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Dangerous Man, A
Not surprisingly, in this 2009 straight to video Steven Segal epic, the man plays a former special forces operative. His name is Shane Daniels and at the beginning of the movie we see how he was sent to jail for a crime he didn't commit. You see, some thugs were hassling his wife and he was going to mess them up but good but he didn't, someone else did. We never learn who but it doesn't matter, Shane goes to jail for six years. He's cleared when some DNA evidence is admitted and the man lets him free, but in the interim, the foxy wife who gave him lap dances and let him play with her perky boobs leaves him to move on with her life.
Understandably upset about the loss of the B-cups, Shane takes to wandering around Seattle. He stops in at a liquor store and some toughs try to rob him. He warns them to back off by uttering the classic line ‘used to, like, you know, study real hard and learn all kinds of different ways to kill motherfuckers just like you. So just let me go, or I'll fuck you up real ugly.' The bad guys don't listen, and so Shane bashes one of their heads in with a gun and knocks out the other dude. He leaves with his bottle of bourbon and decides to hang out by the water front and brood for a bit. It's here that he sees some Russian car thieves show up to take a leak at the rest stop, and then shortly after, witnesses some Chinese gangsters kill a cop. Shane inexplicably blows up his own stolen car as some sort of distraction and beats up the Chinese guys only to find a bag of cash and a hot chick named Tia (Marlaina Mah) in the trunk. One of the Russian car thieves gets caught in the crossfire, the other drives him and the hot chick to safety. From here on out, he works alongside the Russian car thief's mob connections to stop the Chinese gangsters and the corrupt Seattle cops from taking out the hot chick's uncle. At one point he calls a guy ‘white boy' and the father of the Russian car thief threatens to fuck a cop in the mouth. Lots of people get shot and a surprising amount of people get their faces punched in.
There are a couple of spots where Segal's stunt double takes over and a few spots where he's inexplicably dubbed by someone who sounds slightly like him, but for the most part this is Segal in reasonably good shape. Still missing the pony tail, he macks his way through the movie by playing up the ‘my life is ruined so I don't care anymore' aspect of the character and while it's never all that convincing, it's plenty entertaining, which pretty much describes the movie as a whole There's no originality here and it's a story we've seen variations of a bunch of times before, but it hits the right notes at the right moments and delivers a pretty decent mix of sleaze, stupidity and action.
Where this movie excels, however, is in the violence department. Segal had teamed up with Keoni Waxman around the time this film was made on The Keeper, which was a better than average Segal film but which didn't come close to the level of on screen carnage seen in A Dangerous Man. Here not only to we get the requisite gun shots and squibs but we're also privy to some flinchingly brutal scenes of Steve literally punching people's faces in and blowing holes in their chests. The editing can sometimes be too choppy and fast for these sequences to have as much impact as they should have, but there's still a whole lot of nasty action here and Segal's character actually comes across as a complete and total psychopath. He might look goofy with his doo-rag on but he'll mess you up good if given even the slightest reason to.
So yeah, if watching Steven Segal get laps dances and play with boobs before heading out to save a hot Chinese chick and messing up people real ugly-like sounds like your idea of a good time, definitely give this one a shot. It's complete and utter nonsense from start to finish but it's massively entertaining and often times impressive in its gratuitous violence and exploitative tone. Waxman and Segal made two good films in 2009, it's a shame that the quality streak didn't continue.
A Dangerous Man arrives on Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.78.1 widescreen on a 25GB disc with the feature using up 23GBs of space on that disc. This was shot on video so there are obviously no issues with print damage, dirt, debris or grain. Colors look pretty bold and robust without coming across as overcooked, and the flesh tones in the film remain life like without turning too pink or too orange. The opening few minutes of the movie have an odd yellow tint to them but this definitely looks like an (odd) stylistic choice rather than a problem with the transfer. Details levels are pretty strong across the board, especially in close up shots. There's a bit of minor crush in some of the darker scenes but aside from that, this looks pretty decent.
The English language 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track does a great job of handling the action scenes for this film. It's a pretty aggressive mix that differentiates and places the action sound effects across the soundstage as required by the way the film plays out. Plenty of gunshots, bone cracking, and face punching galore mixes nicely with the background music. The talkier bits stay clean and easy to follow, though there are times where Segal's dubbing is obvious. There's strong bass response here and the rear channels are used pretty effectively throughout to bring the action set pieces to life. An optional 16-bit LPCM 2.0 Stereo track, also in English, is included on the disc but the 5.1 mix is a lot more fun. Optional subtitles are provided in English only. Oddly enough, the packaging only mentions the 2.0 mix but the 5.1 track is definitely included!
Extras include an archival behind the scenes featurette hat runs seven minutes and is made up of interviews with cast members Marlaina Mah, Segal himself, Bryan Lawson, Jessie Hutch and director Keoni Waxman that cover what it was like working together, doing the stunts, the film's basic story and how they feel about the movie. It plays like an EPK but it does have some decent behind the scenes footage in it.
The disc also includes a trailer for the feature, a bonus trailer for Robocop: The Series, animated menus and chapter selection options.
A Dangerous Man is a solid B-grade action movie. Segal is in pretty good form here, busting his way through bad guy after bad guy and playing the part with that snarky self-righteousness and arrogance that makes his movies as bafflingly amusing as they are. Ridiculously violent, completely farfetched, the film still manages to entertain. The Blu-ray is light on extras but it looks and sounds pretty decent for a 2009 DTV low budget action film, making it recommended for his fan base and a solid rental for the action movie conscious curious out there.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.