Denzel Washington, Annette Bening and Bruce Willis star in this controversial action thriller. The Siege got a bad reception upon its release, many American-Arabs boycotted the film, claiming that it was outrageously offensive, and depicted Muslims as terrorists in an extremely distasteful way. It also got a lot of attention when 9/11 came about, despite it being three years after its release; the film was prescient in some ways. Such as the Islamic terrorists that were bombing US government buildings.
The Siege did reasonably well at the box-office, particularly its opening weekend, however many claim that it was due to there being the highly anticipated Star Wars: episode 1 The Phantom Menace teaser trailer attached to it. Apparently legions of Star Wars fans flocked to see the film, and when they’d seen the trailer simply left the cinema.
After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington), the head of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by General Devereaux (Bruce Willis), into the streets of New York City. This leads to mass panic, and a race against the clock to find those responsible, and the finale has some great unsuspecting twists that will keep you guessing.
I found the plot of The Siege to be very intriguing, and I thought that both Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis were both adequate and did what was expected of them. Having said that, at close to two hours long the film just wasn’t good enough to keep me entertained. There was a lot of over acting present, as well as a lot of far-fetched stupidity towards the end. The ending was quite frankly terrible, it looked as though it was forced there because they felt it was essential, rather than go with what was best for the film.
I thought that despite an interesting storyline, it wasn’t delivered as it should have been, and all The Siege did was frustrate me. I didn’t like it that much to be honest, it had a lot of potential wasted on what they thought Hollywood wanted.