(Steven Seagal, Georges St. Pierre, Luke Goss, et al / Blu-ray+Digital HD / R / 2017 / Lionsgate Films)
Overview: Action legend Steven Seagal headlines this explosive thriller that pits US forces against an Eastern European drug cartel. When crime boss Salazar turns informant, US Marshal Jensen (Luke Goss, 'Blade II') and his team must guard their luxury-hotel safe house. But as cartel under boss Sinclair (UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre) and his hit squads descend to murder Salazar, the situation explodes.
Blu-ray Verdict: OK, to be fair, these days you either love or hate Steven Seagal's work. Back in the day he was leaner, meaner, more action hero than one-liner quip King, whereas these days he is fatter, less mean, less action-orientated and chock full of one-liner's!
That said, 'Cartels' being filmed in Bucharest, Romania does add some visual cinematic weight to the cause here as the background blends perfectly with the sort of slo-mo, standing still whilst the bad guys all come at him and flip-flop over and across his flailing kung-fu arms! Sure we've seen his new stance many times in this recent slew of straight-to-DVD releases, but Seagal still manages to pull them off with a straight face.
Interestingly, this was originally called 'Killing Salazar' and was the first of seven (7) movies released by Steven Seagal in 2016! So, with a wickedly cramped time schedule between the movies, you know his time on screen is always going to be limited - which here it most certainly is. Hey, for those shaking their heads, it's all about quality not quantity for our man Seagal!
Anyway, and again, sure, 'Cartels' is nothing more than a massive cameo role for the big man, but we still see him at his gruff finest - both vocally and fist fighting. He appears in the very beginning and at the very end doing his all-action moves, but in between he sits down and either decides to interview or interrogate Luke Goss' character.
Otherwise we get both Georges St-Pierre and Luke Goss at their action hero finest throughout. True that 'Cartels' is heavy on talk rather than action overall, but Goss (as usual) does provide us some pretty decent action scenes when he's unleashed. It's just we all wanted to see more of Seagal getting angry and into it with the baddies - or the mole, once revealed! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.