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Review Under Siege (1992): Die Hard on a battleship / One of Steven Seagal's best films!

genre: action, thriller






There is no mistaking that this film was trying to cash in on the success of Die Hard. But it's a well made copy since the formula seems to suit Steven Seagal perfectly.

It is actually very enjoyable to see Seagal come into action and kick ass wherever he goes. The cook named Casey Ryback right from the start is a pain in the ass to some of the staff. In particular Gary Busey. And from his many interactions we kinda know that Seagal is not just a cook. I am aware that this take on it is done to emphasize the surprise factor. Still, I do want to point out that there is nothing wrong with being a cook. In my book it's a profession that deserves respect. (Unless you are one of those that lack any creativity or passion for it.) Anyway it is clear that Casey is the John McClane of this story and that he will be fighting off bad guys left and right and eventually will save the day. He gets some unwanted assistance from Erika Eleniak as Jordan Tate who would scream her longs out and thus endanger them otherwise. But as it turns out she has more balls (no pun intended) than Damian Chapa as Tackman and is very useful to Ryback. (Whatever happened to her? Quick google search led me to her what I assume is her Twitter account which seems to be updated regularly. Only am not entirely sure if it is the real Erika. One of the links given does lead to a legit looking site called Cheryl Sabato Artist Management where she appears to be signed on as celebrity. Cheryl BTW is wife of Antonio Sabato Jr. another has been. He showed up at the Republican National Convention where he makes an embarrassment of himself. But I digress. Just wanted to give you this info in case you were wondering.)

Now one thing that I need to point is that I have seen this film a couple of times already and that the suspense element was completely absent for me. But I guess that this could be said for every film that follows the die hard formula. However most of you won't care about the suspense element too much since of course the main draw is the action. And the action of course is top notch. Seagal's style of fighting is a perfect fit for the close quarters combat. Even when at times you simply feel sorry for the bad guys since they obviously are no match for super cook Casey. But it is so much fun to see these ruthless and very capable terrorists get overpowered by this one man. Actually there is one beef I have with this film. All of the events play out on a battleship. These people are supposed to be the best that America has to offer. The toughest and bravest. But it only takes a few soldiers to take them out of commission? Come on. That simply is unbelievable. Hence you are required you suspend disbelief or shut off your brain. 

I have mixed feelings about the bad guys. Especially Tommy Lee Jones. He is not nearly as villainous as he could have been. I mean compared to Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard he is a pussy cat. I hate to say it but his role could have been played by anyone and it would not have mattered one bit. Their super plan also is incredibly unimaginative not to say outrageously stupid. But isn't it always? In the end even this ridiculous plot serves it's purpose just fine and contributes to one of the better Die Hard Clones ever made. If you have not seen this yet then you should. Especially if you need convincing if Steven Seagal also made some good movies in his career. 



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