December 23, 2010
I watched this Steven Seagal DVD straight after the particularly violent ‘Born to Raise Hell’, the two were worlds apart. While I thought I was watching yet another Eastern European chop fest of a movie, where Stevie would wade through an endless stream of similarly attired gangsters before killing some head honcho in an extremely unnecessary fashion, I was very much mistaken.
Deadly Crossing began in the manner of what can only be described as a TV show. The opening credits of the film featured scenes from the movie itself, which was extremely off-putting, and worrying. My worst fears came to bear when I realised that this was indeed a TV show, a show that is being made right now in the USA.
That’s right, Steven Seagal is bringing his own brand of deft movement begets head smashing action to network television, minus all of the actual violence. Of course, Seagal fans will instantly spot a flaw with this plan. If you take the over the top, bone crunching violence out of a Seagal movie, what are you left with? Not much at all as it turns out.
Yes, Stevie still dispense his own brand of pointless and unintelligible wisdom while curtailing his movement as much as possible, but without the sudden bursts of atrocious inhumanity, you’re left feeling rather cold. It’s like having a porn movie edited for television… not a lot’s left.
So what happens in Deadly Crossing, or Southern Justice as the TV series is called, or ‘Russian Crossing’ as the pilot seems to be called in the USA (this is a worrying start already, bit of an identity crisis and the show hasn’t even aired yet)? Well, Seagal plays tough cop Elijah Kane, leading an elite team of cops battling the influx of drugs in Seattle. This team of cops is so elite that they don’t even wear uniforms at the police station, or park their police cars outside so as to remain ‘incognito’. Of course, they still park their unmarked surveillance vans outside the station, so presumably the criminals in Seattle are a special type of stupid.
Seagal’s team of elite cops are joined by a newbie as the season gets underway, a newbie who at first isn’t liked by the other male cops, but soon earns her place alongside them… oh for Christ’s sake, this is about as predictable and formulaic as you can possibly imagine, and there isn’t even any ass kicking of any note from the Portly one.
To make matters worse, the narrative of the film is split for some reason known only to the editor when the entire movie reverses 48 hours in an attempt to make it interesting… it fails.
This series lacks the humour and the characterisation of series such as Bones and Castle, and lacks the action of a Seagal movie. It’s somewhere in between, and it’s not a nice in between either.