Movie Review – Hard To Kill

Principal Cast : Steven Segal, Zaachary Rosencrantz, Kelly LeBrock, William Sadler, Frederick Coffin, Andrew Bloch, Branscombe Richmond, Charles Boswell, James DiStefano, Dean Norris, Bonnie Burroughs, Lou Beatty Jr, Robert LaSarado, Ernie Lively.
Synopsis: Targeted by the mob and its political supporters, hired assassins leave LAPD Detective Mason Storm for dead. Seven years later, he recovers from a deep coma, demanding justice and the opportunity to get even.


Prepare yourselves for a film that caters to the most infantile and baseless cravings for violence, Hard to Kill. In an era when gratuitous action flicks held sway, this cinematic relic fails to deliver on almost every level, leaving us with a hollow and unsatisfying experience. Let’s delve into the depths of this mindless onslaught of mayhem and examine its few, if any, redeeming qualities.

In Hard to Kill, the story revolves around Mason Storm, a dedicated cop played by Steven Seagal, whose relentless pursuit of justice puts him in the crosshairs of corrupt politicians. When Storm unwittingly stumbles upon their nefarious dealings, a brutal attack on him and his family leaves him comatose for seven long years. In a tale of vengeance and retribution, Storm awakens with a burning desire to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. With a singular focus on bringing his assailants to justice, he embarks on a relentless journey to confront the powerful figures who orchestrated the attack. The film follows Storm as he transforms from a victim left for dead into a vigilante force, battling corruption and diving headfirst into a world of political conspiracies and covert operations. As Mason Storm’s quest for revenge unfolds, Hard to Kill delves into the darker aspects of human nature and the consequences of seeking retribution. In a world where justice often seems elusive, the film explores the complexities of vigilante justice and the unyielding desire to right the wrongs that have been done. With its relentless action sequences and memorable one-liners, the film embodies the spirit of its era, serving as a nostalgic reminder of a time when action heroes reigned supreme and justice was delivered with a side of high-octane thrills.

The film grinds forward, plunging us into a world of political conspiracies and covert shenanigans, a premise so tired and uninspired that it’s impossible to muster any interest. Upon his awakening, Mason Storm’s bland character is now driven by a desire for vengeance. Yet, the film fails to imbue this quest with any genuine emotional depth or narrative substance. Before we proceed to dissect the pitiful aspects of Hard to Kill, let’s address the elephant in the room – Steven Seagal. During the late 80s and early 90s, Seagal was considered a martial arts sensation, but his cinematic contributions lack depth or nuance. In Hard to Kill, Seagal is the embodiment of a one-dimensional action hero, incapable of eliciting genuine empathy or a sense of engagement. His character, Mason Storm, is the epitome of predictability, and his acting, if you can call it that, offers no emotional resonance.

Vengeance, a theme that often holds weight in storytelling, falls painfully flat in Hard to Kill. Storm’s quest for retribution feels more like a checklist of action movie clichés than a genuine exploration of justice. The film offers little in the way of character development, and Storm’s transformation from a comatose victim to an avenging force is laughably superficial. This lack of depth extends to the supporting cast, who contribute little to the film’s narrative or emotional impact. Kelly LeBrock’s portrayal of a loyal nurse is as forgettable as it is uninspired, and William Sadler’s antagonist is an embodiment of every power-hungry villain we’ve seen before.

Hard to Kill attempts to emulate the gritty action of its era, but it falls short in delivering sequences that resonate. The film’s action choreography is riddled with predictable moves and uninspired fight scenes. Director Bruce Malmuth’s handling of the action feels stilted and lacks the intensity that defined the era’s best action films. The practical stunts, a hallmark of action classics, fail to impress, and the film’s shootouts lack the visceral impact that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Instead, the action sequences become a tedious exercise in predictability.

In the realm of action cinema, memorable one-liners are a hallmark of the genre. However, Hard to Kill offers a collection of lines that are as lifeless as the film’s characters. The attempts at witty quips and tough-guy banter fall flat, failing to add any charm or memorable moments to the viewing experience.  Hard to Kill taps into the age-old theme of revenge, but its execution is vapid and lacks emotional depth. Mason Storm’s quest for justice serves as a mere excuse for gratuitous violence, and the film revels in its senseless action without offering any moral or narrative exploration. This superficial approach leaves the audience with a sense of emptiness and a reminder of the film’s missed potential.

Hard to Kill is a laborious descent into mindless violence, lacking the redeeming qualities that define enduring action classics. It serves as a reminder of an era when action films relied on shallow characters, predictable narratives, and a surplus of violence. Steven Seagal’s lacklustre performance, a superficial approach to revenge, and uninspired action sequences render the film an unsatisfying relic of its time. While some may seek nostalgic pleasure in revisiting this cinematic relic, it remains a forgettable and lamentable contribution to the action genre. Hard to Kill fails to offer the engagement, emotional depth, or substance that contemporary audiences demand. In the realm of action cinema, this film stands as a stark reminder of the elements that separate enduring classics from fleeting mediocrity.

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