October 6, 1996 -- "The Glimmer Man" is a by-the-numbers Hollywood action flick that's about what you would expect.
This film is so derivative I could go on for paragraphs about all the other films it borrows from. Suffice it to say it is a formula copy buddy film about uneasy partners. Steven Seagal, who specializes in Kung Fu flicks, plays the Glimmer Man, a former government spook who is now a cop. His partner, who is uneasy about Seagal's Buddhist ways and his shadowy past, is played Keenan Ivory Wayans.
Several times during the film, Seagal calls Wayans "Grasshopper," a reference to the old television series "Kung Fu." There are some funny lines in the film and the two actors work well together. Seagal, who only has a glimmer of acting ability, can't quite master this role, but Wayans does well enough.
Director John Gray moves the story along fast enough so that you don't mind the plot holes too much. Most of the fights are well-staged and well-photographed.
There are numerous killings, including some gruesome ritual murders. There are also a couple of Hollywood cliche killings in which people fall from high places and are impaled on sharp objects. It wouldn't be an action film without one of those.
This is a very violent film. One of the killers is a standard Hollywood Christian type (a closed-minded, wacked-out murderer). Catholics get tired of being portrayed this way. It would be nice if Hollywood picked on some other group for a change.
The plot, by the way, has to do with a government conspiracy to use a serial murderer's M.O. to wipe out some people who know too much about an illegal government operation.
If you like Hollywood action films, this one is about average, give it a C. If you don't, better skip this one, because action is about all it's got.
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