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Marked For Death Review

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Disillusioned with his violent life a governemt agent aims to re-discover his 'gentle self'.

★★★★★

Disillusioned with his violent life as a government drugs-buster, Steven Seagal goes to confession from a priest who advises him to discover his "gentle self" at which - hey! - the tough guy goes back to the family home in Chicago to stay with his sister and her daughter.

Things, however, have changed drastically on his home turf where a Jamaican posse, for example, now openly deal in drugs outside the old high school. Seagal's old pal, school football coach Keith David, is outraged and wants to do something about it, but big Steve has lost all interest in trying to change things for the better.

An emerging drug war between the Jamaicans and the Columbians quickly forces him to reconsider his position, however, and, not entirely surprisingly, he soon finds himself tackling a gang member in a night club, meaning that the Jamaican bad guys in turn pay a visit to his sister's house and mark him for death - hence the title - in a strange voodoo ritual.

Comparable with, say, vintage middle period Dirty Harry, the plot may be the thinnest of excuses to get our pony-tailed hero back into action, but once he's there the film follows its own internal logic of moving him efficiently enough from one arm-smashing confrontation to the next.

As a contrast to Seagal's rock-like heroics, meanwhile, Basil Wallace as his principal enemy Screwface bites into his crazy characterisation with the eye-rolling glee of a religious maniac. Just what the Jamaican tourist board will think of him - or indeed the entire premise - is an interesting proposition, though unlikely to seriously impede Seagal's career.

Marked For Death offers a very proficient range of bang-and-break antics ending with a neat twist.