Die Hard is the greatest action movie ever made. This is not just my opinion, this is the result of an AFI list (American Film Institute). It has everything action movies are supposed to have: great hero, incredible villian, 'splosions, and Reginald VelJohnson. In the 80s, action movies featured insanely larger than life heroes that were almost invincible and totally unrelateable. Then came Die Hard at the end of the 80s and the movie introduction of Bruce Willis, previously only known for TV comedy, some film comedy, and incredible blues harmonica (I love the CD that I have: "the Return of Bruno". His version of Secret Agent Man is wonderful?). Willis's hero was a regular guy trapped in extraordinary circumstances, who did what he could with he had.
Under Siege is entertaining from the word go. Featuring Seagal at his aikido best, and Tommy Lee Jones back was he was less grumpy and more crazy, and Gary Busey back when he was still crazy, but more understandable, the movie also features almost all the extras from Tommy Lee's The Fugitive (repeated viewings of both of these will demonstrate this to you).
Directed by Andrew Davis, who had done several other Seagal movies (as well as The Fugitive in 1993), Under Siege shows Davis's skill with action directing. The ship is a very claustrophobic setting for a movie of this nature, but it is really used well. He clearly had pull with Seagal as he was able to get him to cut his trademark ponytail for this movie!
Seagal is a former Navy Seal (isn't he always), who has a problem with authority (doesn't he always), and is serving as the cook on an aircraft carrier that just so happens to get taken over by Tommy Lee Jones's ragtag group of terrorists. Busey playes the Chief Executive Officer on the ship. Baywatch star(?) Erika Eleniak pops up (literally - she pops out of a cake) for the required PTS in the movie. Incidentally, it was tough being a female fan of action movies during this timeframe, as every single one of them featured a PTS (pointless tit shot). Where were the PCSs for us ladies? We do go to these movies to oogle the hot guys, you know! If we're lucky, we get the attractive male star with his shirt off for a scene or two.
The movie follows one improbable situation to another, as Seagal manges to take back the ship and gradually free all the other crew members. The final knife fight between he and Tommy Lee Jones is very entertaining. Big popcorn fun and some over the top crazy acting result in one of my favorite action movies. Certainly one of the best Seagal movies, if not the best. The movie did well enough to justify a sequel, which was actually pretty good:
8 out of 10....looses multiple points for Eleniak...she is seriously awful. But, gains points for me playing 'identify the extra', which I think is a game only I play.
Bonus Video 1: Fugitive trailer; if you haven't seen it in a while either, you should watch it again, it really is excellent.
Bonus Video 3: I was serious about the blues music thing....