Kill Switch DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
So the cover of Kill Switch looks like any other Steven Seagal movie cover, but this time Seagal looks a little bit older.  The cover is about as generic as you can get with an action movie, and even though the title of the film is actually pretty cool, the cover is just plain.

As for the menus, not much here either.  Pretty basic, with the shot of Seagal on the top half of the screen, and live actions moments from the movie on the bottom.  At least it is not a static menu, but it isn’t great.

Features: 1/10

  • Theatrical Trailer– You are reading this correctly.  There is a theatrical trailer included on the DVD, and that is the full extent of the features included on the disk.  Granted I am not sure that I would appreciate a whole bunch of interviews and documentaries on this type of disk, but Steven Seagal wrote the movie, so perhaps a little short about how he did it, and his motivation would be appropriate.  Note to studios, A trailer is not a “feature” and previews for other movies don’t count either.  They are called advertising.

The Movie: 2/10
I remember a time when action movies and action heroes ruled the world.  Arnold, Sly, Jean-Claude and Steven Seagal were bankable stars.  The movies were at least watchable, mainly because we didn’t know any better, and it was fun to see the good guys pummel the bad guys into oblivion.  Those were the days when I was a much younger lad, and my expectations and taste in movies were low.  Those days for me are sadly gone for good.  Don’t get me wrong, I l like action as much as the next guy (or gal), but action movies have evolved.  Kill Switch has not.

Kill Switch is the latest straight to DVD release by (former?) action superstar Steven Seagal.  Seagal has continued to make the same kind of action movies that he made back in the 1990’s.  Apparently Seagal has taken on more than merely acting in the movies, as he now writes and directs many of his films.  Kill Switch is written by Seagal, and of course he is the main hero, Jacob King, who we are told was a witness to his twin brother’s murder at the hands of a deranged killer when he was young.  Witnessing this murder as a child still haunts King, and it drives him in his current occupation, which is a homicide detective in Memphis.  Seagal is an unorthodox cop who spares nothing to catch the bad guy, as we are shown again and again and again.  He has no regard for “back-up” and he thinks nothing of beating the living daylights out of anyone who refuses to even answer his questions.  King beats answers out of witnesses and proceeds to maim anyone who he feels is guilty of a crime.  King is kind of a one-man vigilante whose behavior is tolerated by the force due to his high success rate.

Seagal attempts a southern accent that borders on funny, as he attempts to pass himself off as a real southerner.  Many times in the movie he throws out a “lawd have Mercy” line that left me cringing.  Basically Seagal is playing the same character he always plays, but this time he is a southerner with a bad accent.

King ultimately sets out to find a serial killer named Lazerus, who taunts King and the police by leaving clues on or near his murder victims.  King has a partner, played by Chris Thomas King, who is not too bad as detective Storm Anderson.  About the best acting job in the movie is Lazerus, the psycho-path, who is played by Michael Filipowich.  The rest of the cast is so generic that it isn’t really worth mentioning, which I am not sure is the result of a poor script, or just bad acting.  Heck, even the late, always engaging Isaac Hayes fails to be believable as the coroner who helps King unravel the identity of Lazerus.  Ultimately things get personal when Lazerus targets people that are associated with King when king turns up the heat.

Kill Switch is a movie that I feel I have seen before.  The acting is not good, the story is not fully fleshed out, and there is a lot of fighting.  So much so that they include numerous shots of the same thing, like King throwing a bad guy out of a window, which honestly must have been shown 5 or 6 different times from different angles.   The fight scenes are long, and over the top, with an MTV style of quick close-up shots, mixed in with Seagal, not breathing heavy after a supposed 5 minute fight, staring down the camera, which brings me to another issue – stunt doubles.  Apparently Seagal is no longer the action hero that he used to be, which is understandable in 2008, but the use of stunt doubles for him fighting was so bad that it was comical.

All in all I was not impressed, and about the only good things going for Kill Switch were the setting and the music, which really brought home the southern feel of the movie.  The rest was just not for me. 

Audio & Video: 6/10
Nothing about the video here is bad, but it doesn’t stand out either.  Kill Switch is presented in 1:85:1 anamorphic wide screen.  The colors are decent and the blacks are pretty solid.

Audio is in 5.1 Surround Sound, and is pretty balanced.  the sound effects in the fight scenes are a little overdone, but expected.  The music is evenly done, and I have to add that the music itself (blues stuff) gives the film a real southern feeling.  It was actually well done, until Seagal spoke in his Memphis accent, which just killed the feel of the movie for me.

Value: 2/10
When I told people that I was reviewing a new Steven Seagal movie, I got blank stares and grimaces instead of excited faces and questions.  Seagal may still have an audience, and they may still enjoy his movies, but this one is a hard pill to swallow.  You have seen this movie before, and there is no real reason to see it done again, with less passion.  for a movie with Seagal that is many times better than Kill Switch, go rent Marked for Death.  It is cheesy and action-packed, but it was made in 1990, when Seagal was at the top of his game.  Kill Switch is dead.

Overall Score 3/10