Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My goal to complete my degree in Seagalogy soldiers on but the strange thing is each time I knock off a couple Seagal’s and check them off my list, I check his filmography only to find there are at least three more movies that somehow slipped past me. This is almost becoming an exercise in futility. But this movie ‘Today You Die’ is special in the life of Mr. Seagal in that Millennium films and Nu Image films are suing his fat ass to a tune of 14 mil over this and the movie ‘Mercenary for Justice’ because apparently Mr. Seagal would arrive on set late with his entourage, leave the set early, make unapproved and unauthorized script changes and was overall disruptive during filming. The claim is that Seagal’s shoddy behavior left the producers unable to shoot crucial scenes which messed up the continuity of the film and caused "irreparable gaps in the films logic". You’re kidding me right? So you’re trying to tell me that if this sucker came to work on time that this movie would have been better? Is this what you’re trying to tell me? Now I don’t have no law degree but I have seen plenty episodes of ‘Matlock’ which I think makes me more than qualified to dispense legal advice. Here’s what you do for your client, Steven Seagal, Mr. Lawyer man. Show the judge the movie Seagal made before ‘Today You Die’ – which would have been ‘Submerged’ and the one he made after ‘Mercenary of Justice’ which would have been (sigh) ‘Attack Force’. The judge will watch those movies and observe that they too have messed up continuity, a fractured narrative and incredible ‘gaps in logic’. Then ask the producers of those films did Seagal make it to work on time. If they say yes, then CASE DISMISSED! Besides, how can a dude make it to work on time all the time when he’s obviously shooting six moving all at the same time?

But about ‘Today You Die’. The film starts with the incredible actress Mari Morrow getting her tarot cards read. I’ll read your tarot cards baby. This is like the fifth movie I’ve seen this woman in and physically she has few peers. Mari, who plays Seagal’s

woman in this movie, in the first scene of your film is a good thing, but it’s pretty much downhill from there. In a bit of a change Seagal isn’t playing some retired ex-government covert operative of mythical origins but is instead a jewel thief who amazingly still possesses all of the skills of a covert government trained ex-operative of mythical origins. But he’s no bad guy though as he is a modern day Robin Hood, robbing from rich drug dealers and gives his booty to the poor. Oh my. So Seagal is stealing from some guy but the bad guys are there waiting for him and a fight breaks out. Naturally the bad guys could have shot him right there but we have talk crap and subsequently get disarmed and killed by Seagal’s stunt man. This particular film was so poor in that category that all of Seagal’s fight scenes were filmed from the back, from the neck down. I mean there was scene where he was just walking down the stairs and they had the stunt double do that for him too.

So as this thing goes on Seagal promises his girl ‘he’s out of the game’ and takes a ‘legit’ job as driver – the reasons why could possibly be part of this whole lawsuit thing – and he invariably ends up in jail. There he meets fellow inmate in hip hoppin’ Anthony ‘Treach’ Chris who I assume is probably in the slammer for stealing Other Peoples Property and the two form a friendship to break out of jail, get revenge on the people that Seagal thinks set him up and get the twenty million dollars I forgot to tell you about. And also put Seagal’s stunt double back to work kicking peoples asses.

Had I been watching Seagal’s flicks in chronological order I would have said that ‘Today You Die’ is the worst movie Seagal has ever made, however that title belongs to, and always will belong to, Attack Force. But this is second. A distant second because nothing can touch ‘Attack Force’. Out of all of the bad things in this flick from Seagal’s pained performance, to watching him put his lips on Mari Morrow, to the fact he can’t lift his arm over his head without using a stunt double, to Treach making DMX looks like Sir Lawrence Olivier, to the terrible editing, and the nonsensical story line… All of that horror was comparatively fantastic compared to the dialog that was flowing out of these characters mouths. Maybe these were the ‘unauthorized script changes’ that he’s getting sued over. Or maybe Stevie read the script and said ‘man, folks don’t talk like this’ and decided to make some much needed changes. I don’t know who to blame, but whoever the sumbitch is he or she needs to stay as far away from Final Draft as humanly possible. "Walks like a Black man – breathes like a killer"? What the fuck was that supposed to mean? Let’s hope for the sake of Black men everywhere that they don’t walk like Steven Seagal and how in the hell does a killer breathe? "Freeze Bitch white boy Bitch" yells an Asian character at some thugs. "Fuck You yellow Bitch!" the white boy bitch yells back." Talk about an inspired repartee. Good Lord! It goes on and on and soon I’m lying on my living room floor praying for DVD player to break because I can’t turn it off!

By actually enjoying "Flight of Fury" and "Urban Justice" I though maybe I was getting soft. No, those movies just didn’t suck complete and total ass like "Today You Die". I couldn’t watch this mess again even if Mari Morrow promised me a night of unlimited, unrestrained access. I couldn’t do it. Thinking…. thinking… nope, couldn’t do it.

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