Steven Seagal stars as an archeologist… Wait, why are you all snickering? Stop that! I’m trying to tell you the plot description to Steven Seagal’s Out for a Kill. How rude.
Anyway, Steven Seagal stars as an archeologist who is framed for smuggling heroin in priceless artifacts for the Chinese Mob. In order to get out of prison, he makes a deal with the DEA to help bring down the bad guys. When they blow up his hot wife, Seagal goes… Out for a Kill.
Okay, Out for a Kill isn’t Seagal’s finest hour but it does qualify as an OK time waster. The fight scenes are pretty decent and it actually looks like Seagal is doing most of his own stunt work for a change. The highlight is the solid swordfight in a funeral home and there’s a funny scene where Seagal goes toe to toe with an acrobatic barber.
Like most of Seagal’s Direct to DVD movies, Out for a Kill suffers from some truly terrible ADR, sloppy green screen work, and choppy editing. I also didn’t quite get the obsessive need to show the time and place during every single scene. It’s not like it’s an episode of Law and Order or something. I did like the onscreen information on all the Chinese mobsters (including their hobbies!) though.
Of course it IS fun seeing Seagal playing a mild-mannered archeologist. I mean if the Indiana Jones movies taught us anything, it’s that all archeologists have to know how to kick ass. Seagal performance isn’t too bad either and I liked the way he didn’t bother to put his long locks into a ponytail. He’s just content to let the Vidal Sassoon do all the work this time out. You’ve got to respect that.
The title, Out for a Kill is an obvious (and none too clever) mash-up of two Seagal classics, Out for Justice and Hard to Kill. During the movie’s slow spots (and believe me, there are plenty of them), I kept myself amused by creating my own Seagal titles out of two (or more) of his older films. I got: Below and Above (from Fire Down Below and Above the Law), Underground Man (from Under Siege, On Deadly Ground, and The Glimmer Man), and
Director Michael Oblowitz (who also helmed what is arguably the best Sci-Fi Channel Movie Original ever made, Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy) also made The Foreigner with Seagal the same year.