Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Patriot (1998)

Based loosely on a novel, "The Last Canadian", by William Heine, The Patriot starts off as something quite unique for a Steven Seagal movie. Well, actually, that's not true. It starts off with the usual preposterous mix of gravitas and wisdom that ol' woodenhead always tries to give himself but then it turns into a killer virus movie. What the hell?

Seagal is a wise cowpoke who can heal animals with his wonderful selection of homemade remedies but, wouldn’t you just know it, he can also apply those healing hands to people too, making him a very popular doctor in his town. When a killer virus is released in the town (the kind of nasty stuff that Seagal worked with in the past before arguing with his superiors and trying to have a quiet life) then it soon becomes clear that one man may be the best hope to find a cure. And, somehow, his young daughter is keeping the germs at bay, making herself valuable to the baddies who released the virus without realising that the antidote didn’t work.

Seeing Seagal as a man of medicine is a bizarre experience. You initially wonder just what the hell he’s playing at before thinking that other action stars try to stretch themselves so why can’t Seagal . . . . . . . . . before returning to the main thought of “what the hell is he playing at?”

Thankfully, this doctor is just as handy with his fists as he is with a petri dish and microscope. There are only one or two action sequences throughout the movie but they’re not too bad. They’re certainly a lot better than the scenes showing Seagal to be a wise, mystical and benevolent healer of those around him. And better than most of the scenes between Seagal and the young girl playing his daughter (Camilla Belle, all too believable as a young Seagalina thanks to her wooden acting and expressionless face).

This is a movie that just shouldn’t be any good at all but somehow provides a lot of unintentional laughs and simple entertainment in places. The cast are mostly unknowns so there’s no added reason to watch this unless you want to see a movie in which Seagal sticks a spike IN SOMEONE’S HEAD one moment before smiling at his daughter while flowers fall around them the next. You think I’m joking? Watch this for yourself and enjoy. Hell, I admit that I was intermittently entertained but perhaps not in the way that director Dean Semler intended.


  1. 10 years later, Camilla Belle shows she's still as Seagalesque as ever in "10,000 B.C". Unfortunately, the Man himself was not in that movie to save it.

  2. Oh good grief, I have wiped the memory of that movie from my mind. No review written for it which means *shudder* one day I shall rewatch it. :-(