×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Glimmer Man

For a rock'em, sock'em action thriller, "The Glimmer Man" is a hopelessly slow-moving, slow-witted shaggy-dog tale that delivers the jolts but lacks the juice necessary for high-voltage entertainment. The Steven Seagal vehicle is a listless search for a serial killer that trades heavily on coincidence and pop mysticism and ultimately seems more parody than conventional genre fare.

With:
Detective Jack Cole - Steven Seagal
Detective Jim Campbell - Keenen Ivory Wayans
Frank Deverell - Bob Gunton
Smith - Brian Cox
Jessica Cole - Michelle Johnson
Donald Cunningham - John Jakson
Christopher Maynard - Stephen Tobolowsky
Capt. Harris - Ryan Cutrona
Johnny Deverell - Johnny Strong

For a rock’em, sock’em action thriller, “The Glimmer Man” is a hopelessly slow-moving, slow-witted shaggy-dog tale that delivers the jolts but lacks the juice necessary for high-voltage entertainment. The Steven Seagal vehicle is a listless search for a serial killer that trades heavily on coincidence and pop mysticism and ultimately seems more parody than conventional genre fare. It stacks up as one of the performer’s weaker theatrical entries, though pleasant enough filler material for pay cable and a picture that should move well in video rental.

Detective Jack Cole (Seagal) arrives in Los Angeles fresh from solving a series of grisly killings in Gotham. His new assignment is to find a serial murderer dubbed the Family Man — so-called for his penchant for wiping out households and arranging the corpses in a macabre, crucifixion tableau.

But before he has a chance to pick up the trail, Cole and partner Jim Campbell (Keenen Ivory Wayans) are summoned to quell a gun-wielding student holding his classmates hostage. The sequences proves to be more than just an excuse for a stunt. The distraught lad’s stepfather, nabob Frank Deverell (Bob Gunton), fairly oozes the stuff that constitutes villainy.

Kevin Brodbin’s script attempts a shotgun marriage between a standard procedural and a paranoid political thriller. The union doesn’t stick. Corrupt government agents, mercenaries and transplanted members of the Russian Mafia collide and trip over one another in an awkward ballet.

The preposterous twist is that the brutal murders aren’t solely the work of the perverse religious zealot. The fiendishly clever Deverell has taken the opportunity to have one of his henchmen eliminate several associates using the Family Man’s m.o. Cole immediately senses the ruse and pieces together a secondary sinister plot involving the Russkies, the CIA and illegal arms trading.

And as a capper, it turns out Cole isn’t who he appears to be. He’s a renegade black op who found the light from a Tibetan Buddhist monk. The Zen cop is certain his former agency boss (Brian Cox) is involved in Deverell’s treachery.

“The Glimmer Man” requires a series of leaps of faith that would daunt Carl Lewis. It might have arrived at some semblance of credibility had Seagal been partnered with Leslie Nielsen. Wayans simply isn’t very interesting as a punching bag who can’t quite figure out who his partner is or why he insists on wearing recherche Nehru jackets.

Seagal is one action performer whose ease in front of the camera has improved at a glacial rate. His new dilemma is an expanding girth that appears to have slowed both his verbal delivery and physical speed. The film’s editors have done exemplary work in masking much of the pic’s lethargy.

Director John Gray has made a slick piece of goods. The film is an inverse iceberg – there’s virtually nothing lurking beneath the surface. And, following its opening weekend, “The Glimmer Man” is unlikely to expand its star’s fan base.

The Glimmer Man

Production: A Warner Bros. release of a Seagal/Nasso production. Produced by Steven Seagal, Julius R. Nasso. Executive producer, Michael Rachmil. Directed by John Gray. Screenplay, Kevin Brodbin.

Crew: Camera (Technicolor, Panavision widescreen), Rick Bota; editor, Donn Cambern; music, Trevor Rabin; production design, William Sandell; art direction, Nancy Patton; costume design, Luke Reichle; sound (Dolby DTS, SDDS), Edward Tise, Robert Allan Wald; stunt coordinator, Dick Ziker; assistant director, Cari Goldstein; casting, Debi Manwiller. Reviewed at Warner Bros. studio, Burbank, Oct. 2, 1996. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Detective Jack Cole - Steven Seagal
Detective Jim Campbell - Keenen Ivory Wayans
Frank Deverell - Bob Gunton
Smith - Brian Cox
Jessica Cole - Michelle Johnson
Donald Cunningham - John Jakson
Christopher Maynard - Stephen Tobolowsky
Capt. Harris - Ryan Cutrona
Johnny Deverell - Johnny Strong

More Film

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Spirit Awards Online

    The Spirit Awards are taking over television Saturday from Santa Monica, Calif., but viewers don’t need a TV to tune in. Hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, this year’s Spirit Awards are set to air on IFC at 2 p.m. PT and again on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. However, indie lovers [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Take the Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content