I don’t know how I missed this one, because it’s a good one. Entertainments Weekly reported several days ago that A&E has unexpectedly picked up STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMAN for season 3… but it’s a total reboot. After being chased out of Jefferson Parish by false allegations Chief Seagal has been transferred to Phoenix, Arizona. This is not so much a Seagal type plot but it’s a common cop movie trope, the fish-out-of-water like NYPD’s John McClane or Detroit’s Axel Foley navigating the douchey Californian terrain.The new setting will create some interesting twists. I’m gonna assume we’ll have to leave behind the familiar characters like Johnny and Lawrence, unless they find a contrived way to bring one of them to Arizona. But it’s not like Erika Eleniak was in UNDER SIEGE 2, so I find that unlikely. I’ll miss the Squad, but it’s a good way to shake things up. It’s like how the first MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie he has that whole team but then bam, they get taken from him. Now what? This is how true heroes are forged.
Also gone will be Seagal’s New Orleans accent and ebonics. But we’ll have a whole new and culturally explosive form of racial discomfort if Seagal runs into any illegal immigrants, or especially if anybody falsely accuses somebody of being an illegal immigrant. They have that controversial law there, and it will be Seagal’s job to enforce it. Oh shit.
I wasn’t expecting another season and I kind of thought that was for the best. I was still enjoying the show, but it had pretty much done what it was gonna do, and seemed to have informed his movies a little bit in the case of BORN TO RAISE HELL. But since the new season will have this change in setting (like going from aircraft carrier to train) it actually might be worth doing. I just hope he doesn’t turn Chuck Norris on us and get into the anti-immigrant paranoia.
But I don’t think he will. Seagal always tries to be understanding and empathetic, he loves sharing between cultures, he especially loves unnecessarily busting out the correct Spanish pronunciations, and hasn’t had the kind of traumatic run-ins with immigrants that Norris has.
I would like to correct one error in the article. It says, “Last year, Seagal learned nobody is above the law when he was accused of sex trafficking by a personal assistant.” Obviously this is incorrect because Seagal already knew that nobody was above the law. EW is repeating a common misconception, that Seagal’s character of Nico Toscani was meant to be “above the law” himself. Those of us familiar with the movie of course remember that in fact he’s the one arguing all along that nobody is above the law.
To be fair that is a frequent mistake, like people calling the monster “Frankenstein” instead of the doctor. Still, let’s get some fact-checking here, journalists.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.