Code of Honor (2016) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

At 107 minutes in length, Code of Honor is undoubtedly the longest film in Seagal’s post theatrical era. Even with the long(er) running-time this picture is only a tad more bearable than has been the case with the former action idol’s recent output. It’s become common knowledge that Steven Seagal has long since given up in terms of developing his craft, physique, or screen persona. This abandonment of the virtues most actors harbor has led to the troupes that we’ve come to expect from movies headlined by the one-time star at this level of filmmaking. Typically Seagal appears in scenes by himself, usually sitting down, only rising to easily dispatch a bad guy with his lazy fighting tactics or weapons handling. Code of Honor is chock full of all the particulars described above, but it’s also got a solid supporting cast and a late 1990s vibe that helped me see the film for the b-movie ménage of The Specialist, Batman, Falling Down, and The Usual Suspects.

Col. Robert Sikes (Steven Seagal) has lost his family in a drive-by shooting. Now, the revenge-minded former special ops solider is out to slaughter those that are morally bankrupt. This includes gang members, drug users, street walkers, and tabloid news reporters. Det. James Peterson (Louis Mandylor) has been assigned the case and his clues lead him to the mysterious William Porter (Craig Sheffer), an FBI agent with a personal connection to the serial killer.

Code of Honor is successful in terms of telling a story that is almost streamlined enough to be categorized as coherent. That’s definitely an improvement on most Seagal films post-2002 which typically fall apart about 20 minutes in. Craig Sheffer brings his unique screen presence to the film and its moody atmosphere serves the actor well. Louis Mandylor is solid as to be expected, this guy has legitimate martial arts prowess and a Baldwin-type vibe, I was always befuddled about why he never became a bigger star. The supporting cast holds this one together, Seagal is onscreen for about ten minutes or roughly 5% of a film which sells his name as the star. Code of Honor is just good enough to recommend to guilty pleasure seekers and those that miss the days of PM Entertainments 1990s output.

Director: Michael Winnick
Stars: Steven Seagal, Craig Sheffer, Louis Mandylor

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