13th Aug2013

Fight Flick Fortnight: ‘Deadly Crossing’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Steven Seagal, Gil Bellows, J. Anthony Pena, Kyle Cassie, Warren Christie, Michael Eklund, Meghan Ory, Peter Graham-Gaudreau, Sarah Lind, Emilie Ullerup | Written by Steven Seagal | Directed by Keoni Waxman

Deadly-Crossing-Seagal

When an influx of violent and ruthless heroin dealers descend on Seattle, Elijah Kane (Steven Seagal) leads an elite undercover squad of cops to bring them to justice. Tearing up the rulebook, Kane and his crack team of law enforcers storm the city streets to clean out the drug barons by any brutal means necessary.

Let’s clear something up from the outset – Deadly Crossing is actually the pilot movie for Steven Seagal’s new television series Southern Justice, aka True Justice (as it is billed on the title card of the movie) and was originally titled Russian Crossing. This straight to DVD release from Optimum Home Entertainment resurrects the old VHS tradition of debuting US television series on home video before they air on UK television – which was how I first saw Renegade and Walker, Texas Ranger back in the 90’s.

Actually it’s interesting that this show should debut on DVD, as Deadly Crossing has a lot of parallels with Chuck Norris’ TV series Walker, Texas Ranger which was released in the same way – both feature ageing action stars trying to recapture the action-movie magic on the small screen, both were obviously made on a low-budget, both have a large supporting cast of younger actors that are mostly known for guest roles on other television series and both have talented action directors behind the camera – in the case of Deadly Crossing, director Keoni Waxman helms the pilot fresh from directing the above-average “Stone Cold” Steve Austin action flick Hunt To Kill, and he brings some of that cast with him, including Gil Bellows, Michael Eklund, and Emilie Ullerup.

Filmed with a mainly Canadian cast with Vancouver standing in for Seattle, Deadly Crossing isn’t high art, neither is it a great series pilot, however it does capture the spirit of the 90s action series and taps into the retro vibe that I seem to be feeling for that era of TV at the moment (yes, for UK fans of ITV’s former late-night US imports this is ideal viewing). Deadly Crossing is also one of the better Steven Seagal movies to be released recently and compared to some of his other DTV flicks this is a masterpiece!

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