Action Heroes – Seagal: Hard To Kill

In Hard to Kill, William Sadler adds an early bad guy notch to his belt as a corrupt politician who is in one way or another responsible for the death of Seagal’s family. Seagal winds up in a coma as a result of the attack and wakes to the lovely image of Weird Science’s Kelly LeBrock as his nurse.

So it’s the long road to recovery as a bearded Seagal learns how to walk again, montage-style. But it is only a matter of time before the bad guys come calling and he has to go on the run again, with nurse in tow! Hiding out in the countryside, a former partner who is in bad need of a shave helps him out in taking the bad guys down, figuring out who is behind it all and then taking it directly to the man.

This was the first of Seagal’s films I saw. Nico came before it, and my memory of that film is still very hazy. This second effort reeks of early-90s low production values. And it is your basic revenge plot, where in the end it turns out a senator is the bad guy. William Sadler is good in the role and sells his catchphrase “And you can take that to the bank!” well enough.  He is very meek and feeble when it comes to physical fighting. By the film’s close he is stumbling about with a bloodied face and a shotgun in his mouth courtesy of Seagal. And this is impressive for Sadler, who the same year took on lead bad guy duties in Die Hard 2 and was actually able to whup some ass in that film.

Hard to Kill marks a time in Seagal’s career when he was churning out the low-budget action thrillers which would eventually lead him to Under Siege, but it would take a few films before he got there.

Hard to Kill was a considerable hit for Seagal. It made just shy of the $50 million mark in the US – which was big money at the time, especially for a film that cost around $12 million. Seagal’s career would continue this way until he hit the jackpot with Under Siege, which grabbed him well over $100 million at the global box office. This film though is pretty in and out. It would take his next effort to make any real impact on me…Tune in tomorrow for that!

Steven Hurst

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