Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Steven Seagal” with a minor in “Shooting at helicopters until they blow up”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week Supercult goes to an all you can eat buffet and schedules an appointment for hair plugs in honor of Steven Seagal in Shadow Man!
Jack Foster is just a simple widowed former CIA agent / Fortune 500 business owner on a trip to Romania with his 8-year-old daughter on the anniversary of his wife’s death. Things get complicated however when a group of Russian secret agents kidnaps Anya and demand a secret biological weapon called the MK Ultra in exchange for her life! Now Jack is on a mission to save his daughter and the world! Either you’re with him or you’re dead! Steven Seagal is, Shadow Man!
Shadow Man is a 2006 direct to video action-thriller starring Steven Seagal as Jack Foster, and a bunch of other people who are not Steven Seagal. Seriously. Shadow Man was Seagal’s 25th film. By now the audience for a Steven Seagal film had been well established and everyone who bought this for 20 bucks at their local Wall-Mart knew exactly what they were getting into. I could tell you that Garrick Hagon, who played Biggs in Star Wars: Episode IV, plays Waters in this film, or that Ambassador Cochran is played by famous British actress and Academy Award Nominee Imelda Staunton, who also played Delores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, but you won’t care. This is a Steven Seagal film, and nobody else matters.
This is evidenced by the fact that, typical of other Steven Seagal films, Seagal’s character is basically untouchable. The entire movie is basically Steven Seagal dramatically whispering all of his lines and then killing everyone between him and a happy ending without ever suffering a wound, much less getting some other guy’s blood on his newly pressed suit. At one point Seagal is attacked by an attack helicopter full of machine-gun toting bad guys. Seagal calmly leans out from behind a tree and proceeds to shoot at the thing with his handgun. The camera spins, the bad guys freak out, and the helicopter violently explodes with CG befitting a Playstation 2 game, after which Seagal calmly walks away to find more people to murder. That is the movie you are about to watch, people! Every Steven Seagal film is more or less Steven Seagal’s self-insertion fan fiction of himself. Welcome to Steven Seagal Land where every baddie dies and the threats don’t matter!
When Shadow Man first came about it was actually a completely different film. The title was Shadows of the Sun written by Bey Logan, the writer behind several Jackie Chan films, and it was a period piece in which an intelligence officer runs a medical clinic in Japan after WWII. By September 2005, however, Logan had been replaced by Joe Halpin, veteran Seagal film writer who rewrote it into its current film, much to the disappointment of some fans, who were excited to see Seagal depart from his usual formula.
The film was shot in Bucharest, Romania in 49 days. Imelda Staunton, said that she filmed for two days, but that Seagal did not film any reverses with her. The result was that she did all of her scenes with Seagal’s body double and a Romanian film student who would read Seagal’s dialogue off-camera. Staunton was actually quite vocal about her displeasure with the film, calling it a disorganized, under-funded mess. She would later explain that she did the film for money, and so that she could practice her American Accent. Obviously she didn’t get the letter explaining to her the rules of Steven Seagal Land, i.e. “shut up, this isn’t about you, it’s Steven Seagal’s fanfic – I mean, movie and we just allow you act in it.”
Shadow Man has a 4.1 on IMDB, and on Rotten Tomatoes it has no critic reviews and an audience score of 31%. Many critics derided the film’s horrible CGI and extensive use of body doubles for Seagal, who by this point was so fat and out of shape that they had to speed up the film in some places to make the action sequences exciting enough. David Johnson of DVD Verdict called it “a generic action film with an uninvolving plot, stilted action sequences, some shabby green screen work,” and “predictable twists” while J. Andrew Hosack of JoBlo says, “It boggles the mind how anyone remotely sensible would invest time and money in something like this.”
Look to your left and right, Supercultists! These are the remotely sensible people who, like you, are about to invest their time, if not their money in something like this!
It ain’t over till the wolf howls!
The Supercult show is proud to present, Shadow Man!