True Justice: Deadly Crossing - DVD Review
Cast: Steven Seagal, J. Anthony Pena, Kyle Cassie, Gil Bellows
Run Time: 90 mins
Distributor: Optimum Releasing
A point to clarify: these are the first 2 episodes of the new Steven Seagal action-drama TV series, True Justice (aka Southern Justice), edited into a movie for the UK DVD release. Elijah Cane (Seagal) heads up a tough squad of undercover cops on the streets of Seattle as a mysterious murder and influx of heroin threatens to rock the local community. Throwing away the rule-book in typical Seagal fashion, the big man sets his sights on ploughing down the criminals and restoring order.
These first 2 parts kickstart what is expected to be 13 episodes of all-new televised Seagal action. Somewhat reminiscent of other US shows being brought to the UK in the 1990s (like Walker, Texas Ranger among others), fans are provided an early glimse of Mr Seagal's latest efforts for television. This movie version carries decent production values, and with a solid director like Keoni Waxman, responsible for some of the strongest DTV efforts in recent years, the film carries the look and style Seagal should definitely maintain. However, where the series falls flat is that once you get over the Seagal nostalgia, this feels like any other run-of-the-mill US detective series with little to distinquish it from the crowd. Even with Seagal's involvement as writer, exec producer and star, his role as the stern but fair team leader never feels any more than an extended cameo (at least in these first 2 parts) and the action is too irregular to give fans of Seagal's bone-crunching traditions a real sense of value. To be fair, this is based only on the first 2 parts and we may see a change in subsequent episodes (or soon to be released movies such as this). Make no mistake, Deadly Crossing is worth seeking out if you're a die-hard fan or completist, but it probably won't convert any new fans and doesn't live up to the standard of recent grittier film efforts like A Dangerous Man which, for many, reflected Seagal returning to his roots. Its good to see him focus his efforts behind the camera as well (taking roles as writer and exec producer demonstrates this), but when the story offers such a strong platform for onscreen action, carnage and star trademarks, there should be a lot more.