Tuesday, November 17, 1998

Movie Review: The Siege

I went to see this yesterday afternoon at a theater by my apartment. It was a warm day, compared to the 45 degree days I had been dealing with for the past week or so, so I walked the 20 minutes to the theater. After forking over $8.75 (no bargain matinées on Sundays), I grabbed some popcorn and a Coke and got a good seat (center/center). It was a pretty decent theater - United Artists, I think - with one of those wide, slightly concave screens. Digital stereo sound, too. Sat through some silly previews; I don't even remember what they were for. Then the movie started.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure I expected all that much. The only hint I had that this wasn't going to be some run-of-the-mill action movie was that it was directed by Edward Zwick (Glory, Courage Under Fire). To be sure, The Siege was no run-of-the-mill action movie. It's a clever political/action thriller, more along the lines of Clear and Present Danger and Hunt for Red October than, say, Air Force One or Executive Decision. It addresses issues like holy wars, racism, constitutional rights, military occupation, CIA interrogation methods, etc., plus there are a few ass kicking moments to boot. The bombings are extraordinarily well-done and shocked even me, a desensitized lout. Denzel Washington plays an FBI agent who works with and sometimes against Annette Bening's CIA agent. Bruce Willis' pivotal role as the general in charge of the siege was not fleshed out enough, I think, and was a bit one-dimensional, though they did try.

Overall, I was very surprised and would see it again in a second. Even for $8.75.

I think I'm going to see Meet Joe Black on Tuesday, but just because of the Star Wars prequel preview they're showing before and after the flick. I'll let you know.


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