1992’s Under Siege is that rarest of things, a good Steven Seagal movie. It’s oft described as being ‘Die Hard on a boat’ and that’s not an entirely unfair description.
Except it’s not as good as Die Hard.
Mostly because it has Steven Seagal in the lead role rather than Bruce Willis.
Furthermore, while Seagal’s character, Casey Ryback, shares a similar fate to Willis’ John McClane insofar as he is unexpectedly caught up in a situation where only he can defeat a load of bad guys who have taken everyone else hostage, he does seem to be slightly more equipped to cope with the situation being an ex-navy seal (who for fairly spurious reasons now works as a chef) rather than an off duty New York cop.
Indeed he dispatches henchmen with consummate ease for the most part and there seems little doubt that he will, eventually, save the day.
The action sequences are fine, but the story is predictable and formulaic, and Seagal does very little to enhance the movie. It’s probably his finest on screen performance and he’s basically OK at best.
What does raise Under Siege above the realms of bog-standard Die Hard rip-off is the performance of the villains. And that is villains plural. If you can’t have Alan Rickman playing the antagonist then Tommy-Lee Jones is not a bad substitute. But good as he is, the plaudits really go to Gary Busey whose manic performance as the sociopathic Krill means he steals just about every scene he’s in.
Under Siege is not likely to change your life if you’ve never seen it, but as nineties action movies go, it’s worth a watch.