A Good Man (2014)

“No joy! No joy!” a desperate Ghost radios to the drone operators about to rain Hellfire missiles down on a terrorist hideout! The evil Islamic bad guy, code named Abu Normal, is using human shields!

But even after Ghost terminates Abu, the drone fires! Ghost grabs a nearby child and dives out of the way of the incoming missile causing engineers at Lockheed Martin to no doubt wonder what sort of superhuman could have avoided certain death at the hands of their $110,000 per unit airborne assassin!

Don’t beat yourself up over it Neocon nerds, that was no ordinary superhuman, that was Steven Seagal! Ghost is just the call sign he uses during the botched mission, the sort that typically makes up the beginning of his films. Such FUBARed ops are a necessary evil in the Seagal action movie biz as it lays the groundwork for him being haunted, establishes he is a bad ass, and provides him a reason later on to get revenge on assorted foreign stunt men the film rented for that day’s shooting.

Despite Big Steve’s heroic efforts, the girl doesn’t survive and Big Steve is left to flash forward two years later while he meaninglessly thinks out loud “some things never change.”

Steve is now living in Romania with his dog, who he hasn’t even bothered to name. And while Steve does pretty much what you would expect in the film (cuss, chop people with swords, wear weird-looking layers of black clothes), the dog is definitely a missed opportunity, not ever getting involved in all the violence periodically unleashed on the Russian mob hanging out at Steve’s favorite strip club. Does Steve have so big an ego, that he couldn’t at least have let the dog get a scene where it pissed on or humped the leg of a bad guy?

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The dog does help him make friends with his sexy neighbor, Lena, and her little sister. Lena’s a Russian gal who works at Vladimir’s strip club behind the bar. Her half-brother Sasha is working for Vladimir to pay off their dead father’s debt to the Russian mob. Vladimir is involved with Mr. Chen, an arms dealer who is needing his money laundered. But someone keeps killing Russian mobsters and stealing Mr. Chen’s money! And this killer is leaving messages at the murder scenes signing his name as White Ghost!

Uh oh. Someone is using call signs again! And with good reason! Because even though Abu Normal was liquidated two years ago in Dagestan (that’s a real country – I looked it up!), the secondary target, Mr. Chen, wasn’t!

And Steve has been tracking Mr. Chen all over Asia, killing his men in an effort to draw Chen out of hiding! And now he’s living in an apartment next to a family who’s working with the guys working with Mr. Chen! How lucky is that? Especially since Steve eventually just tortures Vladimir into taking him to Mr. Chen!

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You might ask yourself, why he didn’t just do this in the first place, but Steve lives by a code of honor. How honorable would it be to the faithful viewer of all his cookie cutter action movies, if he didn’t at least wade through 15 or so guys before engaging the final boss in a back and forth of silly dialogue before putting all of us out of our sweet misery by eviscerating the guy?

Steve is clearly pacing himself in this film, with nothing much happening after the opening special op. He chats up Lena, slices up some punks, and stops off at a local church for no real reason, but much of the movie involves Vladimir and Chen bickering over missing money and messed up arms deals. When it finally comes time to rescue Lena and her sister who have been kidnapped by Chen, it’s the much more in shape Sasha who invades the compound, frees Lena, kills a crooked cop and then provides back up for Steve once he finally comes out of his trailer to waddle into the showdown with Chen.

It’s actually a pretty smart move since the only entertaining action sequences involve Sasha’s martial arts battles with Chen’s henchmen. Seagal’s fight scenes are brief and involve him moving his arms a bit.

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Steve acquits himself quite well in the area that matters though – sullenly delivered dialogue that alternates between philosophical mumbo jumbo and swearing. Sometimes he’s quoting Sun Tzu and other times he’s muttering profane nonsense like “I will snatch every motherfucker birthday.” He’s probably doing it to keep the enemy off balance. At least I never know what the heck he’s talking about!

As a bonus, the movie even features that greatest of Seagal moments, the Seagal love scene! Marvel at the topless woman half his age (at least!) as she writhes on him! Wince as big Steve greedily stares while thankfully keeping his own top on! Stifle a chuckle as he clumsily embraces her like she was a rabid porcupine!

Without question, A Good Man is a welcome return to the out of shape form for the king of faceless straight to video action movies shot in dirty and cheap eastern European countries! The strange rodent-like pelt he’s wearing strapped around his chin and upper lip as a goatee is also an unexpected delight!

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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