‘Half Past Dead’ sinks

Devinn Winkleman

The amount of people I asked to go to this free advance screening – 20.

The amount of people who latched on and went – 0.

The expression on my face when no one wanted to go see this free movie – priceless.

Rumor has it that college kids are nabbing to get most anything for free: food, entertainment or necessities. But when you give them an opportunity to see a free movie starring Steven Seagal, well, they kind of shy away from it and just say, “No,” or the ever popular, “Steven Seagal sucks!”

The conclusion to this experiment is that college students will accept almost anything for free, except movie tickets starring Steven Seagal, and that says something.

So, it had me thinking. I’ve never seen his movies, and I don’t know anything about him, so, why does he suck? Well, with an open mind and some enthusiasm I went and I saw “Half Past Dead,” starring Steven Seagal, Ja Rule and Morris Chestnut, and after viewing the film, they were right: he does suck.

The plot is about a death row inmate who has been sent to the New Alcatraz for stealing and hiding $200 million worth of U.S. gold. The FBI has been trying to find it for the past 17 years and still has no clues.

Meanwhile, Sascha (Steven Seagal) and Nick Frazier (Ja Rule) are busted for stealing expensive cars and using them in illegal operations. Eight months later, they’re in their new home, New Alcatraz, hosted by Warden El Fuego (Tony Plana).

Then the story skips to this sophisticated team of robbers, headed by 49er ONE (Morris Chestnut), who plan on kidnapping the death row inmate and forcing him to give the team the location of the gold, but not on Sascha’s time.

Before and after we’re introduced to the plot, the movie gets really ridiculous in being very typical, very general and very cliched for an action movie. When does an action movie have too much action in it?

If you snip out all of the action sequences in all of the action films ever made, you’ll have this movie.

To add on to the already over done and over used action movie cliches, there are dramatic slow motion shots used, and a lot of trench coats just sweeping the floor as the bad guys jump and whiz by the bullets Schwarzenegger style.

The title sounds like it was derived from “The Simpsons” fictitious cartoon movies. Overall, there really isn’t anything original in this movie.

Something else bothers me. Why is it that in all action movies, there is a muscle-bound hero, but in this movie, we have the 50-pound-over “heavy” weight Seagal? I’m surprised he’s not fighting the bad guys just so he can get home, buy a box of Krispy Kremes and relax in front of the tube on his comfy La-Z-Boy.

But, I do want to get one thing straight. This is a movie for guys who like movies. If you love mindless action with little or no plot to get in the way, and just want to shut your brain off for 100 minutes, you’ll love this movie. It’s 95 percent action and 5 percent plot. But for everyone else who is craving a good story between all of the action, or at least some plot to invite a little thinking into the movie going experience, you will not find it here.

Half Past Dead premiers tomorrow in theaters nationwide.

Reach Devinn Winkleman at [email protected]