In Half Past Dead, a cherub faced Steven Seagal teams up with an
eclectic cast that includes Morris Chestnut, Ja Rule, Nia Peeples
(yes, Nia Peeples!), Tony Plana and Kurupt. Morris Chestnut is divine
as Donny, a disgruntled prison bureaucrat-turned-criminal mastermind.
Nia Peeples is "49er Six", Donnyís fearless, bad girl enforcer.
Itís 2002 and The California Penal Authority has reopened the most
notorious prison in history, Alcatraz.
Itís the eve of Lesterís (Bruce Weitz) execution. Seems Lester
robbed an armored vehicle and stole $200 million worth of gold.
The gold hasnít been recovered and Lester refuses to tell anyone
where it is. Within moments of Lesterís execution, Donny (Morris
Chestnut) flips the script, takes over the prison and stalls the
execution in order to find out from Lester where the gold is buried.
But alas, Sascha Petrosevitch (Steven Seagal), a widowed undercover
agent posing as a tough, international car thief, just happens to
be maintaining his cover as a prisoner in the newly refurbished,
high-tech Alcatraz. Nick Frazier (Ja-Rule) is a career criminal
and to-the-death-friend of Saschaís, although he has no clue that
Saschaís an undercover agent. Anymore, and Iíd be ruining the movie-going
experience for you.
Considering the genre, Half Past Dead ainít half bad. And Iím not
mad at Seagal for playing the same stoic, tough guy role he plays
in all of his movies. This time around he sports a doo-rag and oftentimes
mumbles in ebonics. No offense taken to the young-street-thug (Ja
Rule) giving-the-old-white-guy (Seagal) ebonicís-lessons scene.
Corny and oh so contrived, I just gotta give Seagal points for being
so true to himself. His outdated portrayals are so absurd, they
come off harmless, even laughable and Seagal emerges as a slightly
annoying, but mostly endearing action hero. Go Steven. Did I mention
that Morris Chestnut is divine? Oh and if you do venture out to
see Half Past Dead, make sure to stick around for the ending credits.
Korupt and comedienne Monique share an amusing and quirky exchange.