Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun With Steven Seagal

One thing I always admired about the early Seagal movies, in a "gee, how come he can get away with it" fashion, was the way he would break out of various death traps. Sad screenwriters like yours truly spend hours wracking our brains trying to figure out clever and new ways for our characters to evade, escape, discover, unleash and generally "do stuff", but Mr. Seagal often eschewed all that nonsense for the direct approach.

In Above The Law, Steve gets captured by the evil Henry Silva and his henchmen, who bind Steven to a chair with plastic handcuffs (like the zip-ties police use), shoot him full of some noxious drug and quasi-strangle him with a cord. Pretty tough situation, huh?

How does Steven escape? Well, he feigns being dazed by the drug, then, when Henry's guard is down, he summons up super-human strength, snaps the plastic ties and kills everyone in the room.

In Marked For Death, Steven is captured by the unfortunately named "Screwface" and strapped to the floor for some serious killin'. But when the going gets tough, guess what? Steven summons up that super-human strength again, snaps the straps and kills everyone in the room.

But this isn't just limited to old Steven Seagal movies. In the very entertaining Taken, Liam Neeson is captured by the bad guys and hand-cuffed to a metal steam pipe in the bowels of a pleasure cruiser. Liam's about to be strangled when, *whew*, the pipe breaks (!) and he, well, kills everyone in the room.

I guess the good guy deserves a break here and there, but really? The pipe breaks? But I guess we have made some progress, since super-human strength was not employed, but still... I don't think I could get away with it!