Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Personally I was getting a little concerned. It had been a good three months and I haven’t seen a Steven Seagal movie. Had he retired? Is he ill? I was genuinely concerned. Then I see that my man was simply taking care of other interests in between shooting five or six Straight to DVD movies at a time. He does still has to manage his exploding music career and more importantly he’s added a new dimension to his status as a modern renaissance man in ‘Reality TV Star’ as his show ‘Lawman’ gets set to air on the A&E Network. Outstanding. But his movie career is still a priority as we get a chance to view Steve’s latest epic in waiting… ‘The Keeper’

As our film opens grizzled L.A. cop Rolland Sallinger (Seagal) and his partner Trevor (Brian Keith Gamble) violently take down some drug dealing thugs. Trevor observes there’s a couple million on the table and suggest he and his partner liberate some of this loot. His partner responds with ‘mutha fucka, I though I knew you!’. Unfortunately Rolland is not a good judge of character because Trevor shoots him in the chest. Trevor probably should’ve checked his pulse because we here all know that my man is Hard To Kill and much to Trevor’s surprise he gets word that this cat is still breathing, so now he has to traipse on off the hospital and finish the job. Good luck with that Trevor.

Moving on Rolland is now on the mend and finds himself released from his cherished cop gig for medical reasons which has him depressed. Fortunately his boy from back in the day, Connor Wells (Steph DuVall), has some security issues surrounding his daughter Nikita (Leizl Carstens), in that somebody is trying to kidnap her. Who better to protect the hottie than the toughest and smartest and meanest guy on the planet earth?

Connor apparently has some issues with local gangster Jason Cross (Luce Raines) who wants something that Connor possesses in addition to hating Mexicans. I gotta tell you, Connor and his daughter don’t look very Hispanic to me but then I’m no genealogist.

Eventually, despite Rolland’s best efforts, the bad guys get the girl. If they knew what we know, and they had the chance to do it all over again… they probably wouldn’t have taken her in the first place because Hell has come to San Antonio! Or somewhere. I forget where this movie takes place.

So I’m talking to a friend of mine and I inform him that Seagal has new movie out. After making the typical jokes such as ‘Is it a three word title?’ and such he asks me ‘Why do you watch that shit?’ First off Mr. Know-It-All, it’s a two word title this time, though it does have three syllables with the real question being ‘Why DON’T you watch this shit?’ That’s the question he should be asking himself. By opening my world to ALL movies and not just the movies that those mind-controlling Hollywood FatCats choose to release to theaters, I own this world baby. So while this clown is waiting for the next lame sequel or remake, he fills his time watching Reality TV when he could be watching all kinds of fine films. Of course that prattle has very little to do with this movie ‘The Keeper’ but you know… there really isn’t much to say about this movie.

Directed by Keoni Waxman whose last movie of his we saw being the lackluster ‘Shooting Gallery’, The director has crafted a movie that is almost as lackluster as that one was. The good thing about ‘The Keeper’ at least thematically speaking, this is one Steven Seagal movie that seems to be working with a completed screenplay because it’s not nearly as ridiculous and nonsensical of some his more recent DVD spectaculars, and it is better than some of his worst movies, but even some of those movies… say something like ‘Submerged’… had a lot of energy to them while making absolutely no sense, an energy that was lacking in ‘The Keeper’.

It’s difficult to pinpoint why this particular movie came off as so muted as Steve was doing what he does, relying less and less on his stuntman, engaging in extremely one-sided fist fights and there were plenty of shoot outs, car crashes and car chases to be had but none of it really sizzled. I know one thing that didn’t help this movie was that Seagal was the best actor in the movie. That’s trouble right there. Brian Keith Gamble playing Stevie’s duplicitous partner seemed to be a pretty good actor and he did bring some energy to his scenes but he was dismissed early in the first act so we can’t really count him. Everybody else in this flick looked as if they were on valium or were just trying to remember their lines. Worst still is that the bad guy wasn’t nearly bad enough. So by the time Steve got around to the business of lazily snapping everybody’s neck you wonder if they really deserved this harsh punishment since they barely did anything worthy of death inducing punishment.

The good thing about a Steven Seagal movie, good, bad or otherwise, is that another is merely days away so despite the fact that ‘The Keeper’ wasn’t all that good he might be able to make it up with the next one. Or not. But it’s coming regardless.

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