Review: General Commander

This Seagal can’t fly.

I have to hand it to Steven Seagal for being one of the most dedicated actors in Hollywood history. Perhaps shitting his pants on the set of 1991’s Out For Justice was an early indicator of just how little shame or self-awareness Seagal had, but this man’s career would propel him into the kind of wastelands that not even Nicholas Cage would venture into. I’m just kidding, Cage is definitely in those depths.

But every film has a purpose. For the Resident Evil series, it’s like Hollywood-backed welfare for Milla Jovovich who wouldn’t be considered for cracker jack commercials were it not for her being married to Paul WS Anderson. Steven Seagal’s movies mostly appear to have the purpose of hiring Asian whores for Seagal to grope on screen. Steven Seagal loves Asian whores.

Not counting Machete where Seagal has a very small role, the man himself hasn’t had a theatrical release since 2002’s box office shart Half Past Dead with Ja Rule. His movies since follow pretty much the same formula: Seagal plays ex-CIA/Special Forces member Jack McHugeDick in a world where our elite military outfits are known to hire obese, out of shape men who can barely climb a flight of stairs and are regularly sued for sexual harassment by female co stars. Actually I might be talking about Seagal himself.

I love Seagal movies because they play out like you would expect a CIA movie written by a toddler or an angsty teenager. Seagal plays Jake Alexander, ex-CIA agent and platinum card carrying Haagen Daaz taster whose crew goes rogue after an agent is killed in a mission. Like all hardened CIA agents, Alexander and crew are not trained to accept death and immediately devolve into blubbering morons and not because producer Philippe Martinez of Van Wilder 2 fame hasn’t produced a film in nearly ten years and forgot how human emotion works.

My absolute favorite part of the film is the two minute segment where our big villains talk to each other in Italian with no subtitles. They actually pull a Star Wars Christmas Special. More than once.

Seagal’s acting is fantastic, by which I mean you can obviously see him reading a script just off-screen half the time, with roughly 10% of his lines being obviously dubbed in if you watch his lips and see him fumble over very easy words. There are moments where characters are talking to one another in voiceover despite being in the same room.

I will admit I got a good chuckle when a helicopter shows up near the end to hail down a rain of bullets on our protagonists, only for one of the agents to inexplicably pull an RPG out of nowhere and blast it out of the sky. I’m sure following it up with “Merry Christmas, motherfucker” sounded better on paper than it did in execution. Alternately since this was apparently supposed to be a nine part TV series and was shot over Christmas, there was probably supposed to be an actual reference to the show taking place over Christmas that got cut for time.

General Commander ends with Jake Alexander getting bombed by a drone strike with his filipina prostitute. You know, standard CIA protocol for AWOL agents.

If you want to see what it’s like when an obese elderly man refuses to accept that he can no longer fight, General Commander is your gig. For everyone else, there are more education things to watch with your time. Like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.

Rating: F+

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