J.D. Lafrance
Out for a Kill DVD Review

Out for a Kill

December 14, 2002

Director: Michael Oblowitz, ,
Starring: Steven Seagal, Michelle Goh, Corey Johnson, Kata Dobó, Kevin Dunn, MC Harvey, Elaine Tan, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Now I enjoy bad movies, I’m a veritable connoisseur of them. Which is why I have all of Steven Seagal’s films either on video, DVD or Laserdisc – many of them all three formats!

Even I though, have to admit that lately Seagal’s films are getting worse, far worse than the great ‘bad’ moments of the Glimmer Man, or Fire Down Below. I thought, having seen Ticker that he’d reached his peak, or trough as it might be classed. A film devoid of any action, where Seagal seemed unable to even stand without the aid of a quick edit.

Then I saw The Foreigner, a straight to DVD debacle that showed just how bad, and this time I mean bad-bad as opposed to good-bad, Seagal had become. I knew I was watching the worst movie ever. A nonsensical script, pointless characters and needless plot devices; it made no sense, and they didn’t care. It was at this point I tentatively watched Out for a Kill, and by god was I unprepared for how bad things could get!

Out for a Kill is without question, the single worst action movie ever made. It’s been dubbed by a colleague ‘Out for a Script’, and by another Seagal aficionado friend of mine, ‘Out for Lunch’.

The film has no discernable script. Seagal plays archaeologist Robert Burns, and before you start thinking he’s straying from the tried and tested formula, he has a mysterious past. For some reason known only to the writers, he’s set up for smuggling drugs, his assistant is killed and he gets used as a pawn to lead the police to an Asian crime ring. Why? I have no idea.

Oh yes, they also kill his wife.

When in jail he meets the film’s token rapper, and as they start to speak, the dialogue fades out and another of the film’s all too common montages kicks in. Then, for some reason, we see Seagal leave the jail and he and the rapper are best friends. Clearly the scene was so bad they cut it, you’ll notice a lot of those in this film.

The essence of the film is that a group of Asian crime lords sit around a table and say that Burns must be killed. Then we see one or two of them getting brutally killed by Seagal, he reads the markings tattooed on their arms, and we cut back to the table sans the ones he’s killed. This cycle repeats until one remains.


Much of the film’s narrative is performed through character voice over too, because the footage shot wasn’t sufficient to carry the story.

Out for a Kill is a bloody mess, one that should have been binned rather than released. Seagal’s attempted action relies, once again, on quick cuts and speeded up camera movements to cover the aging porker’s lack of speed.

I nearly switched this film off. I have seen the man at his best, and his worst, and this is most definitely as bad as it gets. I can’t fathom how a film that has so many deaths, and so many naked females can still make eighty minutes seem like three hours.

The only redeemable thing I can say about this film is that at least it had an ending, whereas The Foreigner just reached a point and stopped.

Special Features

What do you think? A straight to the ‘HMV bargain bin’ release like this has no features, save for a few trailers. This of course represents the only time and place you’ll see the trailer for Out for a Kill though, so savour it.

If you’re into bad movies, really into bad movies, then Out for a Kill is for you.


J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 14%



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