YMMV / On Deadly Ground


  • Anvilicious: The villain is so mean he can't even stand the smell of caribou to film one commercial.
    • Also the movie's environmental message, which Roger Ebert disparaged as "sanctimonious".
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Forrest comes off several times in the film as a psychopath. What Jennings is trying to do is wrong, but Forrest commits eco-terrorism on a grand scale, murdering several people in the facility, including people who are unarmed and unable to defend themselves. When told they have enough evidence to go to the police and stop the oil rig from beginning operation legally, Forrest blows off this option and simply blows the rig up. Which, when you think about it, would also have some pretty devastating effects on the environment Forrest was sworn to protect.
  • Awesome Music: If there's one thing Steven Seagal did right during production, it was hiring Basil Poledouris to score the movie (and the Seagal/Nasso Productions logo at the end). Here's a suite.
  • Black Hole Sue: Forrest is an arguable example. No matter what happens, the crowd seems to always be on his side. An example of this is during the conference when Jennings lists Forrest as part of the sabotage conspirators, you can hear someone yell out "Bullshit," despite having no reason at all to do so! Also, Masu's perfectly reasonable idea to go to the press with Aegis's dealings instead of confronting Jennings is immediately shot down.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Blowing up the oil rig becomes a lot harder to watch after the Gulf Oil Spill.
  • Inferred Holocaust: As Film Brain pointed out, Forrest blowing up an oil rig will cause more environmental damage than letting it run normally. Also doubling as Moral Dissonance.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Macgruder after Hugh's torture and MORESO after the Inuit village raid.
    • Arguably Forrest himself when killing many Designated Villains (e.g., Liles) who just happen to work for the Big Bad's company.
  • Narm:
    • "THERE IS NO I IN TEAM! THERE IS T-E-A-M!!"
    • The frequent offscreen voices shouting their support for Forrest and/or dislike for the villains, which were obviously added in post-production because Steven Seagal needed his ego stroked even more.
      • In particular, R. Lee Ermey's mixed metaphor-laden praise of Forrest. Everything out of his mouth in this scene just comes across as Character Shilling, and none of it makes the slightest bit of sense - particularly the pesos comment.
    • Just about all of Seagal's "acting" qualifies, but the scene where he schools a bigoted bar patron has to take the cake. After beating the bigot to the point of bleeding, Forrest somehow makes the man realize the error of his ways in a drawn out attempt at drama while cheesy music swells in the background. This is all supposed to be taken completely seriously, mind you.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Hugh's torture scene. An old man is bound to a chair and his fingers broken with a whale bone and later a pipe cutter is used on him. Part of this scene, according to Film Brain, is cut from the UK release, and when he says that the scene is better trimmed, he's right, since enough of the scene played out still gives us what we need to hate the characters.
  • Protection from Editors: Probably because, for all intents and purposes, Seagal is the editor for this movie. He was the director and one of the producers.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Liles. At worst, she (1) works as the Big Bad's secretary and (2) has a bit of an ego. And yet the movie's logic = her deserving probably the most-Cruel and Unusual Death here.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Forrest can be quite hard to root for. Not only does he teeter on the Moral Event Horizon (see above), but he also invokes Violence Is the Only Option before even attempting to use his quite-damning evidence to take down the Big Bad's company the lawful way.
  • Vanity Project: Obviously.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Aside from a Knighted British legend, they got R. Lee Ermey in this film. R. Lee Ermey! Ermey's death in this film involves him basically walking up behind Seagal's character and allowing Seagal to get within arms reach of his shotgun...yeah, they must have paid him a lot to put up with that. Worse, they reportedly didn't let him ad-lib, which is why several of his lines sound completely nonsensical, to the point of self-parody.
    ''He's the kind of guy who would drink a gallon of gasoline just so he could piss in your campfire."
    • Meanwhile, they brought in John C Mc Ginley pre-Scrubs to play...a psychotic torture expert? Although this last one is probably the most YMMV of the whole lot; to some, he's the best thing in this movie and genuinely creepy.

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