SEAGAL AND VAN DAMME to team up for new movie
According to Entertainment Weekly, Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme will team up for an independent action film titled WEAPON. This would be the two aging action stars first pairing on screen. They will play “the world’s best assassins” with Seagal as a sharp shooter and Van Damme a knife expert who take down a drug cartel supported by the DEA. While it will be fun to see the two on screen together, it really comes at least a decade too late. If anyone has watched one of the many direct to DVD movies Seagal has made in the last ten years you will notice that time hasn’t been overly kind. At age 57 he looks very bloated and a shadow of his former self. Van Damme has certainly had his share of personal demons but at 47 he’s still fairly fit. Like Segal his career has been reduced to direct DVD films although the quality of his has been superior to what Seagal has churned out.
Looking back, both of these guys who were riding pretty high in the 1990’s and it’s amazing how badly they crashed and burned career wise. After hitting his peak in 1992 with the big hit studio action film, Under Siege, Seagal never was able to star in anything quite as respected, although I certainly like the film’s sequel, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. After the box-office failure of Fire Down Below in 1997, Seagal lost favor with the Hollywood studio system and was reduced mostly to the direct to DVD world. Although he did try for a comeback with Exit Wounds in 2001 and Half Past Dead a year later, both films were sub par at best and Seagal was never really taken seriously as an A-list action star anymore.
As for VanDamme, it appeared he was on a roll creatively with two very good action films, Time Cop and Sudden Death (My all time favorite Van Damm film) in 1994 and 1995, both directed by Peter Hyams. While Time Cop was a hit, Sudden Death (Die Hard in a hockey arena) was not and his big screen career never recovered. His personal demons (drug use) didn’t help matters either. I also really liked his 1993 film Nowhere to Run, a movie dismissed by critics but a favorite of mine for showing how likeable he could be on screen. While it’s most likely Weapon will also go straight to DVD, the pairing should be interesting, at least as a reflection of two guys who were on top at one time.
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