review for The Glimmer Man on AllMovie

The Glimmer Man (1996)
by Aubry Anne D'Arminio review

Jack Cole, Steven Seagal's protagonist in this action film, wears a series of embarrassing Nehru jackets. He never leaves the house without his Tibetan prayer beads -- "to calm my mind, purify my thoughts." He is only reluctantly willing to kill a man with a credit card -- "it's against my religion." He is a Buddhist. He speaks Chinese. He has a soft, yet patronizing voice and jokingly calls his new police partner "grasshopper." Can Steven Seagal, the Caucasian martial artist seeped in kung-fu mysticism, finally be making fun of himself? One hopes so, and Cole's mysterious CIA background as "the Glimmer Man" (which is ludicrously reminiscent of the shadowy history Seagal claims for himself) certainly supports this hypothesis. As does the actor's willingness to take on a buddy film in which the "buddy," played by comic Keenen Ivory Wayans, is as skeptical of Cole's affectations as the screen audience has long been of Seagal's. It is unfortunate that the film's absurd plot, average action sequences, and lackluster box-office returns could not support such a growth in Seagal's personality. The Glimmer Man is at once different, amusing, and forgettable.