THE GLIMMER MAN (1996)
THE GLIMMER MAN
Directed by John Gray
Written by Kevin Brodbin
Starring Steven Seagal, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Brian Cox
Seagal Kill Count: 13
Best Line: “He's a little bit country. I'm a little bit rock and roll."
In 1995, Steven Seagal sat in a theater and watched a third of the movie Se7en. After his second tub of popcorn, he realized that the movie was shit and if the world really needed a movie about a religious serial killer, he would make one and then he would kill the shit out of that serial killer. He wrote the script on his cab ride home and would film the movie the next day. That movie was The Glimmer Man.
Steven Seagal plays Steven Seagal, a globetrotting Buddhist who fights crime for fun and wears cool jackets and beads. He teams with Jim Campbell, a cop who loves Casablanca and ground up deer penis to battle a serial killer named the Family Man. Also in the mix are some disposable Russian bad guys, Brian Cox doing the best Boston accent he can do, and the warden from Shawshank who wants to deliver chemical weapons right to your door. Oh, and also Don. Spoiler alert, Seagal is the titular Glimmer Man, named that because when he walks into a room, it lights up with joy.
WHY IT'S THE BEST MOVIE EVER
First reason - he introduced the world to the credit card. Before this movie, credit cards didn't exist and if you wanted to pay for good and services, you had to do it with paper money or coins (also checks, but no one uses checks unless you're like a million years old). If you look at your credit card now, you might have a "chip" in it, but Seagal innovated so fucking hard that his has a razor blade in it and he sliced two people's necks with one swipe. What's in your wallet?
Second reason - it pays homage to the classics that inspired it. Keenan Ivory Wayan's character Jim Campbell references his love for Casablanca many times in this movie. He has a poster at his house, he mentions it while they're in a Chinese super power shop, and he goes to see it in a movie theater. It's no wonder that upon release, people called The Glimmer Man "a modern day Casablanca" and had moviegoers yelling "Play it again, Sam!" at the projectionist while the credits rolled. Shoutout to Sam, and that misquoted line. FUN FACT: In the scene in which Keenan Ivory Wayans acts his goddamn heart out while in the theater, tears streaming down his face, he was actually watching a rough cut of what they had already shot for The Glimmer Man. Realizing how beautiful the movie was, he couldn't help but cry (the tears weren't in the script).
Third reason - there was no script. They knew they had to say that there was a script (for the Academy Award screenplay nomination), but all the director had to shoot from was the mind of Steven Seagal. John Gray actually did a great thing here - knowing he had the two best comedians in his movie, he just let them riff and play off of each other, resulting in the best running gag in a buddy cop movie of all time - deer penis.
Fourth reason - the plot is flawless. Seagal uses both his fists and his smarts to foil the bad guys, and even uses a Talk Boy from Home Alone to pit the bad guys against each other. He basically wins without doing any physical work. Seagal kills the Family Man and he kills all the other men too. Also he killed the box office.
Fifth reason - the fight scenes are INSANE. Most of us only fantasize about calmly walking into a fancy restaurant, slapping up the maître d, interrupting a dinner between a senator and a CIA guy, and then throwing men through every piece of glass in the restaurant. Seagal doesn't fantasize about it, he does it. The place needed a remodel anyway. There's also a scene in which Seagal is stuck in a car with two fearsome Russians and he uses the wrong side of the gun to beat the devil out of them like Bob Ross treats his 2 1/2 inch brush. Most good guys would just shoot them, but Seagal teaches them a lesson the hard way before sliding the car into a gasoline tanker. See you in hell, commies. Ask Don how the fight scene at the end treated him. After choking Don out like a bitch, Seagal wings him through a wrought iron barred window and it just collapses like licorice because of Seagal's powers. Don retired from all activities afterwards because life only gets worse from there.
Sixth reason - his partner is good too. Jim Campbell likes to live life on the edge. Not only does he like ground up parts of deer, he also lives in a dangerously flammable apartment. It really makes you sleep with one eye open when changing the channel on your television could transform your living space into the bowels of hell. Campbell beats up people, investigates things, and becomes best friends with Seagal throughout the movie, a friendship that no doubt still lasts today.
Seventh reason - Brian Cox won an Oscar for best supporting actor supporting a supporting actor for his role as "CIA person". You can tell that he spent 6 months in the bowels of New York City to perfect his southern accent - the dedication shows on screen (and he had to replace Tommy Lee Jones on like a one week notice).
Eighth reason - Steven Seagal influenced fashion for years to come. Before this movie, no one changed their clothes before visiting a crime scene, and there are a lot of photos taken at crime scenes so you always have to look your best. He wears not one, but two of the best jackets of all time that help him fight crime. That's not it though. His real source of power is his string of power beads. They help him shoot people in the head with pinpoint accuracy, fling people onto tractors, and pass lie detector tests. All in a hard days work.
The Glimmer Man is the best movie of all time.