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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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    Under Siege

    Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 92 mins . M15+ . PAL


    Orson Welles had Citizen Kane. Krzysztof Kieslowski had Three Colours: Blue. Steven Spielberg has Schindler's List. And Steven Seagal has Under Siege, universally acknowledged as the pony-tailed one's best film by a country mile.

    I won't bother with a plot synopsis, as everybody with an interest in action cinema knows that Under Siege is another Die Hard variant (read: rip-off) wherein Seagal plays a chef aboard a nuclear warship hijacked by terrorists (led by bad dudes par excellence Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey). He's the right guy in the wrong place at the wrong time; but luckily he's a former Navy SEAL and extraordinarily lethal military legend who's only slumming it in the kitchen because of a dispute with a callous superior.

    The author of the cover blurb deserves a medal for his literary acrobatics...

    "...Steven Seagal comes aboard and comes on strong... the visitors throw a party. A war party!... he's a cook with a recipe for action... all hands on deck, action fans!"

    Well, it made me laugh.


    Anyways, this is a classy action flick from Andrew Davis, the helmer of The Fugitive and Seagal's debut, Nico: Above the Law. Erika Eleniak, a former Baywatch babe, gives a performance that would make David Hasselhoff cringe in the worst written female role since... well, ever (after she exposes her breasts in the most hilariously gratutuitous manner ever devised by a Hollywood action film scripter, there's really nothing for her to do except stare longingly at our hero).

    The bad guys are suitably evil, the explosions suitably explosive, Seagal racks up possibly his biggest body count ever, and the combat is as brutal and excessive as you'd expect. What more could an action junkie ask for?


    The film is presented close to its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16x9 enhanced 1.78:1 vision. It's certainly the best picture of the four films available in The Steven Seagal Collection 1988-1992 box set, but then it is the most recent and the most expensive too. There are no real problems here at all, so you can view the bloodletting and limb breaking in gloriously sharp detail.


    The Dolby 5.1 score is very good indeed. Bass-heavy and immersive, with the subwoofer given plenty of opportunities to do its thang, this is what an action film should sound like. And unlike the other films in the box set, this film has a interesting and effective score which adds a real sense of menace and excitement. No squealing '80s guitar licks here...


    None, darn it.


    Under Siege is Steven Seagal's best film. Whether that turns you on or not is something that this review won't influence. But if you like your cinema nonsensical, fast-paced and sadistic - and I know I do - you won't find much better.

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      And I quote...
    "Orson Welles had Citizen Kane. Krzysztof Kieslowski had Three Colours: Blue. Steven Spielberg has Schindler's List. And Steven Seagal has Under Siege, universally acknowledged as the pony-tailed one's best film by a country mile."
    - Terry Oberg
      Review Equipment
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          Palsonic DVD3000
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    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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