ABC Film Challenge – 90s Movies – G – The Glimmer Man (1996) Movie Review


The Glimmer Man – Seagal Unleashed

Director: John Gray

Writer: Kevin Brodbin (Screenplay)

Starring: Steven Seagal, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Bob Gunton, Brian Cox, John M Jackson, Michelle Johnson

Plot: Two cops are forced to work together to solve a chain of mysterious killings by a killer nicknamed “The Family Man”.

Tagline – LAPD Lieutenants Cole and Campbell are on a serial killer’s trail – and in each other’s way!

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Glimmer Man starts when Lt Jack Cole (Seagal) moves to LA, taking up a role working with Detective Jim Campbell (Wayans) as the pair are assigned to looking a serial killer known as ‘The Family Man’ who kills and leaves their victims in a religious ritual position.

As the investigation continues, Jack finds himself clashing with Frank Deverell (Gunton) who has control over the police, while the mystery about his appearance in the city plays a part in looking for the truth about the serial killer.

Thoughts on The Glimmer Man

Characters & Performances – LT Jake Cole moves to LA, transferring to the LAPD, he has a secret past that his new partner doesn’t know about and wants to learn more about, even if he is coming off like a calm peaceful officer, one that plays by the rules and wants to solve any crime he sees, when he is pushed he will unleash a deadly fighting side, which will see him leave countless bodies in his way, using his shady connections to find the truth. Steven Seagal gets to play a role that is everything you would expect to see him play, he gets to keep his calm side of the performance, while ending up letting his action side shine during the fight scenes. Detective Jim Campbell is the local that gets assigned to work with Jake, he doesn’t want to get to know each other personally and isn’t as open minded to the ideas of Jake’s, even though he ends up trying them out, he is hiding his sensitive side from the world, always trying to prove he is a real man. Keenen Ivory Wayans works well in this role, this does have more comedy side to everything, but he doesn’t ever hit the full-blown comedy that could have been given to give the film more laughs. Frank Deverell is the powerful man that is looking to cover up his stepson’s actions, which will only lead to him losing the power he once had over the police force, forcing his hand against the pair of cops. Bob Gunton does make this character work well, as we know he will bring a well-spoken character to life with ease. Mr Smith is the connections that Jake has, a connection that will hold secrets to his past, secrets that could expose just how dangerous he is. Brian Cox is everything we want in this role, well-spoken and blunt through each of his interactions.

StoryThe story here follows a pair of new partners in the police force looking to track down a serial killer, only to find themselves getting caught up in something much bigger that will see themselves targeted by the criminals behind some of the murders. This is a story that uses the ideas of how serial killers could capture the attention of other criminals that could use their kills for their own benefits, which is interesting, while being disappointing at the same time, as we don’t get much into the investigation of the serial killer, focusing more on the battle of power between the men at the top. We do have to go through what could be a series of attempted twists in looking for the truth, which will see the bigger picture being unfolded slowly, which will keep us guessing to the true motivation behind everything, only the final reveal isn’t hinted through the film.

ThemesThe Glimmer Man does give us a film that could be investigating a serial killer, but ends up falling flat, because it turns into a bigger political actions going on, while we do get to highlight how Steven Seagal is happy to get involved in the action sequences, the hand to hand combat scenes being the highlight of the film. IMDB does suggest this to be a comedy, but if it is, it does miss a lot, despite Keenen Ivory Wayans trying to get a laugh with lines along the way. The big city setting of LA does help for the film, showing how different criminal activities could happen around the city.

Best Parts

Steven Seagal fighting scenes.


Not focusing on the serial killer

The comedy missing too often

Final Thoughts The Glimmer Man is an action film that lets Seagal unleash his fighting skills, even if the story can get lost along the way.

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