Thursday, 20 March 2008

Film Review: Urban Justice

I read somewhere this was a back to basics Seagal movie. Old school. Well, let's face it. You can never go back. Not all the way. And Seagal, though he might be able to still dislocate every joint in your body by just looking at you, ain't what he was twenty years ago. Which means his movies can't be like they were.

But there's no reason they still can't be good. And Urban Justice, so far (because I've only watched about half of it), is like a boring version of Out For Justice.

Steve (I like to call him Steve) plays Simon, a divorce looking for his son's killer. And holy shit I just found out his son is played by Cory Hart. So far Steve has shot someone's ear off, met Danny Trejo, killed a guy for no reason, and said "motherfucker" about 18 times. He's also come no closer to finding out who killed is son and why. It's got something to do with dirty cops.


It's taken me three days, but I've finally finished it. And I can't say that Urban Justice has significantly improved my life. The "motherfucker" count rose in direct proportion to the body count, which I found to be unreasonably high. Now, "unreasonable" is not to be confused with "unnecessary". It is always necessary for Steve to kick a lot of ass. But it's unreasonable to assume that Eddie Griffin would command such a huge army of thugs.

Phoning it in.

Though a significant amount of Act 1 (i.e.: all) is dedicated to mysterious back alley dealings, the rest of the movie is all about Steve's lame attempts to find out who killed his boy. I say lame because he doesn't actually do any detecting. Rather, he just follows this one guy around, killing everyone who looks at him sideways. This, of course, gets the attention of Eddie Griffin who then dispatches his most inept lieutenants to take him out.

In what has to be the laziest action scene in a movie ever, there's a door of doom sequence in which Steve just aims his trans-dimensional shotgun (it never runs out of ammo!) at an open door and murders everyone dumb enough to walk through. There's also a rather dull car chase, around 70 minutes in. I paused it at this point to go to do something else for a while. Possibly sleep.

When Steve finally comes face to face with Cory Hart's killer, the final showdown is a total anti-climax. To get to this point, he has single handedly taken out an entire street gang, so what happens when he finally gets his hands on man who set this whole series of events in (slow) motion? He kills him. Just like that. It takes all of two minutes. And what does he do to Eddie Griffin, LA's most notorious gansta?

Nothing. Not. A. Damn. Thing.

And what of the mystery alluded to at the beginning of this sad story? The answer is an unqualified "meh". There's no justice in Urban Justice. Just a lot of ridiculous squib effects. And Steve didn't save any puppies. Not a single one.

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