Into the Sun DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 4.5
Video 7.0
Audio 5.5
Special Features   0.0
Total 5.0
Distributor: Sony
Running Time:
92 minutes
Classification:
 MA15+
Reviewer:
Erin Marcon

5.0


Into the Sun (2005)

Steven Seagal plays ‘Travis Hunter,’ an American agent summoned to Tokyo to investigate possible links between terrorist organisations and the infamous Japanese crime network known as the Yakuza.  Hunter, having spent many of his formative years in the land of the rising sun, attempts to use his local contacts to negotiate a peaceful outcome.  You’ll be surprised to learn that these negotiations are unsuccessful and Seagal must, oh so reluctantly, resort to violence. 

As one would expect in a film based in Japan, many of the conversations are conducted entirely in the local dialect.  While these scenes ably demonstrate Seagal’s linguistic versatility, they do little to advance the plot, especially since they are bereft of subtitles in the default set-up.  You do have the option of activating subtitles, though this will result in the display of subtitles during the English-language portions of the film as well.  One further word of warning: much of the aurally dynamic Japanese dialogue translates into phrases such as ‘Yo punk!’ and ‘Bring it on!’ 

‘Into the Sun’ is essentially a police procedural film interlaced with occasional explosions of marital arts.  Segal employs his trademark compact fighting style.  His moves are less spectacular but more realistic than some of his contemporaries, or at least as realistic as one man taking down multiple opponents can be.  It is during these scenes that his minimalist facial expressions and dialogue actually seem quite appropriate and contrast nicely with the manic stylings of Takao Osawa’s villainous Kuroda.  However, during the procedural scenes, Seagal’s expressionless face and incoherent mumblings are as frustrating as ever. 

As poor as Seagal is, the film is at its least convincing during the brief periods focusing on the supporting cast.  His hot-headed young partner engages in amusingly inept monologues designed to offer the audience insight into his state of mind.  Seagal’s love interest appears only long enough for him to trot out the “I’ll just complete this one last job” cliché.  Finally, fearing for the safety of his young marital arts student, Seagal warns her not to accompany him on his quest for justice.  Will she obey his command or will she come storming in at the end to kick some ass?  Who can say? 

For all its faults, ‘Into the Sun’ is a reasonably competent film.  The script may be dire and the characterisation laughable, but the uncomplicated plot, well choreographed action and (importantly) brief running time combine to create a decent time-filler for Seagal fans. 

In addition to starring in the film, Seagal serves as executive producer and co-writer.  He even composes and performs a number of the pop-rock tracks featured on the soundtrack!  Given his obvious devotion to the project and well publicised love of Eastern culture, you may be interested in watching an interview with the man himself.  If so, you’ll have to look elsewhere, because the disc is devoid of special features.






 
 



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