Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's Die Hard on a battleship. This time, instead of John McClane; we get a cook. The cook? Well, he's Casey Ryback. He has a Cajun cooking style, he's handy with a knife, and he knows Kendo. When his ship is taken over by a renegade former CIA operative, it's up to Casey to save the day. Under Siege could possibly be Steven Seagal's shinning moment. He owns the role of Casey. He might be missing his signature ponytail due to Navy regulations, but he's still the man. Along for the ride are Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey as the baddies. It's from the director of The Fugitive, and it features non-stop action, stripper cake, and Gary Busey in drag.
I've seen Under Siege too many times to count. Back in the day I watched it for three reasons: Steven Seagal's awesomeness, Cue Ball's dancing, and Erika Eleniak's boobs. Today, I watch it for Steven Seagal's awesomeness, Cue Ball's dancing, and Erika Eleniak's boobs. See, some things never change. However, I also get a kick outta Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey acting loco, the music of Jimi Hendrix, the fact Erika Eleniak plays Miss July 1989, when in fact she really was Playboy's Miss July 1989, Tuco from Breaking Bad as a good guy, slimy Nick Mancuso as the CIA figurehead, a rock band that's really a bunch of terrorists, Aaron from 24, the one fella from Blood In Blood Out, that one Star Trek guy, and the big black guy that likes to eat raw meat. As you can tell, I enjoy this movie, a lot.
I feel sorry for those who don't remember Steven Seagal before he got fat. He's the motherfucker in Under Siege. He's running around shooting fuckers in the face, ripping out throats, setting microwaveable boobie traps, blowing up submarines, knife fighting, head stabbing, and engaging in Playmate tongue action. Hell, he single handily kills a fuck load of baddies. If I had a dollar for every baddie he killed; I'd almost have enough money to renew my Letterboxd Patron membership.
While Steven Seagal does all the things you would expect Steven Seagal to do; it's Tommy Lee Jones that's the real game changer. He's fuckin' nuts. Tommy's William Stranix is one of the best final baddies this side of Hans Gruber. His "Who's the highest ranking officer in the room" question and what comes next, is one of the most memorable moments in 90's action cinema. He gives it his all. He holds nothing back, and I honestly believe he deserved a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Also, Gary Busey gives one of his top 3 performances. I would say only his Mr. Joshua in Lethal Weapon, and Pappas in Point Break are a tad bit better. I also think it's cool as fuck Under Siege was nominated for two Oscars. (Best Sound and Best Effects.)
Under Siege isn't perfect. Besides the main baddies, the rest are like red shirts from Star Trek. They're forgettable and die quick. A few just disappear, and you never learn their fates. Miss July starts out annoying, but I did like how her character gradually developed. The government war room guys got on my nerves, except for Dale Dye. Everything is pretty much predictable, but you don't really care at the end. Under Siege is a helluva adrenaline rush, and I still love it. Recommended for fans of Steven Seagal, Tommy Lee Jones, Die Hard concept movies, and Playboy Playmates that jump out of cakes.