It’s funny how our perspective changes with time and a couple of days ago, I watched an old action film again after more than 20 years – and this time with a new perspective – and found a different message.
The film I am referring to is the 1990 action movie “Marked for Death” starring Steven Seagal. I was a a kid in grade school when I first saw the movie on VHS and it was one of my favorites – among all the Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films.
The tough guy persona Seagal brought to the screen appealed to me along with the way Jamaicans talked was kind of cool. I loved the way the big guy would hurt anybody to protect his family. However, when I watched the film again a few days ago, my perspective had changed and the message I was getting had a more social orientation.
This time I saw it as a comment on the injustice created by society through the distribution of wealth – and it’s consequences – and Seagal’s character looked more like the antagonist in the story.
The Jamaican drug lord Screwface is a representation of years of suppression and his rise to power an indicator of human resilience. His methods are also an indication of his upbringing. Now, while the message is not veiled in any form, it can be lost among all the action.
Another thing that has to be taken into consideration when watching this film is the soundtrack. In most films, the soundtrack tries to create an emotion to accompany a scene. However, in Marked for Death, a study of the lyrics should bring a clear image of the message being related.