Ticker (2001)

Ticker is a strange movie. It starts out promising, with a good cast, nice story and lots of action. Especially after watching “Out for a kill” which I did 2 weeks ago, this one seems to be much better. And in fact, it is better, especially the acting. Tom Sizemore does a good job, Dennis Hopper is adequate as the bad guy and Joe Spano in a small roll is good too.

So what’s wrong? First of all, Steven Seagall obviously gained a lot of weight. He just sits there, at his desk or in his car, except for the last 15 minutes or so when finally he decides to kick some ass. However: it is painfully clear that for the action scenes, a stand-in is used. I replayed these scenes in slow motion to verify this, and it is very obvious. Shame on Steven for this.

A lot of scenes are really dark, which makes it very hard to see what’s happening. Also some of the scenes are too chaotic with good and bad guys running around looking the same. “Out for a kill” had the same problem.

Right at the start of the movie, the scene where Seagal’s troops jump out of the helicopter by ropes, it is clear that the rope is hanging in a studio. Besides, I have no idea why these bomb experts would land on the roof while they know there’s a bomb in the basement.

The blue screen car scene with Dennis Hopper and Jaime Pressly has been mentioned a few times already. It is good for a few unintended laughs. The same goes for Hoppers part-time Irish accent, the old police cars with wrong plates and the police choppers without even the word “police” on them.

Later on, Jaime blows up the BMW convertible with Hopper in it. It is painfully obvious that the car that’s blown up is another model, a much older 4 doors saloon instead of the 2 doors convertible. There’s even another car visible blowing up right next to the BMW. I don’t know where it came from. Even the surrounding buildings are different before and during the explosion. I suspect this explosion was taken from another movie.

The final scenes take place in city hall, where a bal masqué is going on. The room where this takes place looks like a discotheque. Now really, what city hall would look like that? Not surprisingly, this scene too is taken from another movie.

Near the end, Steven walks up the stairs towards the roof of city hall to dismantle the bomb on the roof. However, several men with machine guns are sitting there. When they start shooting, Steven decides to walk back. Walk, not run or jump, even when men firing their guns come after him, he takes his time to get some cover. My grandfather walks faster than that.

Finally two bombs have to be dismantled. One is in the basement, and Sizemore has to take care of this one, following instructions by Seagall. This is the right time for Seagal to preach some Zen before telling Sizemore how to deal with the bomb. When the bomb in the basement is secured, Seagal takes care of the other one. This is really easy. He just cuts some wires, the timer stops and that’s the end of the movie. No suspense, no final fight, no good feelings.