Seagal looks you in the eye. He’s holding a loaded pistol. Across from
you are a row of cotton buds that he’s already shot the tips off. Now,
without blinking, he stands a match next to them and tells you in that
calm, zen-like voice that he’s going to light that match with his next
bullet. I dare you to laugh, or smirk, or do anything but stand frozen
and watch as he slowly takes aim.
attempt fails, but that’s not the point. There would be few people
around with the sheer audacity to try such a feat, much less be serious
isn’t just anybody, this is Steven Seagal: Martial arts practitioner,
action hero, cop.
shows us the movie star in a completely different light, on his day job
in fact. Far from being an honorary member of the force, Steven Seagal
is a real Deputy Sherriff, serving the Jefferson Parish community in
Louisiana. Over the run of 12 episodes we follow Seagal and his
colleagues in their everyday duties. These include training new recruits
in self-defence, building rapport with the community, and of course
patrolling the mean streets for signs of trouble. There are a few 911
calls to respond to, but most of the time the action unfolds right in
front of them. In one scenario the deputies follow a young man who has
just dropped a suspicious package on the ground, probably drugs. They
stop him, only to find out he’s carrying a sawn-off shotgun in his
is all real and spontaneous, leading to some exhilarating and downright
dangerous moments. Despite this, you get the feeling that the direction
is ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek. Seagal is very aware of his star
status, and doesn’t mind playing up to the camera from time to time- the
aforementioned bullet and match test being one such example. It gives
rise to some surreal moments when the bad guys realise who’s busted
them, and proceed to ask for autographs.
were expecting to see Seagal take on a man with a meat cleaver with only
his bare hands, you’d best go and watch Under Siege again. While there
are some moments of tension, Seagal maintains his monk-like calmness,
preferring to use smooth words rather than force. And that’s fine- who
in their right mind would argue with him anyway?
There is a
whole bunch of extra footage here, showing longer versions of the
interviews and scenes that had to be cut short for television. The audio
and video quality is shaky, but the content is generally good.
about fighting Jean-Claude Van Damme, Seagal shakes his head and says
‘it would be like squashing an ant.’ If you have any doubts that Steven
Seagal is a total badass, Lawman is all the proof you’ll need.