Directed by Don Michael Paul starring Steven Seagal, Ja Rule and Morris Chestnut, Nia Peeples and Tony Plana.

Nico Toscani, Mason Storm, Gino Felino, Casey Ryback, Forrest Taft, Wesley McClaren, Orin Boyd… For some the best thing about Steven Seagal's movies has been his character's names. And this proud tradition continues with 'Half Past Dead' where he trades as Sascha Petrosevitch, a 'Russian' heavy brought back to life after a gunfight who ends up in a newly-decorated Alcatraz with thug buddy Nick (rapper Ja Rule). But they've barely had time to put their face cloths on the sink before a scheduled execution of a gold bullion thief is hijacked, a senator is taken hostage and their fellow porridge eaters feel a breakout coming on…

Seagal even puts on a Russian accent for a couple of seconds before forgetting about it, which will also be your response to this limp punchfest. 'The Rock' on a much smaller budget or 'Under Siege' behind bars, 'Half Past Dead' offers nothing new in terms of action sequences with the crucial question of why the terrorists just don't shoot Steve and Ja instead of opting for fisticuffs with them walloping you in numerous scenes.

The setting was ideal for playing up claustrophobia and tension, instead director Paul goes for a helicopter getting stuck in the roof and Seagal going through the motions with fights he now looks far too old for. Getting Ja Rule in on the action - and soundtrack - may get some hip-hop fans' cash, but for the rest of us, this is waaay too much like hard labour.

Harry Guerin