Immediately after videotaping a corrupt government official’s meeting with the Mob, Los Angeles’ finest detective, Mason Storm (Steven Seagal), goes champagne shopping at a local gas station and ends up brutally (and single-handedly) disarming Robert LaSardo’s punk and his gang. It’s that kind of movie, the 1990 action-filled, one-line spitting, gritty vehicle that so many actors rode to fame.
Obviously intent on replicating the “are you feeling lucky?” of the Dirty Harry films of the 1970s and 1980s, this kind of film is one that you can catch (edited) on TBS and TNT but which real fans want to see in its absolute brutality. Storm’s wife is gunned down and his partner murdered as well. The masked gunmen manage to put Storm in a coma, and his friend, Lt. O’Malley (Frederick Coffin), hides him from view for seven years. The audience knows this is all the work of Assemblyman (later Senator) Trent (William Sadler), and we watch the progress of his campaigning as the film flips through seven years of Storm’s coma.
Upon awaking, Storm finds himself under the care of the nurse Andy Stewart (Kelly Le Brock, Seagal’s wife at the time) as he tries to regain his strength and fight the police corruption that put him in the hospital. Frankly, it all makes some kind of sense, with the major foolishness being Seagal’s beard! Of course, most of us have come to believe there are conspiracies like this flying around the political realm, and if we had Storm’s skills, we might have to track down the truth on our own.
This one isn’t too deep, but it’s obvious that as much as the focus is on Seagal’s perfect Storm, he couldn’t have gotten to justice without help. Without O’Malley hiding him, without the healing care he received from Stewart, Storm never has the opportunity to save the day. So often in these action flicks, it’s all about the hero, but we’re reminded in this one, that even a hero needs a safe place to land.