Marked for Death (1990)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Oct 5, 1990 (USA)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Existing merely to provide him a righteous excuse to crack vertebrae, the plots of Steven Seagal movies are about as interchangeable as the prepositional three-word clich├ęs that anonymously function as their titles. Sure enough, Marked for Death follows Above the Law and Hard to Kill (but just wait, Out for Justice would be next) in Seagal's predictable continuum of pony-tailed lowbrow ass kicking. The plot variant here is that the villains are Jamaican, but all that really does is get anti-defamation leagues hopping about ethnic stereotyping. Seagal undoubtedly knows how to kick and punch his way out of any situation, and his moves are dazzling enough to have won him a popular niche at the box office. But to grant these early vehicles any further consideration beyond their fight choreography would be akin to discussing the literary merits of shampoo instructions. It would continue this way for Seagal until he finally learned to surround himself with talent, such as Tommy Lee Jones and director Andrew Davis, for Under Siege in 1992.