The Glimmer Man (1996)

Posted in Reviews by - November 26, 2012
The Glimmer Man (1996)

Relatively speaking, this was the last of Seagal‘s golden period of great action thrillers, before his meteoric decline into straight to video tedium. At this stage he could still attract a high pedigree of A list accomplices to his crass vanity projects: prominent comedian Wayans as a sidekick, a charismatic Brian Cox as the wily villain. With his belt buckle straining and his razor-sharp aikido skills truncated by over-editing, there are clear signs of the action man’s credibility beginning to slide. The film is salvaged by Gray who keeps the cliched cop routine tongue-in-cheek and his focus firmly on the police investigation, portraying his LA backdrop as a tough, rain drenched terrain akin to that of Seagal’s better, grittier east coast exploits.

Seagal plays ex-military now freelance cop Jack Cole with a trademark stillness that borders on parody. He wears Tibetan worry beads, quotes Sun Tze, speaks fluent Mandarin and can tell the nationality of a corpse without even checking the medical records. In one scene he abseils down an apartment block and claims to have climbed Mount Everest. “He’s like Bruce Lee, only better,” according to the ludicrous claims of his new partner Jim Campbell (Wayans). They buddy up to investigate the serial killings of a crazed Catholic crackpot calling himself The Family Man. When Jack’s ex-wife is crucified, the hit is considered too close to home. He is soon forced to look past the religious iconography and into his vague past to stop a much larger plot to smuggle chemical weapons to international terrorists.

With Wayans’ comedic elements and knowing one liners this isn’t too bad for a Seagal film, if you can get past the actor’s rampant ego. He even writes two of the songs. But it never outstays its welcome, unlike the majority of Seagal films to follow.

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