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“General Commander” Foreign Intrigue

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

Not the swiftest film by Steven Seagal, but it’s his newest and for his fan base it looks like he’s slowing a bit. Not the wild and woolly Seagal of his early days as his thrills are far and few between. General Commander redeems itself however, providing center stage with some exciting hard-hitting fighting action from the ladies.

The film points out that… ”Approximately 25 people die each day waiting for organ transplants. 8,334 people are added to the organ wait list each month. Global Financial Integrity estimates that in 2017, criminal profits of $1.7 billion came from the illegal organ trade. A heart can fetch over $1 million on the black market.” The fictional character in the film, Syndicated Crime boss Gino Orsetti, biggest take comes from illegal organ sales to the rich.

Steven Seagal as Jake Alexander in GENERAL COMMANDER from Lionsgate

The movie opens with CIA operative Jake Alexander (Steven Seagal) being questioned by his handler Agent Jessica Thompson (Megan Brown Martinez) at CIA Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. A botched attempt to make contact with Crime Syndicate boss Gino Orsetti (Edourdo Costa) during which one of his team Zach Stevens (Billy ray Gallion) was killed, has put him at odds with New York Headquarters that were counting on him.

Because of his failure and the death of Zach he’s asked to return to the states for retraining and reassignment. Refusing to go, he splits from the team and goes into hiding. When he gets some unexpected help from a close friend, she helps to bring the team back for one last chance at taking Gino Orsetti down.

Edourdo Costa as crime boss Gino Orsetti in GENERAL COMMANDER form Lionsgate

Directors Ross W. Clarkson and Philippe Martinez do a good job of keeping the intrigue building with each conflict by the team of operatives. Reducing the action screen time with Seagal is a bummer, but I do like the performances by Sonia Couling as operative Sonia Dekker, Mica Javier as kick-ass agent Maria Lopez and Soraya Torrens as computer hacker agent Anna Rosen.

Reducing the action screen time with Seagal is a bummer, but I do like the performances by Sonia Couling as operative Sonia Dekker, Mica Javier as kick-ass agent Maria Lopez and Soraya Torrens as computer hacker agent Anna Rosen. So, the ladies win out in General Commander. I especially liked the motorcycle vs SUV chase sequence featuring Maria Lopez as she speeds across the busy streets trying to catch up with one of Orsetti’s henchmen. Although it may not be her on the bike in some of the really dangerous stunt scenes, you can see she knows how to handle the scrambler during the close shots.

Steven Seagal takes aim as Jake Alexander in GENERAL COMMANDER from Lionsgate

One of the highlights of the film is the awesome aerial tours of Bangkok, Thailand; Manilla, Philippines; Hong Kong, China; Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Valletta, Malta. Even though it’s quick shots of the cities, It really opened my eyes to the amazing wealth in some of those cities and Valletta’s awesome ancient buildings.

General Commander has been rated R by the MPAA for bloody violence, and language throughout. If you can’t get enough of Steven Seagal then there’s always Mercenary: Absolution (2015), Contract to Kill (2016), Code of Honor (2016) on Blu-ray. All three show Seagal more involved in all the action. The film is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Not the best Steven Seagal outing, but the ensemble cast does a very good job. (2.5 out of 5 Stars)

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Steven Seagal, Sonia Couling, Byron Gibson, Edourdo Costa, Ron Smoorenburg, Mica Javier, Soraya Torrens, Megan Brown
Director:  Ross W. Clarkson and Philippe Martinez
Written by: Philippe Martinez and Lisa Gabriel
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence, and language throughout
Genre: Action, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min.
Video Release Date: May 28, 2019
Language: English
Reviewed Format: DVD
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen 16×9, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Released on: Blu-ray, DVD

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