Darren Jamieson
Born to Raise Hell DVD Review

Born to Raise Hell

December 3, 2010

Director: Lauro Chartrand,
Starring: Steven Seagal, Dan Badarau, Darren Shahlavi, D. Neil Mark, George Remes, Claudiu Bleont, Calin Puia, Cosmina Pasarin, Alexandra Coman, Irina Antonie, Karl Baker, Constantin Barbulescu, Elias Ferkin, Florian Ghimpu, Zoltan Butuc,

Rate Born to Raise Hell DVD Release:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

DVD Review

Darren Jamieson

Sometimes I just don’t know why I do it to myself. I should be watching decent films, thought provoking films, films with substance; but no, instead I watch Steven Seagal movies, and not his classics either – his more recent straight-to-DVD fairs that often miss out the supermarkets and end up straight on the carousels at garages and service stations.

The worst part of this is, I love them. After two minutes of his latest… no wait, it’s not his latest because in the time I’ve taken to watch this film and begin the review he’s gone and released another one, after two minutes of this particular Seagal movie I was cracking up in hysterics at the unfolding plot. How can a movie this bad offer this much delight?

Let’s try and describe it for you. Most films, most action movies that is, have a sense of self awareness about them. They know they’re a bit dumb and they play on it – Seagal movies however are straight down the line. Nobody seems to realise they’re in shite, and yet nobody cares about the production either.

Without a hint of irony the film opens with Seagal delivering an obviously very tired and tacked on at the end of shoot voiceover in a desperate attempt to shed some light on the opening scenes of the film. He just can’t be bothered. Does it matter that his sentences tail off, or that you can’t really make it out, or that the voiceover even rolls over dialogue scenes that were presumably worse than the aforementioned voiceover? No, not one jot it doesn’t. This is a Seagal, and the plot and dialogue are supposed to be overlooked.

Not five minutes in and we learn that his partner has been killed (I didn’t mention that he was a cop, I sort of assumed that was obvious – and these kinds of assumptions are not the mother of all fuck ups).

As with most of Seagal’s recent efforts, this film is set in some East European country where, we can only imagine, Seagal lives these days to get away from tax, ex-wives or both. It matters not what country as most of the cast are American anyway. The plot, at least for the first twenty minutes, is all over the shop and we have no idea what is going on and which characters are who, doing what to whom. But hey, it’s a Seagal movie, so who cares?

Some bad guy named Costel (Darren Shahlavi) likes to murder people, rape women, smuggle drugs and occasionally shoot his own people – the classic Seagal bad guy – and Seagal wants to catch him because he’s a cop, and that’s what he does. Throw into the mix a Russian mob boss named Dimitri (Dan Badarau) who may or ,may not turn out to be a good guy and you’ve got all you need for a few pointless shoot-outs and a some very obvious fight sequences.

Ah… but that’s not all. Seagal’s new partner is a man who’s about to become a father. They may as well of painted a bulls-eye on his neck.

Again with recent Seagal movies there’s an awful lot of exploitative nudity (as the portly one seems to like that, although note that he remained fully clothed during his ‘sex’ scene, we’re pleased to report).

The film is full of really over the top violence (such as people shot in the face, and a woman who has her ears cut off during torture) and the occasional rape sequence. Very nice for the family. If you’re wondering if Steven still has his moves… well, not so much. He remains mostly stationary during all fight scenes and lets the camera do the difficult stuff, like moving. His opponents move around a lot, and come to him when he needs to smack them some more.

I’m not sure what more I can say about this. Unless you’re a hard-core Steven Seagal fan you’ll hate it. Even if you are, you’ll probably still hate it – but a little part of you will also love it, and crave his next offering – which I also have, and need to review. This shit ain’t gonna review itself!

Darren has enjoyed an interest in film for many years, studying the subject at Newport Film School where he worked on the film ‘Cop on the Edge IX: Prelude to Justice‘ in a directing and acting capacity. The official site can be enjoyed here. Darren setup WhatDVD.Net in 2003 to further his love of films and to write passionately about the movies he enjoys, and about those that he doesn’t.

Although his day-to-day activities mean that he now has less time to review movies than he would ideally prefer, he still tries to review new releases, and DVDs from his extensive collection, whenever possible.
view all DVD reviews by Darren Jamieson

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Rating: 54%



One Response to “Born to Raise Hell”

  1. Deadly Crossing DVD Review | WhatDVD.Net on December 23rd, 2010 6:38 pm

    […] Review 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 […]

Got something to say?