Friday, 7 October 2016

Code of Honor (2016)

The older Steven Seagal gets the weirder his movies get. I don't mean surreal or anything like that, but it seems that he doesn't try, other people don't try, the studio interferes, they try to do something different and then chicken out and play the old switcheroo at the end. That sort of thing

Code of Honor falls into the later of that list.

Dude, you're like 65.

Okay, so it's a Seagal film, so don't expect too much plot. It is thus: Robert Sikes (Seagal) is an ex-special forces ghost (surprise, surprise) whose wife and child were murdered by drug trafficking hoods. He takes the mantle of vigilante to rid the city of crime.

Sort of a fat Batman, with guns. Oh, so many guns.

The difference here, as opposed to Seagal's other movie <insert any title from the last 15 years here>, is that this "Code of Honor" spoken of in the title is less Klingon honor, and more murdery rampage honor.

Seagal sits on roofs with sniper rifles and rocket launchers and straight up murders everyone in sight. Which is a nice change from the usual mano-a-mano, I'm better than you so will kill you up close. A switch up for a Seagal movie.

Then enter William Porter, ex BFF and protege of Sikes, now FBI agent, who's here to stop him. Two mighty forces shall meet.

And it runs as a standard thriller from that point.

Porter, played by Craig Sheffer (Nightbreed), is a drunk, portrayed as a man who'll do anything to run down a man he's hunted for months.

They cat and mouse, the local police bumble, there's the obligatory Seagal's contractual (I expect) strip club scene.

Largely the acting is uninspired, the direction boring (Michael Winnick also directed some other films I haven't heard of), and the set pieces predictable. Sheffer either dumbed down his acting at the request of Seagal so as not to embarrass him, or he's actually getting worse with age.

Murder! From afar!

Then it all comes crashing down at the end. It transpires that Seagal didn't kill all these guys, and it was Sheffer, with a split personality. OR was it?

It becomes very confused, and not for the first time in a Seagal movie am I left wondering what the hell the end meant.

Sheffer's Porter is revealed to be the killer all along, leaving you with no doubt that Sikes doesn't exist, and is only a figment of Porter's psyche. Except we saw military records documenting Sikes existence. So Porter projected his psyche onto a fallen friend perhaps? That could be it. But then Sikes shows up, and kills himself. And Porter is witnessed (off screen) by a child. 

So he was real?

What?

Still, the theories on IMDB are worth reading.

Note to writer and director Winnick: If you're not Christopher Nolan, and people are theorizing on your action movie because the end doesn't make sense, you're doing it wrong.



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