Weren’t the 80s – 90s a cool time for action films? It was a period where excess was an unwritten rule. CG was still barely in use meaning car crashes and explosions were usually real, action stars were damn near superhuman and the word “terrorist” was used to remove any wrong feeling from shooting people.
Yes, it was the peak of the action film genre and also Hollywood in its most un-PC.
In the midst of all the chaotic explosions and testosterone, was a man that fought his way from martial artist to action superstar (quite literally). Steven Seagal found his calling playing wronged cops and corruption-fighting heroes. His huge claim to fame however, is for his role as ship’s cook Casey Ryback in the blockbuster Under Seige.
To me, “Under Siege” is one of the quinisential 90s action films. The film has not one cliché missing. It has your invincible action star, a helpless girl with awesome breasts, an entire ship of bad guys to plow through, Gary Busey being Gary Busey and the Tommy Lee Jones as the bad guy. You cannot screw that up. It’s statistically impossible.
The thing that makes this film such a standout is it’s need to outdo any film of it’s era. More guns, more deaths, higher stakes and some gratuitous nudity to boot. Why have just one nuke? Make it a whole boat of nukes. Don’t just use a soldier, have a martial artist gun expert navy seal… who also cooks. Under Siege makes a lot of other action films feel like kiddie rides in comparison. Try to remember when watching this film what it’s purpose was, to entertain you for a few hours before going on with your life. No residual thoughts or social commentary, just two hours of mindless fun. It may be campy and ridiculous, but if you go along with it, it’s one hell of a ride.
Have you seen “Under Siege”? What did you think? Comment below.