I doubt there is any official statistics on Steven Seagal’s fan base, but I am sure it has decreased through the years.
Blame Steven’s movies that pretty much haven’t changed much since the 2000s – same stuff again and again.
I am not even talking about all the jokes about Seagal gaining weight and so on.
Since I was once a fan, I’ve decided to compile a list of tips that could help revive Seagal’s career.
He might not get back to the heights he once was at, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
PLAY DIFFERENT CHARACTERS
In almost every movie that Steven Seagal has made he plays pretty much the same character. He’s either a cop (ex-cop) or some special agent (cia, ex-special forces or something), and even if he’s not (I recall him playing an archaeologist once!) – he still acts like an ex-cop. The point is – Seagal would be better trying to play someone else, a different type of “tough guy”.
A musician would have been a choice, since Seagal does know a thing or two about music. Another choice would be a martial arts master, since yet Seagal is one, he has never, to my knowledge, portrayed a classic fighter/martial artist in the film (Clementine is an exception).
Speaking of “Clementine” – this is only one of the two movies, where Seagal portrayed a bad guy. The other one would be “Machete”. Why not play more villains? Dolph Lundgren is great at playing villains and antiheroes, so is Van Damme. Why not try it, Steven?
GET BACK IN SHAPE
Steven Seagal has never been a beefcake, even when he was in his prime with movies like “Beyond the Law”, “Out for Justice” and a few others.
While even some of his most loyal fans started joking about his weight, Seagal himself doesn’t seem to be that much worried about this fact, making “his own” action movies one after another, like clones.
The last, thus far, interesting attempt of his was “Machete”, where he played (surprise!) a bad guy, and the film perfectly showed how out of shape Seagal looks.
Take Robert Z’Dar (the Maniac Cop), a famous B-movie actor with a square jaw. In the early 90s he looked like a brick wall, in 2010 he turned into something horrible (reportedly he had some sort of illness), with his face getting two times wider, and his belly looking bigger than a small car.
Then I accidentally found his video interview made in 2011, where he looked very slim, and in the interview he said he lost 40 pounds or so, staying on a “strict diet” since then. As far as Seagal goes, he doesn’t seem to have any sort of illness, so maybe getting on a small diet would have done him good, and give his career a needed sparkle.
DRAG PEOPLE BACK TO THEATERS!
Most of Seagal’s latest movies go “straight to DVD”, which people usually say about movies that lack quality. Now with the exception of “Machete” (where Seagal did not play the central character), Seagal did not have any “theatrical releases” for quite some time.
The 7th dan Aikido master might be in the next film in the “Expendables” franchise, which will undoubtedly go straight to movie theaters, however nothing is certain so far. Until Seagal continues making movies in Romania, I wouldn’t expect any theatrical releases any time soon.
STAGE BETTER FIGHT SCENES
I could not have come up with a better example than Sammo Hung (both Hung and Seagal are of the same age, born in 1952).
The man is a legendary fighter in his own right, and while he’s always been overweight, Hung has been able to fight one of the better martial artists (except from Bruce Lee, I would notice Richard Norton, Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan) on the movie screen.
Hung, just like Seagal, packs some size, but unlike Steven, Sammo moves faster than any overweight fighter I’ve seen on screen.
Seagal’s fighting scenes are all the same (2002-present), rough cuts, extreme close-ups, almost no resistance from his opponents (such as Gary Daniels, Darren Shahlavi, to name a few).If Seagal for some reason does not, or cannot lose weight, I would suggest him to shoot his fight scenes like Sammo Hung does. The fans would appreciate better fight scenes, even if Seagal remains the same, weight wise.
PICK DIFFERENT SCRIPTS
I’ll be honest, I am among those who used to like Steven Seagal’s early movies. I used to like them up until “Exit Wounds” (2001). From there on, it all went downhill.
Not that Steven Seagal’s movies have become completely unwatchable, but their overall level has decreased for sure. Partially, because there is no more interest in the story.
Seagal always plays the same “invincible” character all the time, that does not “suffer” at all throughout the film.
For God’s sake, I remember Steven’s film “The Glimmer Man” (1996) for only one reason – Steven not only gets kicked in the face in that film, he also gets to bleed a little! What I am trying to say is that Seagal should consider playing more “vulnerable” characters that have to overcome some sort of obstacles.
Otherwise he is to remain a “B-movie superman”, who never misses a shot, never loses a hand-to-hand fight, never has problems with girls, and so on. It was fun the first, the second and even the third time. But doing it over and over again – it becomes boring.
MAKE MORE MOVIES WITH OTHER “GENRE” KNOWN ACTORS
The times when words “Steven Seagal in…” on the promotional cover would guarantee a sell, have long been gone. Today, career wise, Seagal should consider having more “name” stars along side himself (his recent film does include Steve Austin, which is promising). Whatever people say about Van Damme, there’s one advantage he always had over Seagal – at least one or two “known” actors in the film as his opponents.
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