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The Glimmer Man

The Glimmer Man (1996)

October. 04,1996
| Action Crime

A former government operative renowned for his stealth, Jack Cole is now a Los Angeles police detective. When a series of horrible murders occurs in the metro area, Cole is assigned to the case, along with tough-talking fellow cop Jim Campbell. Although the two men clash, they gradually become effective partners as they uncover a conspiracy linked to the killings, which also involves terrorism and organized crime.


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Unable to apprehend a serial killer known as "the Family Man" a Los Angeles detective named "Jack Cole" (Steven Seagal) is called in to offer his assistance. Unfortunately, although he has had some previous success in this particular type of assignment, his enigmatic reputation and eccentric style don't mesh well with others in the police force--which his new partner "Jim Campbell" (Keenen Ivory Wayans) begins to realize only too soon. Even so, with the sudden escalation of these murders, everyone is willing to look the other way. At least for the time-being. However, everything begins to seriously unravel due to some evidence which points directly at him--and he now becomes the lead suspect. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was an okay film for the most part but its total disregard for realism hampered it quite a bit. For example, in the real world when a police officer shoots and kills somebody he is immediately suspended pending a thorough investigation. But not here. And that's just one of the faults contained in this movie. But for what it's worth, both Steven Seagal and Keenen Ivory Wayans put in fine efforts in spite of it all and for that reason I have rated this film accordingly. Average.


Steven Seagal went back to his roots with this action thriller, which harks back to his early work, much of which was city-bound and also dealt with conspiracies and violence on the 'mean' streets (his acting debut, NICO: ABOVE THE LAW, in particular). In fact, this film is quite surprising, as Seagal had apparently turned into an ex-military guy who killed hundreds of baddies and set traps to kill people, but not so in this film. Here he's a cop with a suspicious past, which even leads to him being blamed for a series of murders (a first, Seagal is usually the 100% clean good guy). Of course, we all know he's a goodie after all and he shows this by exposing police corruption all around, and beating up a healthy number of bad guys.The film is refreshingly free of the environmental stuff that Seagal has insisted on dolloping in his 1990s actioners (ON DEADLY GROUND being the worst offender). However, he's cast as a Buddhist in this film, and someone who dislikes resorting to violence (although, as you might be able to guess, it's not long before he does). What makes this film different from Seagal's other work is the relatively complex plot, which twists everywhere so that you don't know who's killing who. Thankfully, everything sorts itself out after half-an-hour of this headache inducing stuff.Another difference is that this time, Seagal has a partner (and it's not some woman who hides in the background either). Keenen Ivory Wayans is likable and friendly as a homicide cop, and he's not a bad fighter either. There's a brilliant fight in Wayans' apartment which ends with him being blown out of his window by a gas explosion! Seagal basically plays himself again (what else but the whispering hard man?), but he's even cooler and smarter this time around, always one step ahead of the enemy. The rest of the cast give solid support too, especially the believable killers (who turn out to be just doing their jobs). This time around, the killer is a sadistic serial killer too, something which brings back shades of OUT FOR JUSTICE.A Seagal film wouldn't be a Seagal film without some violent fight scenes, and this film doesn't disappoint. While there aren't a great deal of enemies for Seagal to fight in this film, the ones there are always team up, so there are some fast moments with Seagal killing loads of people at once. Expect lots of smashing windows and tables too, as Seagal chucks people around and breaks the odd arm or two (what a surprise!). He even has a trick up his sleeve in the form of a credit card with a razor blade, which he uses to kill three men in one extremely cool scene.Other show stoppers include Seagal rolling out of the back window of an upside down car, and the final fight between him and the main baddie, which is one of his best. There's quite a bit of blood in this fight, and even Seagal gets whacked on the nose and bleeds (a rare occasion, for someone to land a punch on Seagal). It's definitely a climax worth waiting for. With a higher humour content than before (mostly in the form of Wayans), a plot which actually requires you to think, and the expected action and fight scenes, THE GLIMMER MAN is nothing amazing but it's solid entertainment and a bit better than some other action films of today.


Imagine Lethal Weapon and all your other favorite buddy cop movies, but without the humor, charisma, heart, originality, big-budget, huge action scenes and actors that have chemistry together… Oh, wait, you've seen The Glimmer Man, too?There is a plot here, a straight line, something that was originally pitched, but I failed to see any of that. I guess this was an excuse to get a man (Seagal) who was mere inches away from blowing up (and not in a good way) before he involuntarily retired from "acting" to pair with the least famous Wayans brother as his zany sidekick.Only, he really wasn't that zany, and Seagal wasn't that action packed. Or so he would tell us. Repeatedly.Let's dive into what they called a plot: There's this serial killer on the loose and another group who, I guess pretend to be him, or something like that and there's corrupt cops and some testicle-dust that helps one of our heroes…I'll be honest: it's been about a month and a half since I've seen this for the one and only time. I only watched it as it's my mission to conquer all the movies I haven't seen that the How Did This Get Made? podcast "reviewed." I'll be further honest: I didn't hate on this movie. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but maybe there was a good movie somewhere in this mess and the action by just-on-the-edge Seagal was somewhat fun. Wayans not so much, but I've enjoyed his other (behind-the-camera) films a ton more. So, he's forgiven.This movie was truly a mess and not recommended. Only if you wanna partake in the same challenge I gave myself: watching all the How Did This Get Made? podcast films so you can enjoy their take.* * * Final thoughts: Casablanca deserves better homage.


Not really a very insightful movie that one can study for hours and think about a lot. Rather this is more of a typical Hollywood action movie. Cops are partnered in regards to opposing personalities (which I love because when done properly, especially in this movie, it creates a really relaxed atmosphere), cars blow up at the sightest touch, and the hero runs around killing heaps of people and blowing up heaps of buildings and the captain at the end says, "Cole, I owe you an apology." Cole (Steven Segal) is playing his usual ex-special forces come cop or something role. Almost the same role that he played in Under Siege and On Deadly Ground (and no doubt numerous other movies before and after). As is typical, Steven Segal will encounter a horde of bad guys and he will typically beat them all up single handedly, and then walk out of the room dusting himself off.The plot is interesting though. Segal is a cop that hunts down serial killers, but has a rather sordid past: not only is it somewhat unknown, his recent past in regards to tracking down serial killers is tainted for he shot one when on a roof of a building in New York and there were no witnesses. Now he is in Los Angeles and a serial killer is attacking again, but this time there some one is going around killing people and using the serial killer to cover his tracks. As one delves in deeper, one uncovers a plot involving the Russian mafia.Once again, as it typical of a Steven Segal movie, there is lots of action and lots of martial arts. That alone would have been quite boring; one sees cars and petrol tankers blowing up every time one turns on the television. What made this movie cool was the backchat between the partners.