Submerged (2005) (part 2 of 6)

Cut to the aftermath of the carnage. A guy in a suit asks how he should report this, speculating that it was a drug cartel related incident. Another man in a suit, who I guess is his superior, scoffs at the idea.

Just then, a woman with a strong resemblance to WNBA star Lisa Leslie interrupts and exposits that they’re dealing with mind control. To explain this strange concept of “mind control”, she pretty much uses the same words heard during the opening credits. Sadly, we don’t get to hear anything else from her briefing. I had good money on her making an analogy involving layup drills and wind sprints.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Well, I think it was a good game and we just need to work on our offense…”

We then get four different shots of the same helicopter, while drums thunder on the soundtrack. I hope this isn’t how every scene transition is handled, because if it is, I’m likely to just give in and ram my head through a wall before this movie is over.

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Inside the helicopter is a team of soldiers, among them a guy played by Gary Daniels, another DTV action star, and a considerably better actor than the one getting top billing here. He’s currently looking at a photo of his wife and kid. Gosh, I wonder if something terrible is about to happen to him?

Caption contributed by Ed

“For some reason, everybody calls me Dead Meat!”

One of the other soldiers, Plowden, takes a seat next to our Dead Man Sitting and addresses him as “Colonel”. That’s a good start. Now lets see if this movie can actually give us the name of a character within three scenes of introducing them.

Plowden asks Colonel Dead Meat how he’s holding up. After more random imagery (get used to these interruptions; they’re as persistent as telemarketers, and just as annoying), we learn the Colonel is from England. Which means that in the world of this movie, we’ve given at least one or two of the original 13 colonies back to the UK. That’s the only way I can explain how all US military operations are being led by James Bond’s dour cousin.

The Colonel expresses doubt about the mission (always good to hear from the guy in charge) which is followed by the cheesy, clichéd “Oh, I miss my kid/wife” dialogue that you’d expect right about now.

The helicopter flies on a bit longer, and there’s yet another time stamp that lets us know we’re on the coast of Uruguay. Our nameless Colonel (it’s possible his name is John, but as previously noted, the dialogue seems to have been recorded in an airport on Christmas week) clears his landing with a guy in a watchtower. Suddenly, Watchtower Guy is ambushed by a soldier, who knifes him in the chest.

The helicopter lands and the soldiers jump out. After taking over about two or three feet worth of ground, Colonel Nameless Leader wonders where their ground contact is. As he speaks, a young female villager approaches, shepherding goats [?]. Plowden asks for orders, but it seems the Colonel is having some issues of his own. Those same random images flash before us, and suddenly, to the Colonel, the villager girl looks like his wife.

This continues until one of the men realizes she’s wired with a bomb. After some shouting and at least one transition from the woman’s face to the wife’s face—which has probably robbed me of two or three years’ worth of good eyesight, based on the speed and flashiness of it alone—one of them opens fire on her. But she’s able to set off the bomb, and there’s a rather anemic-looking explosion that somehow still manages to create an excessive shower of blood and guts.

Caption contributed by Ed

Whoa, talk about blowing goats!

Enemy soldiers suddenly appear, and a brief shootout ensues, complete with needless jump cuts and editing that looks like it was done by Michael Bay‘s dumber, less tasteful cousin. This goes on until the Colonel (who’s name, we finally learn, is Sharpe) hears a loud tone followed by more random imagery. And then he immediately orders the remaining soldiers to surrender.

Even more random imagery plays as we see Plowden being brainwashed by Fake Hopper. Oh, and by the way, we’re twelve minutes in, and there’s absolutely no sign of our star Steven Seagal. In one of his good films (all six of them, in fact), we would have had all the character exposition we needed by now, including at least one good fight scene.

Caption contributed by Ed

“No, please! I don’t want to see On Deadly Ground again! Nooooo!”

Caption contributed by Ed

“Alright, after the brainwashing, we’ll just put you back in for forty minutes on permanent press.”

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Submerged (2005)

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