The Siege (1998)

THE SIEGE is slow-going.  Nifty premise, but it's botched by an 
overcomplicated script.  The result is an overload of information  
that's neither affecting nor even that thought-provoking.  (Mes-
sage to the filmmakers:  Keep It Simple, Stupid.)  Denzel Washing-
ton is his usual dramatically intense self, while Annette Bening 
adds some spunk as a slutty CIA spy/agent/covert-something.  As 
the Army General who leads the title event, Bruce Willis is... 
Bruce Willis.  (His character seems to have stepped out of anoth-
er, more testosterone-rich flick.)  Eh, the pyrotechnics are good, 
the stock situations comfortable, and dem are real APCs rumbling 
through the streets of Brooklyn.  Some of the smaller details are 
priceless:  a city bus backfires and everybody takes cover; a ter-
rorist is interrupted at a school because "one of the moms was 
carrying a gun."  Too bad the script presumes familiarity with all 
matters Constitutional.  I was left with a million questions, the 
least of which was:  can't the Army do whatever the Hell it wants 
while enforcing martial law?  Including torturing prisoners??  
With a good turn from Tony Shaloub.  Edward Zwick (COURAGE UNDER 
FIRE, LEGENDS OF THE FALL) directs.  (Rated "R"/118 min.)
Grade: C

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: November 16, 1998

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