Steven Seagal in Under Siege (1992)

Hell's Kitchen Seagal Style

With the USS Missouri heading to be decommissioned it finds itself in trouble when Cmdr. Krill (Gary Busey) sneaks aboard a group of terrorists who take control of the ship and plan to steal the nuclear missiles in order to sell them to the highest bidder. But what they didn't count on was ships cook Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) as unbeknown to everyone he is a Navy Seal serving out his time aboard the Missouri. Discovering that Krill and former special ops agent Stranix (Tommy Lee Jones) are running the ship, Ryback becomes a one man army as he sets out to stop them from stealing the weapons.

Coming relatively early on in Steven Seagal's career "Under Siege" is one of his better movies with its "Die Hard" style storyline. But whilst it is one of Seagal's better movies and to be honest it is entertaining to watch, in a no brainer way, "Under Siege" does end up feeling weak compared to similar "Die Hard" style movies which see a hero take on a group of terrorists single handedly. As such it delivers everything which you expect; some humour, plenty of action, over the top bad guys and a beautiful young woman in Erika Eleniak to stop it from just being all men but there is nothing more.

Gary Busey, Tommy Lee Jones, Erika Eleniak and Colm Meaney in Under Siege (1992)

In truth even when you watch "Under Siege" wanting to be entertained by some action escapism it is all a bit far fetched. That comes from various things be it Gary Busey in a dress, Tommy Lee Jones as a rocker and Erika Eleniak bursting out of a cake. But the biggest far fetched parts and in many ways the most entertaining, although some might suggest Erika Eleniak's cake scene is the best, are the scenes where Ryback channels his inner "MacGyver" to take down bad guys with a mix of martial arts and adhoc bombs using kitchen equipment. As I said it is entertaining when he uses a microwave to take down the bad guys but also kind of ridiculous.

But to be fair "Under Siege" knows what it is and is unapologetic in being escapist fun for those who enjoy Steven Seagal kicking bad guy's butts. As such we have action comedy, cheesy comedy, corny comedy and plenty of one liners. But this mix of action and wise cracks is what the audience this movie is made for want as is the scene where a topless Erika Eleniak bursts out of an over sized cake. Yes "Under Siege" is not fine art although it may surprise you that it was nominated for not one but two Oscars.

Here though is the big thing about "Under Siege" and that is in a career which is coming up to 40 years this remains one of Steven Seagal's best movies. Okay so Seagal does what he has done in many a movie over the years which is try to act cool, tough and fearless whilst barely breaking a sweat when it comes to punching someone's lights out but compared to his later out put of movies this is so much better.

What this all boils down to is that "Under Siege" is an entertaining movie and one of the better movies which Steven Seagal has made. But when compared to similar movies which see one man saving the day against some terrorists it is weaker in almost every department, from the script through to the action.