Steven Seagal was years away from becoming a pop culture joke when Hard to Kill hit theaters in 1990. In fact, it was only his second movie and audiences had yet to discover his significant limitations as an actor. Seagal was a legitimate box office star for a few years, long before being confined to the direct-to-video realm. Hard to Kill remains a fun, funny (mostly unintentionally), and fast-paced old school action flick. It may very well only appeal to those old enough to remember it the first time around, but now that it’s on Blu-ray even the uninitiated can see what all the fuss was about.
Seagal plays Mason Storm, a Chuck Mangione-loving police detective. The year is 1983, and Storm is staking out a waterfront mafia meeting late one night, nefariously recording the shady goings on. Rather stupidly, he stands up and starts inadvertently clanging his recording gear against some metal poles, attracting the attention of the mobsters. He kicks a little ass and manages to make a clean getaway, but runs into more trouble at a convenience store where he stops to pick up a stuffed animal for his young son. The place is robbed, and we get to see Storm in his element, taking down multiple attackers with ease. He’s having way too much fun to even think about the gunshot victim behind the store’s counter.
Returning back home, he puts his kid to bed and settles in for a romp in the sack with his beautiful wife, Felicia (Bonnie Burroughs). But any nookie between Mr. and Mrs. Storm is permanently put on hold by a group of dirty cops who invade their home, killing Felicia and seriously wounding Storm. The little kid jumps out a window to avoid the bad guys (where he lands is anyone’s guess, considering his bedroom is on the second floor). Initially presumed dead at the hospital, it turns out Storm is merely in a coma. Lieutenant O’Malley (Frederick Coffin) decides it’s best to let the public think Storm really did die. These bad cops were after Storm because he was onto something big. Those mobs guys he was spying on were involved with a high profile politician.