Kill Switch (DVD)

Kill SwitchFrom a straight-to-DVD film both written by and starring the ageing action hero Steven Seagal, you can expect nothing more than clichéd machismo. Expect less. A leather coat-clad Seagal spends the length of Kill Switch marching between crime scenes as the invincible Detective Jacob "I’m not too good at protocol" King, the hammiest pseudo-black cop on the block. Revered by his colleagues and adored by ladies the city over, the "no-rules" tough guy takes it upon himself to hunt down two serial killers terrorising the streets of Memphis — resulting in plenty of graphic violence and, of course, King’s eventual triumph.

Needless to say, Seagal’s aikido days are sadly over, a fact the director has endeavoured to disguise in lengthy, bloody scenes of King-domination. Featuring what is undoubtedly a stunt double, minimal footage is stretched to the limit by the employment of jumpy, quick-cut editing interwoven with King’s sweaty grimace and, what I believe to be the cinematographer’s favourite technique, repetition. Do we really need to see Seagal’s chunky fist impress upon his victim’s face 10 times? I imagine Seagal does.

To add incredulousness to his flight of fancy, our hero is accompanied on the case by attractive FBI agent Frankie Miller (Dignard), an inexperienced detective who manages to continually slip up in the presence of "genius" King, generally met by an exasperated "Lord have mercy" — he don’t need no woman! And this from the man reported to have become hysterical at the prospect of one of his untouchable characters being scripted to actually die? Never. Despite his excessively brutal treatment of the baddies, shamelessly corrupt cop King ultimately emerges unscathed in a neatly wrapped up conclusion. But note the inexplicable appearance of a youthful Russian blonde who, powerless to his sexual appeal, must have King in all his hefty pony-tailed glory the moment he walks through her door. One star for comedy value.

EXTRAS Just the theatrical trailer.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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