Action Heroes – Seagal: The Glimmer Man

After the epic high of On Deadly Ground there was only one way our ponytailed hero could go. And that was down. The Glimmer Man is a cop thriller that pairs the Buddhist destruction machine with a comedian in the shape of Keenan Ivory Wayans for a little buddy humour. Then throw a serial killer, the Russian mafia and some toxic weapons into the mix and you have this mess on your hands.

Having just watched the film I can honestly declare that I was so bored that some of the plot twists simply went by without me noticing. The Glimmer Man of the title seems to be Seagal himself who once again has a past so secret that not even Jack Bauer could access it. Thankfully he’s chosen to maintain the love beads and ridiculous outfits as he again attempts to educate all of us in the ways of the east.

Keenan Ivory Wayans plays his partner, Detective Jim Campbell, and is alarmingly less funny than Seagal himself which must be about as damming an appraisal as you could get. Recalling On Deadly Ground, the film has a load of supporting actors who’ll make you wonder if they stumbled into the wrong film. Brian Cox plays Mr. Smith and even goes the extra mile of using a ridiculous accent. Bob Gunton simply replays his role from The Green Mile while wearing a ridiculous shirt, possibly stolen from Seagal’s home wardrobe.

The Glimmer Man is a film that has no clue what on earth it’s trying to be so simply decides to throw everything at the screen. Not content with a serial killer, the film also includes religious possession, Communists, double agents, toxic weapons and God knows what else. Sadly none of these narrative devices stick together and you’re left with Seagal and Wayans attempting to mine some comic repartee from the dross.

The action, on the other hand, is passable enough and thankfully the makers have stuck with ultra violent death scenes. Watching The Glimmer Man simply serves to remind me that modern action films resemble an episode of The A Team from the 80s. Death scenes have become ridiculously sanitised to a point that makes me wonder why producers even bother.

Seagal delivers his usual terrible performance as he lumbers through the film whispering pathetic dialogue and playing with his beads.  The other actors seem about as interested as I was in  this pathetic excuse for a film, with its wooden performances and tenth-rate script. Even for Seagal this is pretty near the bottom of the barrel.  Possibly action films are for the young as you easily suspend disbelief and watch one man destroy an entire army with little bother. Now that I’m approaching 40 years old, The Glimmer Man simply made me feel that it sucked away 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Aled Jones

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