This dim-witted revenge yarn is the simplest of showcases for Steven Seagal - an extremely compelling action presence with his brutal martial arts fighting style, imposing size and nasty demeanor.

This dim-witted revenge yarn is the simplest of showcases for Steven Seagal – an extremely compelling action presence with his brutal martial arts fighting style, imposing size and nasty demeanor.

It would be hard to imagine a more straightforward plot: former Drug Enforcement Agency troubleshooter Hatcher (Seagal) quits his job and goes home to visit his family. At the local tavern, he crosses a group of Jamaican drug dealers who mark him and his family for death. Naturally, he has to kill the leader to protect his loved ones. The leader of the drug ‘posse,’ Screwface (Basil Wallace), practices voodoo and sports braids.

The twist in Seagal’s pics is that there’s usually some sort of liberal bent – here Hatcher’s statement that the drug war has been for naught – in contrast to the right-wing leanings of many other films in the genre. He also has a penchant for black sidekicks, here a former Army buddy (Keith David).

Seagal fans aren’t likely to be disappointed, since director Dwight H. Little keeps the pedal to the metal. Beyond the incumbent violence there’s a fair amount of nudity in the film.

Marked for Death

Production

Victor & Grais. Director Dwight H. Little; Producer Michael Grais, Mark Victor, Steven Seagal; Screenplay Michael Grais, Mark Victor; Camera Ric Waite; Editor O. Nicholas Brown; Music James Newton Howard; Art Director Robb Wilson King

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Steven Seagal Basil Wallace Keith David Tom Wright Joanna Pacula Elizabeth Gracen
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