Fire Down Below (1997)

Ah, the refreshing vapidity of a Steven Seagal movie.  In the best 
brain cleaner since SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL, Mr. Squinty squares 
off against an evil mining magnate (Kris Kristofferson) whose il-
legally dumped toxic waste is killing fish, sickening children, and 
inflaming the testosterone of every grown man this side of south-
eastern Kentucky.  The first hour is pretty bad, with Seagal's EPA 
agent attempting to infiltrate a small mining town as a church-
sponsored handyman whose work attire inexplicably includes designer
black-leather jackets.  He tries to blend in, making friends with the 
locals and only kicking their asses when provoked.  (Obviously in-
tending to *instruct* as well as entertain, Seagal demonstrates the 
fine art of redneck whupping in a *variety* of locations:  lumber-
yard, city street, etc.) 

The second hour, however, is where the *really* awful fun begins. 
How about Marg Helgenberg's love-interest, a spinster (!) outcast 
(!!) beekeeper (!!!) whose overprotective brother becomes increas-
ingly psychotic?  Or the Bubba-falls-down fight sequence, set in a 
pool hall, where ol' Stone Face's fists o' fury are filmed in fast 
motion!?  Or, my favorite-- and the last in a long line of canyon-
spanning logic leaps-- Seagal taking his final shot at the villain 
and then walking away, completely ignoring the accompanying FBI 
agent who was shot in the gut a few second before!?!  Hilarious.  
With appearances by a bunch of country music folk, including Mark 
Collie, Randy Travis, Patsy and Peggy Lynn, Travis Tritt, and Marty 
Stuart, who picks along with Stevie in one scene.  And who was the 
guy that walked away from the poker game?  He looked familiar, too.
Directed by Felix Enriquez Alcala.  (Rated "R"/107 min.)

Grade: F

Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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