Who do you call when some shady corporate tycoon with transparent eyebrows is discovered dumping barrels of toxic waste into an abandoned coal mine on the outskirts of a small eastern Kentucky township? Why, Steven Seagal, of course!
As with most rich egotistical pricks in Hollywood, Seagal knows how to lovingly soothe the neverending plight of the common man, the blue-collar schmo with a lump of mossy coal where his brain should be. Like a pony-tailed preacher dressed in expensive leather, Seagal spoke often of the dangers infecting the very soil we trod upon during the late '90s.
Did anyone listen? Nope. They were too busy watching the chunky aikido master bash evil-doers about the neck and face with everything from large pieces of wood to whatever happened to be lying around the set at the time. Had Jesus been trained in the ways of martial arts, he may have looked a lot like Steven Seagal. Assuming, of course, that Jesus wasn't a student of Miyagi's.
1997's Fire Down Below marked the second eco-friendly vehicle for our bluesy action hero. Though not nearly as heavy-handed and preachy as 1994's On Deadly Ground, this man-versus-corruption yarn is easily the more entertaining of the two. How could this be, you ask? Well, instead of portraying a pompous prick with a propensity for breaking the bones of those who stand in the way of his environmental agenda, Seagal actually plays a man you wouldn't mind having a drink with. Granted, he's still a know-it-all with a gun and the ability to snap your wrist like a twig, but the guy is so impossibly nice that you just couldn't hold it against him. After all, if Steven's taking time out of his busy schedule to cause you fierce bodily harm, chances are you had it coming. Sorry about your luck.
Seagal stars as Jack Taggert, an unstoppable EPA agent who rambles into the hills of eastern Kentucky to investigate the death of his partner. Disguised as a "servant of God" dressed in tacky designer clothes, Taggert helps the impoverished residents of Jackson fix up their homes while quizzing them in-depth about the various shenanigans taking place around the county.
This, of course, irritates the local thug population quite a bit, including the son of a wealthy bastard named Orin Hanner. As Taggert begins to unearth some truly disturbing facts about the local ecosystem, Hanner's men move in for the kill. They talk big, beat up an old man, and try their best to one-up the dude they believe to be a threat to their cozy way of life. Can Jack find a reliable witness to testify against the man who helped poison the bluegrass, or will our hero roast in the toxic fires that burn beneath his very feet?