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Montevideo, December 13th 2018 - 20:10 UTC

Steven Seagal and “Submerged” irritate Uruguay

Saturday, July 30th 2005 - 21:00 UTC
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Uruguay is seriously considering legal actions against the producers of a Hollywood film “Submerged” with Steven Seagal which ridicules the South American country as a banana republic where a terrorist captured US nuclear submarine is taken.

Martin Papich head of the Uruguayan Audiovisual Institute revealed that the Ministry of Education and Culture is considering legal actions, both short and long term, to protest the Hollywood attitude towards the country's reputation, history and national symbols.

In the film Uruguay is shown as a country ruled by a corrupt president surrounded and supported by drug barons where a woman United States Ambassador is mercilessly killed in Montevideo.

In the countryside instead of cattle and sheep managed by tough gauchos, roam goats looked after by blonde peasants and in Montevideo streets signals and telephone booths have French writings while pedestrians speaking in English or Italian.

"Submerged" was filmed in Bulgaria.

"It's the promotion of a cultural style, typical Hollywood. This time it was Uruguay's turn to be chosen as an exotic banana country, and the film is definitively bad", added Mr. Papich who nevertheless pointed out that the ridiculing of Uruguayan national symbols is a completely different issue.

"It's our duty not only to defend the international image of Uruguay but also our national symbols, and here is where we will be acting", said Mr. Papich.

However international critics seem to agree with the poor quality of the film. "There was a time when Steven Seagal was bad in a campy sort of way. Now he's just bad, and whoever convinced him to make "Submerged" should be severely chastised and held up to public ridicule. Like the film "Submerged" is so awful it's hard to know where to begin. You get the feeling that someone got the bright idea, Hey, let's set it in Uruguay, because not a whole lot of action-film lovers know a whole lot about that tiny South American country, and so they'll be more apt to believe this far-fetched plot involving mind control and a modern version of a Nazi mad doctor gleefully performing "research" operations.

"Oh, and submarines are cool! Let's get them on a submarine! That's about all you can glean from this muddled mess, which substitutes pointless action at every turn for anything resembling a well-reasoned plot. There's plenty of shooting and stabbing, but it's all so strobe-like that even the action can get pretty darned annoying?especially since we're not really sure what's going on.

"Like Sean Connery character in "The Rock," Chris Cody (Seagal) is sprung from the brig on the USS Clinton (okay all you people reading politics into "Star Wars 3," here's another chance to speculate) and promised a pardon if he'll go to Uruguay, where an American ambassador has been assassinated?by a U.S. insider. It's up to Commander Cody and his dirty baker's half-dozen to get to the bottom of things

"Even if you've been paying close attention, rather than squirming in your seat, using the bathroom, or fixing another snack, you still won't figure out exactly how the action shifted so quickly from a military-industrial complex to a submarine that terrorists have commandeered. All you can tell is that Cody and his bunch are shooting and stabbing everybody else on the screen.

"Now, if the special effects or stunt work was spectacular, then "Submerged" might merit a star or two. But the sad fact is that nothing is believable?not even the way the fake blood is applied. And the submarine? The top of it looks like a patchwork quilt.

"B-movie director Anthony Hickox ("Jill the Ripper") relies heavily on techniques that resemble skip-printing and stop-action photography during the action scenes, which, you can only guess, is intended to compensate for the lack of real special effects and believable fight sequences. Through it all, Seagal, the man of a single face, looks and acts as if he's on a subway commute. Even when the sub is blown up, his only reaction is, "Oh, man."

Categories: Mercosur.

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