“When a government official is killed, an American operative with experience in the Yakuza culture is brought into investigate.”
This film brings a few firsts to the blog. It’s my first “commissioned” review and it’s my first Steven Seagal movie, and I don’t know what I’m more excited about. So, at the request of Metal Thug (whose site is in the works, but will certainly be awesome), I present to you the manliness, the wannabe Japanese-ness, and the ponytail-ness of Steven Seagal in Into the Sun.
He ate James Bond for breakfast.
The plot for Into the Sun raises a lot of questions. Steven Seagal plays Travis, a former U.S operative. He is brought in by the FBI to help figure out who murdered a Japanese official in Tokyo, because of his “extensive” experience with the Yakuza. Apparently the U.S now gets involved in even the smallest of foreign affairs and Steven Seagal, an American, is a leading Yakuza expert. Yes, in Tokyo there are no local residents who know anything about the Yakuza. Nope. None. No one. I suppose this is where the argument for “suspending your disbelief” comes in to play when watching a movie like this. It also doesn’t help that the film severely lacks in subtitles (at least the version I watched), so on the few occasions Seagal decides to speak Japanese (because he can), you have absolutely no idea what’s going on.
However, this man can tell one hell of a story with his eyes.
Along with the lack of subtitles, there is a big lack of Seagal kicking the ass he’s known for. The first hour or so of Into the Sun tries to build up a story about the Yakuza teaming up with Chinese criminals to create a global drug empire. This is a Seagal flick people! Who the hell needs a story? There is also a minor subplot about Travis falling in love with a very young Japanese girl. He also hints that he may be a virgin? But I’ll just assume Seagal has had so much sex he’s actually looped back to being a virgin again. The film does end with a somewhat exciting fight scene when Seagal and company arrive at the temple that is home to the Yakuza. Sword fights shed blood throughout the place and Seagal even uses chopsticks to kill a man. While he’s in Japan why not indulge in a little culture?
Making them look like tiny little swords is clearly encouraging murder.
Into the Sun is just too big of a mess to thoroughly enjoy. The film jumps from English to Japanese constantly, the story is lacking (when you want the action), and it just doesn’t pack the punch Mr. Seagal used to have. Into the Sun was made in 2005 but feels extremely dated, making you think Seagal is much younger than he is. In all honesty, he’s looking kind of old. Sure he still has his one liners and can kill everyone in a room, but his ponytail is showing some signs of graying. The film does have its moments, more towards the end, and has a pretty good soundtrack with some songs written and performed by Seagal himself. The man is clearly talented in that he kicks ass, loves ladies, plays guitar, speaks Japanese, knows karate, and has great hair. I don’t think he’ll ever stop surprising people but I wish the quality of the surprise was like it used to be.
realizing that every single person involved in crime in Japan must carry a katana for impromptu fight sequences (this is not only good, it’s awesome)
a messy plot that tries too hard to be some drug/gangster epic
a movie that can’t decide if it wants to be in English or in Japanese and a lack of subtitles
Bonus: Seagal’s song that’s featured in end credits