Steven Seagal Does Robert Burns
World renowned archaeologist and wearer of leather trench coats, Professor Robert Burns (Steven Seagal), is in China on one of his digs when he discovers that the Tong are using his artefacts to smuggle drugs out of the country. It leads to the death of his assistant and also his arrest but his subsequent release from a Chinese prison when the American and Chinese government decide to use the professor as bait to lure out the Tong. But Burns has plans of his own and is out for a kill as he sets about taking down the Tong, one bad guy after another.
Sounds simple and ridiculous enough for a Steven Seagal movie and if they had kept "Out for a Kill" as simple as it sounds it would have been enjoyable trash even if it is impossible to think of Seagal as an archaeologist. But nope those involved in this movie had to muddy the water by adding things to the simple concept. We have various clandestine meetings involving the Tong where what they say is not only uninteresting but at times feels like it was surplus footage from another movie repackaged here to try and make an okay idea better but failing in doing so. On top of this there is also an unneeded ticking clock element as almost ever chapter starts with a time and place being blazed across the screen.
But for me the worst thing about "Out for a Kill" is that in almost ever scene you don't know whether you are watching Seagal or a body double as more often than not we see footage of him from behind. This is all the more annoying when it comes to action scenes as whilst any real fan of Seagal will acknowledge that there are movies where a double does a lot of the fighting scenes the clunky way the editing is pieced together here borders on the soul destroying. It is the reason why most people would choose to watch "Out for a Kill" and only to be served up weak, unconvincing action is a real let down.
What this all boils down to is that if only they had kept "Out for a Kill" simple as then it would have stayed as trashy entertainment. But the attempts to over complicate things makes "Out for a Kill" another Seagal movie destined to collect dust in the bargain buckets and in boxes of DVD collectors who bought it on the cheap.