The Keeper (2009)- * * *
Directed by: Keoni Waxman
Starring: Steven Seagal, Steph Duvall, and Liezl Carstens
Roland Sallinger (Seagal) is a tough L.A. cop, but after an unfortunate incident involving a corrupt partner, he travels to Texas to reconnect with his old police buddy Conner Wells (Duvall). Wells then gives him a job as a bodyguard, and protecting Conner's daughter Nikita Wells (Carstens) becomes Sallinger's full-time occupation. Naturally, baddies manage to kidnap Nikita, which makes Sallinger mad as they were just getting to know each other, and he uses all of his skills to retrieve her from their evil clutches. But will that be the end of the song of Roland?
The Keeper is surprisingly watchable by the Seagal standards of this particular era. Of course it's silly, stupid, and face-palmingly dumb, but you knew that going in. Thankfully, what The Keeper is NOT is offensively awful, like Kill Switch (2008). Just watching Seagal, with his Eddie Munster hair and funny voice (if that is his voice at all) is worthy of some level of entertainment. Adding to the fun are multiple instances of his trademarked style of slap-fu, and because he's in Texas, his wearing of a cowboy hat. But it might be just to cover up the Munster hair.
Of course, because this is a Seagal movie, several people tell him how great he is at things. Well, Roland Sallinger, that is. He has a knife-throwing practice mat in his backyard (don't we all?) and he tries valiantly to turn on the charm when he's interacting with Nikita. It's moments like those that rescue The Keeper from sinking into the muck and mire of lesser efforts. Additionally, Seagal must have realized that it's really hard to beat Urban Justice (2007) so he occasionally will lapse into quasi-homie-speak. With hilarious results, of course.
His boss in the film looks exactly like Jeremy Irons. He's a "Dead Ringer", you might say. After some thorough research, we found out it was actually an actor named Steph Duvall, who has something of a DTV action pedigree in his own right. He appeared in the Jeff Wincott classic Open Fire, as well as Scanner Cop (both 1994), and Driven to Kill (1991), not to be confused with Seagal's Driven to Kill (2009). We can't say we remember him looking this much like Jeremy Irons before, but here he does. Of course, Irons should have appeared in more action movies himself. But at least we have The Fourth Angel (2001).
If you go out of your way to watch one of Seagal's low-budget DTV outings from the 2000's, you may have some idea of what you're in for, but it's kind of a mixed bag. You might get a dud like the aforementioned Kill Switch, or you might turn up an unintentional (?) gem like an Urban Justice. The Keeper isn't extreme in any direction, but rather it's a straight down the middle Seagal-fest that goes down rather easy, like a nice, smooth beer.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty
Also check out a write up from our buddy, DTVC!