I’ve wasted a large portion of my life. This Saturday, I didn’t leave my room for nearly eight hours. While others are curing cancer, starting Fortune 500 companies or falling in love, I am laying on my stomach scrolling through the exact same tweets I read less than five seconds ago. But by far, the dumbest, absolute biggest waste of time ever was watching all of the Steven Seagal movies that are on Netflix.
Steven Seagal is one of numerous sub-par action heroes from the ’90s. He starred in a number of successful films in the early ’90s before pivoting to very bad self-directed straight-to-DVD films since.
Seagal is … weird. Beyond his films, he is a black belt in aikido, and started an energy drink company, as well as a line of knives and other weapons. He also has released two studio albums and used to be a reserve deputy chief in Louisiana. Seagal is an avid Trump supporter (which is fine, I guess), a lobbyist for a Russian firearms manufacturer (less fine) and a good friend and supporter of Vladimir Putin (even less fine). In addition, Seagal has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, assault and even human trafficking. So, maybe not the best guy.
There are some obvious themes among all of the films. One is naked women. Every single film has either a scene at a strip club or Seagal surrounded by naked women for some other reason. There’s never any reason for them. Probably the oddest nude scene is in “The Asian Connection,” which is about a bank robber who is blackmailed to rob different banks all throughout Thailand. Seagal plays a crime lord whose bank gets ripped off, but this isn’t until the very end of the film.He is still featured throughout, just hanging with a beautiful Asian woman who is often nude. The woman never does anything to add to the plot in any way.
Other than being naked props, the women in these films are helpless creatures that need protection. They never fend for themselves, the female characters rely on either Seagal or some other muscular man to protect them. As someone who as been accused of sexual crimes throughout his career, it makes sense that Seagal would only regard women as sexual objects that need protection.
For some reason, all of the characters are really old. Most of the fighting characters look to be pushing 50. Seagal himself is 66 years old, and it seems like he just hires his friends to star alongside him. Seeing arthritic men beating the hell out of people half their age really pulls you out of the moment.
Basically every single one of these films is a tacky, bad action movie with a simple premise. Some ex-special-forces guy has to punch and shoot and stab a bunch of other guys for some reason.
Every once in a while there is a slight difference. “The Perfect Weapon” is set in a totalitarian future, where Seagal plays a dictator. But nothing in the film actually points to it being in the future, and his evil lair literally looks like a living room with some blankets draped over the walls. In “Force of Execution,” Seagal is a crime lord who breaks his favorite assassin’s hands and then asks for the assassin to help him again for some dumb reason. Also Danny Trejo is in it but he’s just a chef/garbageman who doesn’t do anything at all.
But the absolute crown jewel in the pile of crap that is Seagal’s movies is “Code of Honor.” Seagal is a disavowed special ops soldier who goes on a killing spree in a city against criminals to avenge his dead family or something dumb like that. But the criminals he indiscriminately kills range from hardened gang members to a guy on drugs sitting on a curb in a suburban neighborhood. He even blows up a strip club, combining his loves for objectifying women and reckless violence. Seagal’s character is supposed to be the good guy in this film, albeit led astray. The film ends with Seagal having a knife fight with his old prodigy. But they don’t stab each other, they just hit the knife blades together like they are little swords. Also, Seagal’s character may not be real. It’s a wild film for so many other reasons I can’t fit into this article.
All of these movies are horrid. Most are just bad enough that they aren’t enjoyable to watch, but not bad enough that they are funny. If you had to watch one, and again, you shouldn’t, the only one that is watchable is “Code of Honor,” only because it’s “The Room” of action films. But you should really spend your time doing anything else. Be better than me, please.