As you can tell by the title Under Siege came out 29 years ago in 1992, and it is the only Seagal film Jamie saw in the cinema. I remember seeing it on VHS and was astounded when we realised how old it is. We are enjoying watching old school films that came out when we were younger and now we have the eye of more mature cinephiles we find we are getting more from them.
When it was released it was being compared to Die Hard for its storyline of a battleship being taken over by terrorists and one man can save the day.
The first thing we can say about Under Siege is it definitely has more of a studio blockbuster feel to it than Seagals previous work. We feel it is his most rewatchable film and coincidentally the only one of his movies that has spawned a sequel. His character is more likeable and his performance feels a lot more natural than other works he has been in.
( As a side note Jamie and I also think he has, in his career, had some of the best names for his characters and Casey Ryback is up there.)
Like all good action films the plot is simple and easy to follow, and the action sequences are well staged. The standout for us is the final knife fight between Seagal and Tommy Lee Jones. We both think, in that era, Kali style knife work was not seen a lot in western films and this sequence brought along something new to the table.
The supporting cast for this is outstanding with Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones playing the main villains. Busey uses his smile to great effect and plays his character with an understated presence which is in danger of flipping at any moment. Jones is magnetic, every time he is onscreen you are drawn to him no matter what else is going on. As with Busey, his portrayal of a man who is in control but could go off at any time is spot on.
If we had to recommend a Steven Seagal film to start on, this would be the one.