Action hero Steven Seagal goes behind bars -- though don't worry, he isn't really a bad guy -- in this action thriller. Sascha Petrosevitch (Seagal) is an FBI agent working undercover to infiltrate a gangland kingpin's operations. While Petrosevitch is able to gain the trust of one of the gangster's lieutenants, Nick Frazier (Ja Rule), things go haywire during an FBI raid, and Petrosevitch takes several slugs in the back as he struggles to maintain his cover. Eight months later, Petrosevitch and Frazier are serving time together in the newly refurbished Alcatraz Penitentiary, as Petrosevitch secretly continues his investigation. Prison warden Hubbard (Stephen J. Cannell) is arranging for the execution of convicted killer and thief Lester (Bruce Weitz), and U.S. Supreme Court justice Jane McPherson (Linda Thorson) has announced she will attend as a witness. But Hubbard's assistant Donny (Morris Chestnut) has devised a secret plan -- it seems Lester stole and stashed away 200 million dollars in gold before he was arrested, and Donny, along with an underground SWAT team, takes control of the prison and takes Hubbard, McPherson, and the other assembled dignitaries hostage, demanding to be told where Lester has hidden his fortune. Now Petrosevitch must drop his cover and persuade his allies within the prison -- including Frazier and Little Joe (Michael "Bear" Taliferro) -- to join him in a desperate bid to foil Donny and free the hostages. Half Past Dead also features Nia Peeples, Kurupt, Tony Plana, and Claudia Christian.
by Mark Deming synopsis