Marked for Death - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Marked for Death Reviews

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½ March 2, 2016
Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher (Steven Seagal) returns from Colombia, where drug dealers killed his partner Chico. As a result of Chico's death and years of dead end work, John retires and heads to his family's home in suburban Chicago. As John and his army buddy Max (Keith David) celebrate their reunion, a gunfight breaks out between local drug dealers and a Jamaican gang at the bar where they celebrate. The gang, known as the Jamaican Posse, is led by a notorious drug kingpin named Screwface (Basil Wallace). John arrests one of Screwface's henchmen as the gunfight ends. News that Posse crimes occurring in Chicago and across the United States spread as the Posse increases their crime and members. The next day, Screwface and his henchmen do a drive-by shooting on the house where John, his sister Melissa, and Melissa's 12-year-old daughter Tracey live. Tracey is hospitalized in critical condition. John comes out of retirement to join Max in hunting Screwface down, only to discover that Screwface has gone back to Jamaica. John and Max goes together to Jamaica with the Jamaican Chicago police officer Charles (Tom Wright) who has been trailing Screwface for five years, for an all out war against Screwface and his drug empire...

What can you say? This is another classic standard Steven Seagal vehicle, but amongst his better ones in my eyes, despite all sorts of flaws. Let´s face it, he is not an A-grade actor, nor does he end up in cohesive and structured action flicks. This is old-school early 90's gritty violence and action with a thin plot line and not that much to show for. Yes, the main message can´t be mistaken, violence needs to be fought with even more violence, and that is questionable. However, the bad guys who are in the crosshair of Hatcher´s violence are not of the nicer kind. Some might see it as a moral dilemma, others not. Technically this is ok, and there´s some nice locations in Chicago & Jamaica. But, the entertaining value comes from Basil Wallace as Screwface who puts on a great over-the-top performance. "Marked for Death" was Seagal's third film coming after "Above the Law" (1988) & "Hard to Kill" (1990).
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Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2015
Ok it's Seagal, so I shouldn't need to say much here, except that somehow this one isn't as bad as it should be. It's strangely watchable. Probably the best Seagal I've seen. It's got all the usual Seagal elements; big bad guy, crime, Segal's unflappable bone breaking ways, someone who needs to be saved/protected, car chases, fist/gun fights, naked chicks, and explosions. This time though it somehow kinda works. It just rolls along and keeps delivering "the goods" as it were, in an economical, sure-footed straight-to -the-point sort of way. Or maybe the Voodoo's gotten to me?
½ October 4, 2015
just watched this for the 100th time, this movie made me want dreadlocks so i waited 20 year later lol
½ March 25, 2015
Terrible.....even for Seagal.
March 13, 2015
After watching this Steven Seagal action flick from back in his heyday, I realized I'd never actually seen this one. It's nothing spectacular but it's an effective vehicle for Seagal and competently made, which you really can't say for most of his direct-to-video action flicks. Directed by Dwight H. Little, who would follow-up this film with Brandon Lee's breakout film, "Rapid Fire," which during my video store clerk days I would frequently make the case for as the best American approximation of a Hong Kong action film, though that argument ended once John Woo came to the states and became the first Asian director to direct a major studio action film. But back to this film in particular, this time Seagal is pitted against voodoo worshiping drug dealers who challenged him with the magic, machetes, martial arts and lots and lots of guns. It's pretty much everything you can hope for in a Seagal action flick and it does deliver if that's your sort of thing. Joanna Pacula appears as one of his better female co-stars.
½ February 15, 2015
surprisingly, this still holds up fairly well. I was expecting awful, after realizing how much of a turd Segal is, but it's still one of his better movies.
September 26, 2014
Made Back In 1990, When Seagal Was At The Top Of His Game, Marked For Death Is An Action Thriller Which Doesn't Fail To Entertain. Not Seagal's Best Work But It Still Is One Of His Better Films. Seagal's Ex-DEA Agent Must Come Face To Face With A Jamaican Drug Lord (Who Studies Black Magic), Who Has Taken Over His Hometown. The Plot Is Both Basic And Overused But With An Original Twist, By Bringing Black Magic Into The Plot. This Basic Plot Is What Most Action Fans Enjoy As It Gives Plenty Excuses For Ass-Kicking Action. Marked For Death Has A Decent Script, Features Decent Performances And Well Executed Action Sequences.
August 12, 2014
This is my favorite of all the Nico Quadrilogy, it's the darkest, the most violent and has the scariest bad guy or guys, as it were. Here Nico aka John Hatcher is burned out Narcotics agent, ok cool Nico graduated from Cop to Agent, that's a stretch for Steve-o. More broken bones, blood and aikido throws and neck punches than you can shake a stick at. Screwface, bitches.
July 21, 2014
A bit of a let down for Seagal in this over the top film even for his standards.
½ July 16, 2014
One of Steven Seagal's earliest action vehicles, Marked for Death was worth checking out for me as a fan of Steven Segal.

