clinically dead

Half Past Dead

Half Past Dead is a 2002 action movie in which a criminal infiltrates a prison to interrogate a prisoner about the location of a fortune in gold while an undercover FBI agent has to stop him. The film stars Morris Chestnut, Steven Seagal, Ja Rule, Kurupt, and Claudia Christian. It is written and directed by Don Michael Paul and produced by Elie Samaha, Uwe Schott and Allison Semenza. Distribution and copy rights are held by Columbia Pictures.

Plot

Sascha Petrosevitch (Steven Seagal) is a car thief who's brought in by criminal Nick Frazier (Jeffrey "Ja Rule" Atkins) to work for crime boss Sonny Eckvall (Richard Bremmer), who apparently shot and killed Sascha's wife.

FBI Special Agent Ellen "E. Z." Williams (Claudia Christian) and her team show up to nail Nick, but things go bad, and Sascha gets shot.

After eight months of recovery following his brief bout of being clinically dead from the shooting, Sascha 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 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.

Federal Bureau of Prisons head Frank Hubbard (Stephen J. Cannell) and Supreme Court Justice June 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 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 won't tell them, Donny shoots a nearby priest (Eva-Maria Schönecker), and threatens to kill others if the info isn't delivered.

Donny's plan is disrupted, however, when Sascha decides to step in and fight back. It turns out that Sascha is actually an undercover FBI agent who's been trying to use Nick to get to Sonny Eckvall.

When Sascha rescues Lester, the 49ers strap June 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 (Ricardo "Kurupt" Brown) and Little Joe (Michael "Bear" Taliferro), Sascha sets out to rescue June and bring Donny down, before Alcatraz becomes everyone's final resting place.

Trivia

As of 2008, this is the only Steven Seagal movie that was given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA.

Reception

It received bad reviews from most film critics, only having a 2% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critic Roger Ebert stating: "Half Past Dead is like an alarm that goes off with nobody in the room. It does its job, stops, and nobody cares." This is probably why it failed at the box office, grossing less than $20 million.

Sequel

Half Past Dead 2 was released direct to video in 2007, though it did not star Steven Seagal or Ja Rule. The only returning character was Twitch (Kurupt).

External links

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