Picks and Pans Review: Hard to Kill

updated 03/05/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/05/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Steven Seagal, Kelly Le Brock

It's not so much that Seagal, as another one of those invulnerable L.A. cops, is hard to kill. It's that the bad guys are such pushovers.

In the opening scene, a flashback to 1983, about a half-dozen villains toting semiautomatic weapons surprise Seagal in his bedroom with his wife and fire away for 10 minutes or so. The missus buys it, but Seagal is only deeply wounded. True, it takes him seven years to come out of it. But when he does, his long beard and hairdo make him look like a cross between Howard Hughes and Moses. He has lots of reasons for revenge. And he has Le Brock as a nurse.

Le Brock's acting ability is in inverse proportion to her looks, and she's a real knockout. When she reacts to her best friend's death, it's hard to tell if she's crying or laughing. On the other hand, in real life, she is married to Seagal. So when Stevie boy wakes up from his seven-year coma and starts getting ready to get even with the bad guys—and the corrupt politician who was behind the attack on him—Kelly is right with him.

Actually, Steve seems in remarkably good shape for someone who hasn't gotten out of bed for seven years. While his crotch-kick and bone-snapping moves look a little rusty, his physique still seems that of a second-string NFL linebacker. And he doesn't let a little thing like being surrounded by a dozen heavily armed crooks discourage him.

There's not too much sex in this movie. There are a couple of love scenes that demonstrate Seagal's breast-fondling technique, which will remind some of the art of crushing beer cans by hand. But mostly this production represents the cinema of violence, proving that one can overcome any odds if one is truly devoted to the art of mayhem and the power of positive thinking.

"We're outgunned and undermanned," Seagal tells a comrade. "But we're going to win because we've got superior attitude and superior state of mind. We'll get 'em, buddy."

Someone get Leo Buscaglia over here. Tell him we need some optimism, quick, and also tell him not to be afraid to go for the groin. (R)

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