Half Past Dead

Rated NR

Apparently writer/director Don Michael Paul thought that Hollywood needed another exercise in gratuitous explosions, gunfights and hand-to-hand combat since he made his debut behind the scenes with this excessive testosterone-filled ear scorcher that should have been called Half Past Deaf. Steven Seagal plays an undercover federal agent seeking vengeance for his murdered wife by masquerading as a prison inmate on New Alcatraz, which has been suped up with cheesy hi-tech equipment like hand and voice print identification pads and panoramic view digital enhancers. But when a really bad guy who stole a whole lot of gold is moments away from being strapped to the electric chair, an even bigger really bad guy busts in to find out where the inmate stashed the loot. It’s obvious that Paul is a rookie writer with this cockamamie plot, especially since the prison warden is named El Fuego, characters survive forced ejections from speeding cars without a scratch, inmates play video games and basketball while the big house is under attack, and our action hero looks like James Belushi with John Travolta’s Pulp Fiction hairdo and utters tough guy clichés such as "You gotta problem with that?" Paul tries to redeem himself as a director with a soundtrack of heart-pumping angered death jams and slow motion special effects, but moviegoers inevitably will be half past dread after viewing this filmed fiasco.

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