Out for a Kill (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I think I can give you a pretty good idea whether you would like this movie. Here's a key scene. A bunch of Chinese gangsters enter a strip club in single file. They all line up near a wall, then turn and face the club, armed with various firearms. Standing in that very neat column, they blast away with their weapons for an impossibly long time, until every corner of the club and each of its customers is riddled with bullets. Then they turn silently 90 degrees toward the door, and march out in single file. The camera shows us that one customer is still alive, having survived by hiding behind a mini-stage. Unfortunately for the survivor, one of the Chinese gangsters returns to the room, and proceeds to blast him to bits.

There you have it. Filmed entertainment at its paragon.

If you haven't made up your mind yet, I guess I ought to tell you that the film was directed by Michael Oblowitz and stars Steven Seagal, whose career has been fully resuscitated in low budget straight-to-vid reductions of his earlier theatrical movies. As I write this, the big fella has three more movies in the pipeline, and must therefore maintain a solid fan base of indeterminate size.

Could you guess from the title that it was a Seagal film? He previously made films called Out for Justice and Hard to Kill.

Did I mention that Seagal plays an archeology professor with a Ph.D. in ancient Chinese civilizations? Sadly, Carrot Top and Anna Nicole Smith were not available to come to Paris to do their cameo appearances as Pierre and Marie Curie. Big Steve is one mighty tough schoolmarm, as he manages to waste not one member of the Chinese mob, but all of them, and perhaps 20% of the entire Chinese population in the process.

What else can you say? Except that the jumbo-sized martial artist is now approaching Brando proportions, and spends much of the the film wearing a muu-muu.

To be fair, there were some scenes in the film that looked pretty darned good. These two frames will demonstrate some competent filming as well as Seagal's current waistline and wardrobe. He looks OK when he can drape himself in the long coats, but that is not practical for the fight scenes.

The IMDb voting base rates Out for a Kill lowest of all of Seagal's films, even lower than the previous Oblowitz/Seagal collaboration, The Foreigner, which was a muddled and often incomprehensible jumble of bad dialogue and confused plot. I didn't find Out For a Kill to be that bad. It is not a good film, but it is at least a minimally watchable genre film with some redeeming elements - Mark Vargo's cinematography alone raises it to a higher level than the Foreigner - and it isn't all that bad for a straight-to-vid, assuming you have reasonable expectations of a Seagal movie.


  • Widescreen transfer; anamorphically enhanced



Katya Dobo shows her breasts, but the camera is not focusing on her.

There are one or more topless strippers.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. It would not be fair to grade it lower. It's not a good movie, but delivers according to the expectations of the target market, has some good moments, and is a marked improvement from the previous Oblowitz/Seagal movie.

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