Under Siege 01 (1992)


Under Siege is a 1992 American action-thriller film directed by Andrew Davis and written by J. F. Lawton.

It stars Steven Seagal as an ex-Navy SEAL who must stop a group of mercenaries, led by Tommy Lee Jones, on the U.S. Navy battleship USS Missouri.

It is Seagal’s most successful film in critical and financial terms, including two Oscar nominations for sound production. The musical score was composed by Gary Chang.

It was followed by a 1995 sequel, Under Siege 02: Dark Territory.


The battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) arrives at Pearl Harbour, where George H. W. Bush announces that the ship will be decommissioned in California. Casey Ryback, a Chief Petty Officer assigned as a cook, prepares meals in celebration of the birthday of Captain Adams, against the orders of Commander Krill, who is having food and entertainment brought by helicopter. Krill provokes a brawl with Ryback. Unable to imprison Ryback in the brig without clearance from the captain, Krill detains Ryback in a freezer and places Marine Private Nash on guard. A helicopter lands on the ship’s deck with a musical band, along with Playboy Playmate Jordan Tate and a group of caterers who are really a band of mercenaries led by ex-CIA operative William “Bill” Strannix.

Strannix’s forces seize control of the ship with Krill’s help. Several officers are killed, including Captain Adams. The surviving ship’s company are imprisoned in the forecastle, except for some stragglers in unsecured areas. Ryback hears the gunshots and begs Nash to free him; Nash calls the bridge, inadvertently informing Strannix of this loose end. Strannix sends two mercenaries to eliminate Ryback and Nash. Nash is killed, but Ryback kills the assassins, runs into Tate, who was narcotised during the takeover, and reluctantly allows her to tag along.

Strannix and his men take over the ship’s weapon systems, shooting down a jet sent to investigate, and plan on covering their escape by using missiles to obliterate tracking systems in Pearl Harbour. Strannix intends to sell the ship’s Tomahawks by unloading them onto a submarine he previously stole from North Korea, as revenge for the CIA trying to assassinate him prior to the events of the film.

Strannix contacts Admiral Bates at the Pentagon to make demands, but then learns that Ryback has escaped. Krill discovers that Ryback is a former Navy SEAL with extensive training in anti-terrorism tactics. Ryback contacts Bates and is told that the Navy plans to send a SEAL team to retake the ship. He destroys the helicopter on the ship’s flight deck and begins eliminating any hijackers he comes across. To keep the missile-theft plan in place, Krill activates the fire suppression system in the forecastle, leaving the crew members to drown. The terrorists expect that Ryback will try to save his colleagues, and set up an ambush.

Ryback and Tate come upon six imprisoned sailors. Together, they overcome the ambush and shut off the water in the forecastle. Ryback shuts down the Missouri’s weapon systems to allow the incoming Navy SEALs to land, but the submarine crew shoots down the helicopter carrying the Navy SEAL’s with shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The Pentagon responds by ordering an air strike that will sink the Missouri. Strannix regains control of the ship’s weapon systems and loads the Tomahawks onto the submarine. With the aid of a retired World War II gunner’s mate among the rescued sailors, Ryback uses the battleship’s 16 inch guns to sink the submarine, killing Krill and everyone on board.

His plan foiled, Strannix launches two retaliatory nuclear-tipped Tomahawks towards Honolulu. As the sailors recapture the ship, Ryback finds his way into the control room, where he encounters Strannix, and the two engage in a knife fight. Ryback gains the upper hand and kills Strannix, then uses the launch code disk needed to self-destruct the Tomahawk missiles. A jet destroys one of the missiles, and the other is deactivated just in time; the Navy calls off its airstrike.

The remaining crew members are freed as the ship sails towards San Francisco harbour. A funeral ceremony for Captain Adams is held on the deck of the Missouri, showing Ryback saluting the captain’s casket in his formal dress uniform with full decorations.

Film Inspiration

The film was based on an original spec script by J.F. Lawton called Dreadnought which sold for $1 million.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director: Andrew Davis.
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Steven Reuther, and Steven Seagal.
  • Writers: J.F. Lawton.
  • Music: Gary Chang.
  • Cinematography: Frank Tidy.
  • Editor: Don Brochu, Robert A. Ferretti, Dov Hoenig, and Dennis Virkler.
  • Production: Regency Enterprises, Le Studio Canal+, and Alcor Films.
  • Distributor: Warner Bros.
  • Release Date: 09 October 1992 (US).
  • Running Time: 103 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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