Half Past Dead
Half Past Dead is a 2002 American action film written and directed by Don Michael Paul in his directorial debut, and produced by Steven Seagal, who also starred in the lead role, alongside Andrew Stevens and Elie Samaha. The film co-stars Morris Chestnut, Ja Rule, Tony Plana, Kurupt, and Nia Peeples. The film tells the story of a criminal who infiltrates a prison to interrogate a prisoner about the location of a fortune in gold while an undercover FBI agent has to stop him. Distribution and copyrights are held by Columbia Pictures. Half Past Dead was released on November 15, 2002 by Screen Gems. The film grossed $19 million worldwide against its budget of $25 million.
|Half Past Dead|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Don Michael Paul|
|Written by||Don Michael Paul|
|Music by||Tyler Bates|
|Edited by||Vanick Moradian|
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Box office||$19.2 million|
In San Francisco, FBI agent Sasha Petrosevitch (Steven Seagal) goes undercover as a Russian car thief and is brought in by criminal Nick Frazier (Ja Rule) to work for crime boss Sonny Eckvall (Richard Bremmer), who apparently shot and killed Sasha's wife. After some time, FBI Special Agent Ellen "E. Z." Williams (Claudia Christian) and her team show up to nail Nick, but things go bad, and Sasha gets shot.
After eight months of recovery following his brief bout of being clinically dead from the shooting, Sasha is incarcerated along with Nick in the newly reopened Alcatraz prison. Run by the charismatic warden, Juan Ruiz "El Fuego" Escarzaga (Tony Plana), the place is known for its new state of the art death chamber where the condemned can choose from five different ways to die: lethal injection, gas chamber, hanging, firing squad, or electric chair.
Lester McKenna (Bruce Weitz), is the first death row prisoner brought to the new Alcatraz and also the first prisoner scheduled to be executed. An older man, he stole $200,000,000 worth of gold bricks in a heist that resulted in five deaths, and hid the loot at an unknown location. Federal Bureau of Prisons head Frank Hubbard (Stephen J. Cannell) and Supreme Court Justice Jane McPherson (Linda Thorson) have arrived to witness the execution, which is a result of June sentencing Lester.
But she's not the only one interested in Lester. A small but well equipped team of terrorists who call themselves the "49ers" have parachuted onto the Alcatraz island, and gained control of it. Led by 49er One, a.k.a. Hubbard's assistant Donny Johnson (Morris Chestnut), and 49er Six (Nia Peeples), the team finds Lester, and they want him to give up the location of his hidden stash of gold. When Lester will not tell them, Donny shoots a nearby priest (Eva-Maria Schönecker), and threatens to kill others if the information is not delivered.
Donny's plan is disrupted, however, when Sascha decides to step in and fight back. At this point, Sasha's true true identity is revealed and he used Nick to get to Sonny Eckvall, whom he seeks revenge on for the death of his wife. When Sasha rescues Lester, the 49ers strap Jane to the electric chair and threaten to kill her, all while Ellen and her team prepare a rescue plan from the mainland.
With the help of Nick and some of the other inmates such as Twitch (Kurupt) and Little Joe (Michael "Bear" Taliferro), Sasha sets out to rescue Jane and bring Donny down, before Alcatraz becomes everyone's final resting place.
- Steven Seagal as Sasha Petrosevitch
- Morris Chestnut as Donald Robert Johnson (aka "49er One")
- Ja Rule as Nicolas "Nick" Frazier
- Nia Peeples as 49er Six
- Tony Plana as Warden Juan Ruiz "El Fuego" Escarzaga
- Kurupt as Twitch
- Michael "Bear" Talliferro as Little Joe
- Claudia Christian as Special Agent Ellen "E. Z." Williams
- Linda Thorson as Judge Jane McPherson
- Bruce Weitz as Lester McKenna
- Michael McGrady as Guard Damon J. Kestner
- Richard Bremmer as Sony Eckvall
- Hannes Jaenicke as Agent Hartmann
- Mo'Nique as Twitch's Girl
- Stephen J. Cannell as Frank Hubbard
- Matt Battaglia as 49er Three
- Wiliam T. Bowers as Alcatraz Guard
The film was at one stage known as Lockdown and was shot in Germany.
Half Past Dead was released on November 15, 2002, in the United States, where it grossed $7.8 million on its opening weekend. It grossed $15.5 million in the US and another $3.7 million outside the US, for a total worldwide gross of $19.2 million. It was released on DVD in the US on March 4, 2003.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 3% of 87 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3/10. The site's consensus reads: "Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks." Metacritic rated it 23/100 based on 23 reviews. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
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- "Half Past Dead". IGN. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
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- "Half Past Dead". Chicago Sun-Times. November 15, 2002. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
- Campbell, Duncan (February 9, 2003). "Raspberry time for Hollywood's worst". The Guardian. Retrieved December 21, 2015.