Killing Salazar (2016) – Review

3 Stars

The long fall from grace for action icon Steven Seagal has been a burden to his many fans. Since 2003, Seagal has appeared in almost 30 straight-to-DVD movies. That’s two dozen more than the 10 pictures from 1988-2002 that were global box-office sensations. In the last decade things have grown even more dire as Seagal has become a supporting player in his own movies. That’s the case, once again, in Killing Salazar. Even though Seagal and UFC legend Georges St-Pierre are featured prominently on the cover art, neither man has more than 3 minutes combined screen-time in the film’s first 30 minutes. This type of bait-and-switch is usually the kiss of doom for Seagal enthusiasts. However, Killing Salazar stands on its own quirky merits and distances itself from the rest of the pack (Seagal has 6 movies coming in the next 12 months).

Russian drug czar Salazar (Florin Piersic Jr.) has turned and agreed to help the DEA in bringing down his powerful family. The military stages an extraction that results in the death of Salazar, devastating his right-hand enforcer Bruno (Georges St-Pierre), and making it public that the kingpin has been taken out. In reality, the death has been faked and the real Salazar is being guarded by elite federal agents, including Maj. Tom Jensen (Luke Gross). The word gets out that the former czar is holed up in a penthouse suite in Romania, this prompts Bruno and his squad of mercenaries to attempt a hostile takeover of the hotel.Seagal is occasionally cut into the picture as an interrogator, he’s been tasked with deposing Jensen and finding the mole in the unit. On one amusing occasion the film gives Seagal a non-sensical reason to lay hands on someone before resuming his interview process.

Killing Salazar is similar to Smoking Aces with a bit of Die Hard. The true ‘star’ of the piece is Luke Gross. He’s a sort of 2nd rate Jason Statham, or a 3rd rate Bruce Willis. Gross is at least committed to the project and easily anchors the film with his charisma. Despite the largely absent headliners, Killing Salazar is an above average product from this team.

Director: Keoni Waxman
Stars: Luke Gross, Steven Seagal,Georges St-Pierre

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