HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: End of a Gun
HTS Overall Score:69
I’m a glutton for punishment. I know that watching a Steven Seagal movie is about the cinematic equivalent of eating 3 day old Chinese food that’s been left sitting out. You know there’s absolutely nothing of value in there and it’s most likely going to make you sick finishing it, but for some reason you’re compelled to shovel it down. Seagal USED to be one of my favorite 80s/90s martial arts stars. He was a fun change of pace from the Asian kung fu practitioners and not huge and bulky like Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren or Chuck Norris. His aikido martial arts prowess was fun to watch and he was fairly charismatic. Not to mention the fact that he was one of the few action stars who actually practiced proper gun handling procedures and didn’t run around randomly cocking Glocks (a feat that if you know anything about a Glock will have you giggling) or threatening to pull the trigger on people with the hammer down and safety up on a 1911. I guess it helps that Seagal is a rabid 1911 fan and his movies feature weapons custom made for him by legendary gunsmith Terry Tussey, and is an avid shooter on his days off. However, the guy started losing his appeal right at the turn of the century and soon was relegated to making cheap DTV over in Russia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic at a rate of 7 to 8 cheapo movies a year (“End of a Gun” is the 7th film he’s done in 2016 alone), and none of them are really special. “End of a Gun” is another in a long line of horrible DTV action films that Seagal has been churning out, and despite his expert gun handling abilities, there really is nothing special about this one either.
You can almost predict the plot of a Seagal movie without reading the back of the cover or watching the trailer. Seagal is some big, bad hunk of death and mayhem. Usually in the form of an elite military operative, or ex Law Enforcement agent. There is no one in his field that is more legendary and mere whispering of his name brings people to their knees in awe or terror. The one man wrecking crew is out for revenger or he’s doing something for honor, and the bad guys are just fodder for the marshmallow shaped martial artist. *Mike peeks at the back of the box*. Yup, that’s exactly what it is. Seagal is Michael Decker, an Ex-DEA agent in France who comes to the aid of a poor abused woman named Lisa (Jade Ewen) and gets pulled into a life of crime and corruption. It seems that she was working for a Meth dealing bad guy named Gage (Florin Piersic Jr.) and knows where some of his drug money is. Decker was a retired agent, but retired without pension due to some career mishaps, so he agrees to help Lisa take the money and split the rewards.
Well, naturally things don’t go exactly according to plan. Decker is able to get the money and seems to be getting the girl (I mean, what 20 something year old hottie DOESN’T want to sleep with Steven Seagal?), until Gage catches up to the pair and kidnaps Lisa. Now Decker has to put his life on the line to try and get Lisa back and be the honorable man that he’s been bragging about the whole movie (in his slightly African American gangsta accent that he’s been donning for some silly reason).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86802[/img]Wheee!! I’m sorry, I just can’t help it. “End of a Gun” was completely generic and devoid of any soul whatsoever, but I still guiltily kind of enjoy Seagal prance around and try to move life he used to. I really do feel sorry for the guy, cuz he was once a fairly athletic man and rather skilled, but he let his weight get the better of him and now we’re forced to watch him do some pretty nifty hand work, but anything that requires any REAL movement is shuffled over to VERY obvious stunt doubles (including some who are a good 50 lbs lighter by eyeballing them). At least it’s not as bad as it was during the 2000-2008 stage where he employed VERY obvious stunt doubles that looked NOTHING like him and even had someone else dub over his famous voice. Yeah, that was a bad time for Seagal.
Acting wise……ok, who really cares about the acting. That’s like going into a Jackie Chan or Jean Claude Van Damme film and expecting there to be discussion on existential religions and philosophy. We’re here to watch the aikido master open up a can on the bad guys and chew bubblegum, and be all out of bubblegum. The action is surprisingly decent, and the gunplay was well choreographed. I always respect that Seagal always brings a sense of professionalism and semi realism with his gunplay and that does help a lot considering this was your typical European filmed DTV flick. Hand to hand fights are actually rather minimal and sometimes just a bit boring, but part of that is due to the age and overweight of the action star.
Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86810[/img]The movie isn’t a winner, but the 1.78:1 AVC encoded image certainly is. Lionsgate has given us a vivid and clean digitally produced film that really doesn’t hide anything. Fine details are crisp and clear, with great clarity. Facial details are excellent and even the wider angled shots are amazingly sharp. Colors are a bit on the bland side, but there are splashes of strong primaries with the hilarious CGI’d fake blood and the occasional pop blue and green from the dog park. Black levels are inky and deep, and I really didn’t notice any major artifacting. There was some banding here and there, but not whole lot for a Lionsgate release. Skin tones remain fairly neutral and contrast levels are evenly balanced. It doesn't have a whole lot of pizazz, but the digitally shot film is very clean, very crisp and very clear. one of the better DTV films I've seen image wise in quite some time.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86818[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is a solid track, but also just a bit bland and generic. Vocals are replicated clearly and the front sound stage has some decent imaging with the action sequences. However, the surrounds are just a tad light and the track seems to lack that aggressive feeling that action movies thrive off of. The LFE is fairly mild and the guns aren’t over cooked and actually sound like REAL gunshots (which is a good thing for realism, but sadly doesn’t do much for making the track sound exciting). Like the movie, it does the technical points well, but is a bit like dry meatloaf. It tastes ok and is filling, but doesn’t make you crave that next bite.
Was “End of a Gun” a good movie? No, most definitely not. Was it the worst of his acting career? No, not by a long shot. I still have nightmares of some of the films he did in the 2000-2004 era (the worst of the worst) and these recent offerings are leagues better than that. If you’ve got a soft spot for the soft old boy then this might make for a decently entertaining rental. I wouldn’t actually look for it on your Netflix queue, but if you run across it and want to see some decent beat downs, then “End of a Gun” might be for you. Audio solid for a DTV flick, but the video was actually really well done. As for my recommendation “eh, it is what it is”..
Starring: Steven Seagal, Jade Ewen, Florin Piersic Jr.
Directed by: Keoni Waxman
Written by: Chuck Hustmyre, Keoni Waxman
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 87 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2016
Buy End of a Gun On Blu-ray at Amazon
More about Mike