Friday, August 29, 2014

Between The Lines

This September, Syfy Hd is set to premier the latest Steven Seagal thriller, Between the Lines, in the prime 11.30pm slot.

Seagal plays New York traffic warden Kirk Torpedo a former special forces Captain who went on to provide personal protection to the president.  Torpedo was the best of the best of the best of the goddamn best, an expert in Japanese martial arts, fluent in 48 languages including Sentilese the little known dialect of North Sentinel, an island that has resisted outside influence since the dawn of time and he is also able to read minds and move objects through telekinesis.

Seagal has been retired from his high action high pressure job for ten years following an attempt on the Presidents life which left his partner dead and left a bullet lodged in his own brain as he dived to save the President from the assassins fire.  He now plods a downtown traffic beat, dishing out tickets, gifting Haiku poems to local shopkeepers and plays chess with old Jewish men in the park.  He drinks heavily, enjoys heavy metal and loves a workout on the heavy bag.

Torpedo finds his peace disturbed one day, whilst busting a punk for Violation Code 67, parking in front of a pedestrian ramp, which carries a penalty of $165; he witnesses a kidnapping across the street, leaping into action he sprints across only to have to seek cover under gunfire.  Unperturbed he moves forward again but comes under further sustained fire and it is only his ability to achieve a higher state of mind, calming each limb and nerve ending and effectively slowing time, a technique taught to him by ancient Tibetan monks in the Meili Xue Shan mountains, that means that he is able to dodge the flying bullets.  His bravery although admirable does not stop the punks from escaping and as it later transpires, their prize was the Senators daughter, Mary-Jane, who they plan on holding as a hostage and treating with menacing potentially sexual looks and curled lip grimaces, the low down dirty suggestive punks.

What Torpedo witnesses and the subsequent refusal of any authorities to take him seriously is puzzling.  When however, he receives a warning threatening his life, etched into the bonnet of a badly parked Chevrolet Impala he is drawn further into the conspiracy and feels compelled to put his special forces training to immediate fist throwing action.

The punks he is choosing to confront are dangerous Yakuza criminals hellbent on reducing New York to cess pit of violence but thankfully he has his parking attendant buddies, fast talking Lowjam (Pitbull in an acting debut) and stunning but deadly Lollipop (Abi Titmuss) along for the ride.

The authorities will not condone his actions because Torpedo is a known renegade, always doing what he has to do to bust those badass motorists.  Yet, Torpedo also knows he is the only one that can save the girl and make sure those Japanese punks are issued with his very own style of ticket, a violation code XXX takedown.

This autumn, as the tickets and the punches fly, Torpedo is trafficking trouble to the Yakuzas.  He is the only hope Mary-Jane has and she can only hope that he is prepared to act.... between the lines.


The Guardian: I am not familiar with this genre of film but that is because I have walked on warm sand with the sound of gentle waves lapping at the shoreline; I have felt the soft caress of a woman and her warm cotton top against my trembling skin and I have brushed a tear from the cheek of a child as it looked me in the eye and smiled.

The Times: The film is a marked improvement on Seagals last efforts, The Zero Clock and Jesus Christ McCutlass!! but only in the way that having your eyes gouged out by a crack whore is better than being buried alive and on fire.

The Scunthorpe Trumpet: Magnificent, the attention to detail in the accurate portrayal of life on the gritty streets of New York for an everyday ex-special forces / presidential bodyguard / martial arts expert / traffic warden is exceptional.  Although I fear that the 40 minute diatribe at the end delivered straight to camera on the perils of packing a trailer on your sports utility in an urban area felt a bit too much.


Lollipop: Help me, ah help me
Torpedo: I am here Sugar Plum now kiss me, ah kiss me
Lollipop: Ah Torpedo

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