There isn't much to say about a film like Marked for Death aside from the fact that it is essentially a standard Steven Seagal fare.
The premise in Marked for Death is a pretty cheap one. It's the basic story about a DEA agent becoming a one man army in a war against Jamaican gangs and their influence on the drug trade. It makes this completely obvious by having the most stereotypical Jamaican characters as the antagonists, especially some obsessed with some form of voodoo. So the story is generic and the film just uses Jamaicans in place of the usual Asians as the drug trade antagonists, although they are strangely psychotic characters with strange cultural traditions as the main source of their antagonising nature. The enemies in Marked for Deathdo not feel like they are that threatening as bad guys because they are essentially some form of religious cult with a connection to a drug trade, and so the writing in the film fills a little more ridiculous than in other Steven Seagal films. The premise makes sense but the characters do not and nor do their motives, and that combined with a generic direction for its protagonist end up ensuring that Marked for Death is really a limited film which delivers some entertaining action film but does not fully capitalise on the potential of Steven Seagal's abilities. It may be one of his better films in contrast to his very low quality films, but it still is rather formulaic and unsurprising. But then again, I'm sure that most people would go into seeing the film with that precise expectation.
What you need to look at Marked for Death for is simply its action qualities, and honestly the most die hard fans of Steven Seagal or nuts action junkies will get a thrill out of seeing him kick so many bad guys around and engage in shootouts and car chases. The only problem is that the film does not have a sense that there is a lot of energy in it. It feels slow moving and rather melodramatic which means that it cannot be tense or energetic like a good action film really needs to be, and although it has its moments thanks to some entertaining action scenes, all in all it is dragged down by the thinly sketched melodrama occurring between the scenes and the lack of creativity or originality in the plot which just makes the mood of everything feel more dull than it already is. Everything in Marked for Death feels slow and it isn't explosive or thrilling, and even at a running time of a mere 93 minutes the pace and length of the film feel a lot slower and longer than the project actually is. I guess the problem is that the film is way too busy taking itself seriously to actually have any fun, and so the viewers are not likely to feel the same about it all in the end. There is a fanbase out there for Marked for Death, but I can only say that there was a certain level of entertainment value I felt from the film and it was not consistent or sufficient enough to stand up and prove that the film was good overall because it just wasn't.
The important thing about Marked for Death is how much ass Steven Seagal kicks in it. While the character he plays is nothing more than a generic action hero and he acts it out as such, Marked for Death serves as an opportunity for him to show off his diverse abilities as an action hero. He manages to pull the triggers on his guns with powerful energy and use whatever weapons come his way like a pro. But most importantly, Marked for Death allows him to implement in his natural skill for martial arts. He shows off his skills for Aikido in Marked for Death which are some of his most defining elements, and he ensures that the nature of his action scenes are mostly entertaining enough to please fans. He puts up a great fight by throwing all kinds of techniques around and kicking the ass of every Jamaican he comes into contact with, and so his skills as a martial artist do a lot for him in Marked for Death. If Marked for Death was more focused on that than it was on shoddy plotting and cheap writing then the film could have been a lot better, but it is Steven Seagal who really pulls it out in the end and puts up enough of a fight for the film to at least have some sense of entertainment value to it. His acting may not be at an all time high and his general mood seems rather dull as well, but considering that the film is an action vehicle for him and essentially nothing else, he attributes the necessary aspects to the film.
Keith David makes a decent supporting presence as he supplies the stereotypical tough African American archetype to the story. He makes a team with Steven Seagal as the two of them progress into the strange underworld of Jamaican drug trade, and although he is only given a handful of screen time, he manages to do his job well enough within the matter of a limited time and makes himself a good presence as well as a decent team with Steven Segal when the action rolls around. He does his part.


