Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘Ticker’ was surprisingly bad. Again be quiet Seagal haters out there and keep your nasty little comments about America’s most prolific somewhat overweight action hero to yourself, but I did expect a bit more from ‘Ticker’ than I got. First being that thought I just saw the movie a day ago, late in 2007 as it is, this film was made six years ago in 2001 before the massive flow of Seagal DTV films exploded on the scene. Besides that, the star of the film ain’t even Lansing Michigan native Seagal but top billing belongs to Detroit Michigan native and legendary Hollywood bad boy Tom Sizemore who always brings a little something extra to most roles that he manages to be sober in. We also have Dennis Hopper as a mad bomber, a role he is somewhat familiar with, former playmate Jamie Pressley who has B-moviedoms greatest belly button as some kind of PhD something or another, Rapper Nas as the Black Guy Destined to Die and the lovely TLC songstress Chilli who I thought was going to have a prominent role in this flick since I saw her name all by itself as the credits rolled. Whatever. Some may say that ‘The Glimmer Man’ was the beginning of the end for the portly Aikido master, I will point to this film as the beginning of Seagal’s five film a year DTV career.

Our film opens with Seagal as bomb squad expert Frank Glass in London or somewhere casually defusing a bomb left by evil Irish (?) terrorist Alex Swan (Hopper) I question his Irishness because Hopper’s contract obviously didn’t require him to use his Irish accent all the time. I’m not talking from scene to scene or even sentence to sentence, but from word to word it would fade in and out. Anyway Seagal diffuses the secondary bomb but the main bomb blows up killing a crap load of people while a dejected Seagal looks away in a fade to black. There were a whole bunch of things that were confusing about this scene such as to why his crew was diffusing the little bomb instead of the big bomb, why Hopper was still in the house next to the bomb and a few other things but at least this careless nonsense did let the viewer know that the filmmakers don’t give a damn and releases us from any emotional attachment from this point on.

A year later we meet Ray Nettles (Sizemore) and his hip partner Art Rice (Nas) as they bust some crack dealer and we get see Chilli from TLC dance for some crack for a minute and then disappear for the rest of the movie. While wandering around town Rice tells the tortured Nettles that he has to open up more because ‘I’m your best friend, I’m your only friend’. With those words Rice’s fate is sealed because luck of luck, they see Swan and his crew enter a warehouse and they follow them in. Rice gets blasted to death by Swan, Nettles grabs Swan’s moll Claire (Pressley) and swears revenge against the Scottish (?) terrorist.

Now with Seagal working for the L.A. bomb squad circumstance has thrown he and Nettles together as a pair of badass Michigan boys ready to kick some Irish / Scottish / Brooklyn accented ass, and stop his plan to create his bomb blowing masterpiece. Will they succeed? Uh…. yeah.

I don’t know when in 2001 this thing was released, but I’m guessing any movie about blowing up shit in the United States
released after September 11th was probably received about as warmly as Al Sharpton at a Klan rally. Not that it would matter as this film was so poor that Nu Image and them were looking for any old excuse to sweep this film under the rug and dispatch it to DTV hell. Aside from the simple filmmaker errors that the legendary for all the wrong reasons director Albert Pyun committed, such as bad editing, poor framing, terrible blue screening and a lack of basic continuity, this is a film that has car chases, hand to hand combat, explosions AND Ice-T in a cameo, but is completely lifeless. If this thing at least quicker you could ignore some of the awful plot flaws, such as Nettles knowing what this Mad Bomber clown looks like but yet not submit one single police sketch to like maybe warn other officers when he strolls into the precinct or drops in on one of his various locations wearing 40 pounds of black trench leather in the middle of summer carrying big silver briefcases. The only good part was listening to Dennis Hopper spout off dialog gems like ‘Ding dong the bitch is dead’ or ‘Reach out and TOUCH someone’.

The real tragedy of this mess is that Seagal wasn’t even the problem. I would even go so far as to say the massive martial artist, America’s version of Sammo Hung, was on his C+ game as he delivered a couple of good lines and killed about 150 people in between deciding to cut red or blue wires. With no nudity, poor action, awful direction and suspect acting you will watch this and hope like hell they cut the wrong damn wire at the end. But somehow, I’m thinking they won’t.

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