I often ask myself after watching a Steven Seagal movie, “Why did I even bother?” Seagal again uses his wooden acting abilities in Fire Down Below.
I’m not sure why Seagal has chosen recently to preach about nature in his films, but as well intentioned it might be, it just does not belong in this kind of action movie. In On Dangerous Ground he preached about offshore oil drilling, in Fire Down Below he preaches about toxic dumping. To say the least, the preaching is very distracting, and often leads to some silly character building scenes that just don’t work.
Is Fire Down Below entertaining and fun? Nope, it was a painful experience. Though there were some action scenes in Fire Down Below, including a fight between a semi and a small truck, there was too much lag time between the action. I’ve also noticed that as Seagal gets older the quicker the cuts and closer the camera is during the fight scenes. The fight scenes in Fire Down Below are a disappointment, using lighting fast cuts, unsteadycam, and super close ups.
The plot is easy; a rich millionaire is dumping toxic chemicals into the backwoods. He has his son out there “taking care” of EPA guys. Seagal is the tough-as-nails EPA guy who, unlike the previous EPA guys, can take care of himself, thank you. While there Seagal runs into a young woman, for whom he falls in love with. Pretty thin as a plot, but what is expected of a Seagal film?
This film is down right awful and no one should suffer the pain of it. I’m sure Seagal has good intentions by putting these pro-Earth messages in his films, but they just do not work. The film needs more action and less talking. Seagal needs to learn inflection in his speech also. Under Siege was probably Seagal’s best film, I enjoyed that film a lot. Fire Down Below does not come close to Under Siege. I remember why I bother to go see Seagal films, he makes them in intervals long enough so that people forget how awful his films really are. I hope that I remember next time a film starring Seagal comes out. Miss this film, it’s not worth your money or the two hours you spend sitting through it.