Half Past Dead (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Half Past Dead (2002)



Critic Consensus: Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks.

Movie Info

Action hero Steven Seagal goes behind bars -- though don't worry, he isn't really a bad guy -- in this action thriller. Sascha Petrosevitch (Seagal) is an FBI agent working undercover to infiltrate a gangland kingpin's operations. While Petrosevitch is able to gain the trust of one of the gangster's lieutenants, Nick Frazier (Ja Rule), things go haywire during an FBI raid, and Petrosevitch takes several slugs in the back as he struggles to maintain his cover. Eight months later, Petrosevitch and Frazier are serving time together in the newly refurbished Alcatraz Penitentiary, as Petrosevitch secretly continues his investigation. Prison warden Hubbard (Stephen J. Cannell) is arranging for the execution of convicted killer and thief Lester (Bruce Weitz), and U.S. Supreme Court justice Jane McPherson (Linda Thorson) has announced she will attend as a witness. But Hubbard's assistant Donny (Morris Chestnut) has devised a secret plan -- it seems Lester stole and stashed away 200 million dollars in gold before he was arrested, and Donny, along with an underground SWAT team, takes control of the prison and takes Hubbard, McPherson, and the other assembled dignitaries hostage, demanding to be told where Lester has hidden his fortune. Now Petrosevitch must drop his cover and persuade his allies within the prison -- including Frazier and Little Joe (Michael "Bear" Taliferro) -- to join him in a desperate bid to foil Donny and free the hostages. Half Past Dead also features Nia Peeples, Kurupt, Tony Plana, and Claudia Christian.more
Rating: PG-13 (for pervasive action violence, language and some sexual content)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Don Michael Paul
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 4, 2003
Box Office: $15.4M
Screen Gems - Official Site


Steven Seagal
as Sascha Petrosevitch
Morris Chestnut
as Donny aka 49er One
Ja Rule
as Nick Frazier
as Twitch
Tony Plana
as El Fuego
Nia Peeples
as 49er Six
Matt Battaglia
as 49er Three
Claudia Christian
as E.Z. Williams
Hannes Jaenicke
as Agent Hartmann
as Twitch's Girl
Michael McGrady
as Bad Ass Guard
Jed Sutton
as Air 49er
Linda Thorson
as Justice Jane McPhers...
Don Michael Paul
as SWAT Captain
Ross King
as FBI Agent
William T. Bowers
as Alcatraz Guard
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Half Past Dead

Critic Reviews for Half Past Dead

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (29)

The title of this dismal action flick refers to the Seagal character's having suffered a near-death experience, though he's returned from the other side with a remarkable lack of insight.

Full Review… | January 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Half Past Dead may be the year's funniest unintentional comedy for its inane plot, repetitive, unimaginative stunts and dreadful dialogue.

Full Review… | January 6, 2007
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Sometimes, when you've just wasted a tenner and a perfectly good evening watching another dumb, gratuitously gun-filled, hackneyed, nonsensical action picture, don't you wish you were as thick, lazy and easily pleased as Hollywood wants you to be?

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Low quality even for Seagal's standards.

Full Review… | April 12, 2014
Cinema Crazed

I can't think of anything more cringe-inducing than Seagal saying, in a strained would-be ghetto accent, 'We aight.'

Full Review… | January 29, 2009

What is it about Steven Seagal and three-word movie titles?

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Half Past Dead

this was a decent watch because its seagal and im a sucker for that guy. really, this was a silly movie that shows how far seagal has fallen since he was making average movies.

danny d

Super Reviewer


Pitiful acting, even for a later Seagal flick. What happened to the action in his films, especially the actual hand-to-hand fighting? They actually made a sequel to this one and even though that one stars Bill Goldberg in it, it still can't be as bad as this piece of shit.

Derek Daniels

Super Reviewer

"The rumor is you went half past dead and came back."

Let's get this out of the way: YES, Steven Seagal does break someone's neck in this film. You just knew he would....

Half Past Dead is a film that suffers from atrocious acting. Ja Rule is one of the most laughable actors in Hollywood. He's unconvincing as a hard-ass tough guy standing at a measly 5'7" 150lbs. One of the most comical attempts at a serious standoff was in the beginning of the film when Ja Rule and his gang are confronted by a single female FBI agent. What ensues is a ridiculous exchange of words that included the line "Today looks like a great day to die" and then followed by an asinine shoot off.

It's a shame that this film centers around two awful actors (Ja Rule and Seagal) because the plot wasn't half bad. It was intriguing, yet predictable. Morris Chestnut makes an incredibly convincing and chilling bad guy. And Nia Pebbles looked smoking hot for a lady in her 40's.

Half Past Dead has pretty spectacular action, full of gun fights and martial arts. But overall, it's just a really really lame flick. With better leads than an overrated rapper and a fat black belt fighter, this could've been a good popcorn flick.

Derek A

Super Reviewer

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