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The One-Line Summary: On the final voyage of the U.S.S. Missouri before being decommissioned, a helicopter lands with a musical band, an emcee, caterers and a Playboy Playmate in celebration of the captain’s birthday, but are, aside from the girl, a group of ex-military mercenaries who plan to steal the warship’s missiles and scuttle the vessel with a fool-proof plan that, unfortunately for them, doesn’t include dealing with the ship’s chef who might not be what he seems to be.
The Two-Line Blurb: Directed by Andrew Davis, Under Siege is a mindless action adventure film that works surprisingly well, due to its inspired casting, clever story, excellent pacing, fight sequences, and a hero we want to follow. Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey as the two lead villains are at their best as they face off against Segal in what is widely considered his greatest effort, bringing together a supremely satisfying thriller with enough laughs and charm to make this a must-see film.
The Three-Line Set-up: Not on good terms with Commander Krill (Busey), Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) is locked in the kitchen’s storage locker for the captain’s birthday party, which works out well for the chef when the assault begins, though once Krill, who is in on the heist, and William “Bill” Strannix, an ex-CIA agent, realize that they’ve forgotten the cook, they decide that locked up isn’t enough and send two henchmen down to kill him and the Private they left to guard the door. This turns out to be the first of many mistakes the mercenaries make when contending with Ryback, who is actually a highly-skilled former Navy S.E.A.L. that easily subdues and eliminates the lesser trained killers. When they don’t report back, Stannix and Krill bring a team down to the galley to investigate.
The Four-Line Moment: The men enter a dark kitchen, a situation Krill says in not uncommon, but after flipping on the power, discover a body with a tactical military knife in his neck, indicating to Strannix that whomever killed the man is a professional. This upsets him as he was under the impression he had full knowledge of all the personnel on the boat, though Krill holds fast that the cook is just a cook and must have gotten lucky. That’s when the microwave oven beside them begins to count down and Strannix realizes that what’s inside isn’t leftovers but a homemade bomb. The device explodes, taking out a few bad guys and teaching Krill and Strannix that it’s going to take a little more effort to get their plan in motion and reveals to us that the hero of this story has got a few tricks up his sleeve.
The Five-Word Review: Fun action film with style.