to protect her, though little does he know he's about to get sucked into a big mess of extortion, violence, and white power. He'll be forced to answer the only way Steven Seagal knows how: speaking in hushed tones and glowering!

The Evidence

By now, these straight-to-DVD Seagal-a-paloozas have become so copious and so familiar that none of 'em stand out. Seriously, these releases hit the shelves at least a couple times a year (I've been the privileged writer on staff to get to sink his teeth into each one) and I couldn't tell you the titles or the plots. Look, I'm glad Seagal is still gainfully employed. An existence without a steady stream of his movies is not something any of us should ever have to face, but there's no getting around the fact that these movies are all pretty much the same.

In The Keeper, he's a macho outsider who comes storming into a place full of idiots that can't take the hint that he'll snap their arms in half and stab them in the face with a broken beer bottle. This time, the story is even more disposable, with the fulcrum for the violence and conflict being…a parcel of land rich with a particularly valuable natural resource. I don't want to give it away, because its revelation is one of plot's the few twists. Besides, by the time it gets to this moment, I'm sure you'll be ready for anything different. The villains? A loser MMA fighter who doesn't even fight, and a white separatist old crank who puts up the typical hand-to-hand resistance, which to Seagal is little to none—and little just left the dojo.

I guess this would be a good time to talk about the action. Like the familiarity and tedium characteristic of Seagal's movie plots, there is nothing you haven't seen here. In fact, there's even less. The fight choreography is quick-cut, but easier to follow than some of his dopier outings. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot to see. Seagal smacks around some dudes and even breaks an arm or two. Sadly, we are long since removed from the days of rampant neck-snapping and fists so fast the camera can't catch up.

The Final Bad Guy fight? A total one-sided joke, free of suspense, and capped with a ludicrous kill move.

The leanest of DVDs awaits: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital, and no extras.

Closing Statement

Really, what is there left to say? If you're a Seagal completist, there might be value here. Objectively speaking, The Keeper is light years from some his more dubious efforts. On the other hand, it's predictable and dumb.

The Verdict

Steve, buddy…by all means, keep making movies. Just add maybe one page of material we haven't seen before.
Sincerely, The Bench.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 0
Acting: 70
Story: 60
Judgment: 62

Perp Profile

Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Action
• Crime

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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