I like to laugh. We all do. Sometimes laughter is good for the soul. Sometimes it’s a coping mechanism for surviving a traumatic experience. The laughter that came out of my mouth during the 90 minutes of Attack Force was a case of the latter.
The laughter started almost instantly. It came as soon as Steven Seagal opened his mouth. It was immediately apparent that somebody else had dubbed his voice in. They also happened to do a piss-poor job of it if you ask me. The Fake Seagal Voice isn’t even consistent. I mean sometimes he sounds like George Burns. Sometimes he sounds like Martin Sheen. And sometimes he sounds like The Dark Fucking Knight. It’s not until about five minutes into the movie when he actually starts using his own voice.
I looked up the Trivia feature for Attack Force on IMDB and learned that this flick was supposed to be about vampires or aliens or something or other. At the last second though, the studio got cold feet and changed the plot to a more Seagal-ish storyline during post-production. The reason why Seagal’s dialogue was horribly dubbed over was to fit the changes to the script.
I’m sorry but this explanation just doesn’t hold water. Sure, it makes sense for him to use his Martin Sheen voice while talking about specific plot points (like when he interrogates the captive vamp… freakazoid) but he also uses his George Burns voice while telling his troops “Move out” or “over here!” Why would the filmmakers bother to dub his voice for useless little stuff like that?
Like I said, this mystery Seagal ventriloquist provides plenty of laughs. The biggest laugh came when he has a phone conversation and says, “I see you recognize my voice!” and then proceeds to use another person’s voice. I do not know if this was meant to be an intentional commentary about the shoddiness of the production, but the results are hilarious.
Jesus, I’m getting way ahead of myself here. I forgot to tell you the plot of this thing (not that it matters much). Seagal stars as the head of a special military unit whose team gets wiped out by a crazed superhuman hooker hopped up on a new party drug called “CTX” (an obvious play on XTC, or “Ecstasy”). It seems the drug gives it’s users superpowers and turns them into maniacal motherfuckers. Seagal digs a little deeper and learns that someone wants to dump the drug into
Attack Force is the pits. Usually when I watch a movie with as many unintentional laughs as this one, I award it a passing grade. Not this time though. Sure, I laughed a bunch but I didn’t enjoy myself at all while watching this flick. It’s shit on every fundamental level. The script is a mess (understandable due to the studio meddling), the cinematography is muddy, and the acting is non-existent.
You don’t watch a Seagal movie for that stuff, so let’s grade Attack Force on what you’d expect from the man; namely the fight sequences. Well, they suck. Hard. And not in a so-bad-it-made-me-laugh kind of way. The fight choreography is a fucking joke and Seagal uses an obvious double for a lot of scenes. (Hey, if he can’t be bothered to use his own voice, why should he fight his own fights?) The movie does set some kind of record for the number of scenes in which someone gets thrown through a wall, so has that going for it.
Then there’s Seagal himself. Whenever he isn’t saying his own lines or not appearing in his own fight scenes, he just sits around looking bored. (Maybe he should’ve downed some of his Lightning Bolt Energy Drink before the cameras started rolling.) But what’s the point? If he isn’t having fun then why should we? I did like the scene where he walks up to the guy whose been following him and says, “Can I help you?” before kicking his ass.