Steven Steagal. Ultimate Tough Guy.
There are several characteristics that make action movie stars ultimate. While Steven Seagal may lack in bulging arm muscles like Arnold or Stallone, he makes up for it with some badass aikido-training and his ultimate tough guy attitude. Seagal, in his prime VHS days in the 80s and 90s, was a force to be reckoned with in every scene. He didn’t take lip and was just as quick to smack someone around as he was to slice an arm or two off.
Here are 7 times that Seagal proved, without a doubt, that he’s the unquestioned ultimate action movie tough guy.
7. “Anybody Seen Richie?” – Out for Justice (1991)
For tough guy Seagal lovers, Out for Justice is one of his best. As a gritty inner-city cop in Brooklyn, Seagal’s brash persona and combative detective approach is something truly amazing. Take for example this scene, where Seagal, a cop in Brooklyn, needs some information about a recent murder. Instead of, you know, doing some actual detective work.
Seagal busts into a seedy bar to rough up several prominent low-lifes to get the info from them. In a way which would nicely be called disrespectful, Seagal proceeds to mock and beat the information out of the entire bar – including the guys with mob connections. Makes ya really feel bad for Richie…
6. “Respect My Authority” – Fire Down Below (1997)
If Seagal has a mantra, at least in his 80s and 90s movies, it’s a pissed-off plea to have people “respect his authority.” Nowhere is this more apparent than when he literally yells as much to the naive officers in Kentucky. This is of course after he sticks a gun down one of the officers’ throats after they threaten to have him arrested.
He proceeds to double down and threaten them with arrest as he is a federal, get this, environmental protection agent. Which, as long as Seagal is concerned, he can do whatever he damn well wants when he’s on the case.
5. Train Top Shootout – Under Siege 2 (1995)
While Under Seige may be one of Seagal’s best movies, his performance in his sequel Under Seige 2: Dark Territory showcases some of Seagal’s most brazen behavior. If you watch the scene above, you’ll see a calm as nails Seagal casually kicking butt from the top of a moving train.
After kicking a guy under the wheels, Seagal lays into a gun battle with precision despite not even always being able to see the bad guys. Before hitching a ride Indiana Jones-style underneath the train. It’s also worth noting that Seagal himself has hinted at an Under Seige 3 in the future.
4. Folksy Guitar Solo – Fire Down Below (1997)
While Seagal’s well known for the dirt talking, smackdown laying aspects of his tough guy mentality. He also has a tender, artistic side, which you better not ever make fun of or interrupt. As is the case in this scene from Fire Down Below, wherein the skinny punk who dares to disturb Seagal’s fingerpicking solo is about to learn a world of hurt from Seagal’s less friendly side.
Fun fact, Seagal is actually a very accomplished guitar player and musician and has even recorded a few albums.
3. Classic Store Robbery – Hard to Kill (1990)
Continuing a trend in Seagal flicks, thugs have a way of finding, a seemingly, mild-mannered Seagal in shops or bars and proceed to mock, almost beg him, into kicking their butts. In this scene from Hard to Kill, Seagal is just getting some late night snacks when some street thugs choose the wrong store to rob.
As Seagal saunters up, they truly have no idea, or no respect, to the beatdown Seagal can easily and instantly lay down on them. Yet, Seagal, always one for dramatic timing, waits until the old store clerk is blown away before tauntingly disposing of them one by one.a
2. Skinny Seagal vs Baseball Bat – Above the Law (1988)
Based on recent photos, it’s hard to believe that there was a time when Seagal was a skinny pencil-shaped human being. However, if this scene from Above the Law proves anything, it’s that skinny or giant, Seagal was just as intimidating and tough.
Seagal, as per custom, is rolled up on and instantly drawn upon. This time with a gun, sword and several baseball bats. What does Seagal do? Well, of course he doesn’t flinch. Instead he takes a sword, slices several limbs, then takes off in full skinny-legged sprint after the last perp.
1. Hand Slap Game – On Deadly Ground (1994)
In one of his more personal movies, and the only one he actually directed himself, Seagal goes absolutely tough guy mind games berserk in this famous hand slap scene. For context, Seagal’s character is a Native American in Alaska up against a giant mining corporation.
In this scene, he witnesses a small town jerk try to get his ire, when Seagal ignores him, he retaliates by picking on an old Native American man, which causes Seagal to lose it. After jumping around the room and kicking most of the butts in it, Seagal calls for a showdown with the goon and proceeds to face-off in the most ultimate game of hand slaps ever made.
Of course, Seagal wins every time, getting in a punch after each slap leaving the thug bloodied and beaten. Then, in a rare moment in any action movie, Seagal’s tough guy beating so resoundly resonates with the guy that he actually apologizes and promises to change for the better. Which is what we have to assume is what Seagal has been trying to get people to understand the whole time, just by usually beating it out of them.
What are your favorite Steven Seagal tough guy scenes? Let us know in the comments!