October 9, 2017
Ahoy, Mateys! All hands on deck for one of the movies that bid a fond farewell to one of the finest beauties on the seven seas, the U.S.S. Missouri. Today’s timber-shivering retrospective is on 1992’s “Under Siege“, directed by Andrew Davis and written by J.F. Lawton. This movie happens to be one of the better action movies of this golden era of action movies, and one of the last. It is good enough to have earned the moniker of Action Thriller, and I think it accurately fulfills the promise of that title.
The movie lead is Steven Seagal, who brings his signature Aikido moves to this movie to make a thrilling adventure. His Aikido technique really is a beautiful thing to behold. It’s so fluid and makes its own movie magic.
Seagal plays a ship’s cook on the Missouri, with a special past, which will come into play to make him the premier action hero for this movie. His special past is hinted at early on in the movie, only to be fully on display later in the action.
One of the things that makes this movie so good are its bad guys, played by terrific actors. We’re talking about Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones. These guys are so, so fun in this movie, and a good bad guy makes the movie. Here, you get two for the price of one! There are other bad guys, and they are all pretty fun to watch.
As a matter of fact, you get a pretty great ensemble film in addition to an action thriller with this one. In addition to the two great bad guys, you also get Troy Evans, Raymond Cruz, and Bernie Casey. Patrick O’Neal brings a stately elegance as the ship’s captain. Erika Eleniak is brought in as an exotic dancer who ends up as the hero’s mule. She actually grows a bit as the action continues, from a sea-sick introspective dancer who has always relied on her good looks to becoming a valuable part of the hero’s core group of good guys and finding her own confidence.
Of course, one could easily argue that the real star of the show is the U.S.S. Missouri. This ship looks beautiful and it is fun to move the action to such an unusually industrial and mechanical setting.
“Under Siege” is an action movie, and should therefore not be taken too seriously, but it is seriously fun. Two deck guns up!