Half Past Dead

Bomb Rating: 

"Half Past Dead" features quite possibly the worst dialog ever spoken in the history of cinema. Line after line inspired the audience to erupt in peals of derisive laughter -- and this was at a free screening populated largely by homeless people who were just happy to be out of the rain.

How bad is bad? In the unlikely prospect you go to see "Half Past Dead," take along this handy Mr. Cranky bingo card and mark the lines of dialog off as they happen. (Some of them may be paraphrased, as they were tough to discern over the hoots, taunts and shouts of "Oh my God, they can NOT be serious!" from the assembled hobos.) Amazingly, however, not one of the lines below is spoken in this film with the slightest hint of irony. 

I am a soldier trained in the art of killing.
Why are you doing this?
It's a good night to die.
I still got´┐Ż what you want.
You've cried the tears. There's nothing more you can do, man.
I trusted you man!
Sorry I snapped. I've been under a lot of stress.
Put the FBI guidebook down and listen to me.
You forgot the love, didn't you?
I'm a sociopath. I can kill everyone in this room and not feel bad about it.
This is my prison!
Go ahead and try to escape.
Write your own!
I think you used your last bullet.
She was the best part of me.
Tell me where you hid the gold!
You ever done hard time? You ever been somebody's bitch?
I need more time!
Go with God, always.
Slow down! You're crazy! Crazy-loco!
You glad you wore that body armor?
Are we cool, man?
How fast can you get out of those clothes?

Set in the not-too-plausible future, "Half Past Dead" revolves around a bunch of super-criminals who break into a refurbished Alcatraz prison to retrieve the location of hidden gold from a death-row inmate. Led by inmate Sasha (Steven Seagal), the prisoners break free, grab some guns of their own, and we have the excuse we need for everyone to start shooting up the cheap cardboard sets in slow-motion re-enactments of "The Matrix."

How bad is bad? If aliens are coming to Earth to investigate our television transmissions, they'll turn around the second this thing hits TNT. First-time writer and director Don Michael Paul should be run out of town and tried as a war criminal. The acting is so horrible that the very possibility that there might have been worse actors who didn't get these parts sends one reeling into the land of paradox. As for Steven Seagal, the only conclusion left to draw about him is that Buddhism must suck.

If I were doctoring the terminally ill, I'd send them to see "Half Past Dead" so they could see just how long 90 minutes can be. At some point, however, you'll realize that for all its faults, "Half Past Dead" does serve a purpose, that it hits a moment where it all comes together. And at that point, you'll think to yourself: "Bingo!"

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