Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Much thanks to those psychopaths at the Unofficial Steven Seagal Forum for the info which clears up the confusion I had with his latest movie ‘Deadly Crossing’. I knew Steve had a TV series coming up, in addition to his ‘Lawman’ reality show, which was labeled as ‘Southern Justice’ on the IMDB but then this movie comes out. I figured they had just shuttered the show and packaged this pilot as a Straight to DVD movie but according to those cats they are releasing this movie on DVD with the TV episodes to follow. A movie star, a TV star, a reality TV star and in his spare time he’s a recording artist. Steven Seagal is either a real live modern renaissance man or life has given him the opportunity to do a lot stuff not very well. I’ll let you decide which one to roll with.

I assume this movie is supposed to take place in Seattle because I’m looking at the Space Needle and stuff but then I get the feeling that this movie is supposed to be taking place in Louisiana someplace because of some of the dialect, the appearance of a Cajun here and there, the mentioning of swamps and the fact the original title was ‘Southern Justice’ and Seattle isn’t in the south. But then I guess the location of this joint is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.

All we really need to be aware of that Elijah Kane (Seagal) is the head of the toughest, meanest undercover operation in all of Seattle Louisiana. Mind you that Seattle Louisiana has some pretty stupid criminals because one moment our cops are undercover at a club, then out of from undercover busting people at this club, then the next day they are undercover again with the club criminals completely forgetting that these guys were cops yesterday.

The Seattle Louisiana Undercover Crew (SLUC) has some things on their plate starting with the seemingly senseless murder of some Asian shop owners on the bayou. Follow that up with the SLUC dealing with an influx of smack coming into the ports under the guide of vicious Russian Mafioso Nikoli (Gil Bellows), there’s also a group of violent Cajuns living off in the sticks and a not to mention the recent rash of carjackings.

While on the surface these look like separate incidents but they are all connected and it all leads back to Nikoli the Russian. Plus they can’t get close to him because Nikoli possesses the undercover cop sensing gene, and he will sniff you out no matter how short the skirt this undercover cop might be wearing.

But guess what though? Nikoli might be smart and all, but none of his skills are going to stop him from getting punched in the face over and over again by one tough talking, slightly overweight, Cajun accented Aikido master. Observe as the SLUC violates some civil rights since Miranda is just a woman’s name in this reality and ‘Identifying Yourself’ consists of shooting you in the chest with a shotgun. Yes, you’ve just met Elijah Kane.

‘Deadly Crossing’ is a bit of strange beast to discuss with you because it is a television show and has a lot television show sensibilities with the cliff hanger spots that we could see were reserved for commercial breaks, the over reliance on flashes and zooms, the quick ‘24’ style shaky cam pans and the strippers wearing clothes while swinging on the pole, not that this stopped their clients from whooping it up as if they were actually naked. But it is also very much a Steven Seagal movie, just one with a lot less of Steven Seagal in it.

The majority of the dialog and heavy lifting in this movie is spread across his four, younger, thinner co-stars who only have to deal with ‘Papa’ when the situation got the point of looking like something they couldn’t handle. Which we have to admit was most of the time. In true Steven Seagal movie fashion all of the fights are incredibly one-sided and those hoping for a serious mano-a-mano battle vs. Nikoli the Russian at the end of the movie clearly haven’t seen many Steven Seagal movies. At least Steve Austin let Gil Bellows land a few punches at the end of his movie ‘Hunt to Kill’. Here Gil Bellows face was just a fist receptacle. Tackling dummies give more resistance.

Is it a good movie? Well… it’s tolerable. As standalone movie there are probably too many characters, all poorly developed but in the course of a TV show that would no doubt be rectified. Like a television show the solution to the dilemma was tied up far too neatly and quickly, all of which left a gaping hole or two in reason and logic. But it’s a Steven Seagal movie, so this is to be expected.

As a movie… eh… ‘Deadly Crossing’ is a little scatterbrained. But as a TV show, it did enough to prompt me to watch the next the episode. When and where that next episode will air I can’t tell you because nobody fills me in on anything, but I’d watch it.

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