So Marked for Death is a pretty routine Steven Seagal effort. It is better than his truly bad films and it has some entertaining action as well as Steven Seagal showing off his versatile range of fighting abilities, but it is all shrouded in cheap writing, a weak premise and a story that goes by slowly and free of tension which renders the experience more dull than it is fun.
½ April 27, 2014
Definitely one Seagal's Classics. Good Action,Gore,Plot and great final fight during film's climax. Solid Performances by Steven Seagal himself, Basil Wallace and Keith David. Recommended for Seagal fans.
April 11, 2014
Typical seagal madness. It has it all.
Scowls, sensitive ponytails, swords and as a unique twist, it has Jamaicans.
Thoroughly enjoyable just as long as you leave your brain at the door.
½ April 8, 2014
The negative reviews don't really do this film justice. This is the only Seagal movie that is "Tops" in my eyes. The Jamaicans kept it HOT and is the only Seagal movie I have in my collection. Too bad it's DVD. Seagal does need to work on that lame-ass right hand when he's shown running, but Kempo IS an awesome art form
March 13, 2014
This is a classic Seagal film. This 1 and out for justice in my opinion"
February 14, 2014
The third installment in the quadrilogy featuring Steven Seagal, and my second favorite one. It's about John Hatcher and how his family was attacked by a Jamaican gang known as the posse. After they are he hunts them down one by one. It's a GREAT Seagal movie and one of the best action movies ever. Action packed and highly explosive. Definitely a must see for action lovers.
February 3, 2014
Lots of violence and action! Loved it!
½ January 7, 2014
I did not enjoy Marked for Death the first time I saw it. Viewing it again, it has that 90's charm and definitely has re-watch value.

Marked for Death tells the story of DEA agent John Hatcher (Seagal). He's burnt out. His partner got killed in a Mexican bust gone wrong, and he just wants to enjoy some time off with his sister and niece. But when some nasty Jamaican posses try to murder some rivals in the same bar, Hatcher intervenes and becomes marked for revenge. The ensuing escalation forces Hatcher and old buddy Max (Keith David) to team up and finish off these drug dealers for good.

One of the best parts of this movie is the unintentional hilarity of some of the action scenes. Steven Seagal in his prime is a pretty big guy, and whenever he fights a baddie and they get a punch or two in, it doesn't look like it hits at all. But Seagal has to fake it, so the movie is suspenseful. The result is Seagal taking down guys with extreme prejudice, and faking hits by guys way smaller than him.

Despite that, the movie is truly entertaining. Its packed with ferocious fight scenes, chases, and creepy voodoo scenes. The result is one of Seagal's finest films.
August 8, 2013
Another good one by Seagal. Classic cheesyness we all want from him.
July 30, 2013
Near the start of this film, I thought it was going to be okay. It's really not. It starts out as a fairly routine police action film, but it has two main problems. It's biggest problem is that Seagal is clearly a raging asshole who's onscreen strutting is a constant annoyance. I don't really demand of a star of this kind of film that he be able to act, but I do ask that his onscreen presence not be so noxious that it pollutes the whole film. A secondary problem is that Seagal's character is really a terrible cop despite the film's repeated claims to the contrary. He never engages in anything recognizable as police work. He mostly just walks up to criminals and demands that they tell him what he wants to know. He seems surprised when that doesn't work. At least the character and the actor playing him are in synch ... they're both idiots.
May 6, 2013
Seagal pistää rastat kuriin!
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