Sascha Petrosevitch is a widowed undercover agent posing as a tough, international car thief. He has many friends on both sides of the law. One of them, career criminal Nick Frazier, has been like a brother to him. One night while on a heist job, Sascha and Nick are intercepted by a female FBI agent, EZ Williams, who, unbeknownst to Nick, is working in tandem with Sascha. Nick refuses to surrender and the Feds open fire. Sascha takes seven bullets for Nick, saving his friend's life, and nearly losing his own. To maintain his cover, Sascha is sentenced with Nick to the newly refurbished, high tech Alcatraz, where inmates are fitted with special implants to prevent escape. The prison also boasts a state of the art execution chamber, which will be used for the first time on the infamous criminal Lester, who's been charged with robbing an armored vehicle of $200 million dollars worth of gold--that was never recovered. However, intercepting that plan is a group of expertly trained mercenaries called the "49ers," who break into the highly secure prison. Led by 49er One, the group has come for one thing only--to find out where the missing gold has been buried. When Lester refuses to tell them, they begin taking hostages, and it's up to Sascha to rally the prisoners to take on the ruthless commando force.
Breaking a sweat in the underlighted, overplotted and accurately titled "Half Past Dead," Steven Seagal, the Action Hero That Time Forgot, is grunting mightily to hold on to his dwindling audience. The director Don Michael Paul puts as little thug in "Dead" as possible, and because the movie feels like "Under Siege" in a prison, there is not much room for anyone to break out of the plot's confines. After several scenes of this tacky nonsense, you'll be wistful for the testosterone-charged wizardry of Jerry Bruckheimer productions. Elvis Mitchell
2002-11-15 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of Half Past Dead