The Siege (1998)

reviewed by
Joy Wyse

Review:                The Siege
Starring:        Denzel Washington
                Annette Bening
                Bruce Willis???
Directed by:        Edward Zwick
Reviewed by:        Joy Wyse

The Siege is one of those movies that should have been better than it is. The concept is very good, but a very weak script keeps it from fulfilling its potential. Also, the casting of the `Stars' greatly affects the plot. To say that the movie stars Bruce Willis is a joke. He appears in exactly 18 scenes, briefly in an opening sequence, and then he doesn't appear again until the second half is well underway. When he does appear, he almost seems to be laughing at the audience, realizing how insignificant his role is. It is one of those roles usually played by a character actor.

The biggest problem seems to be that Hollywood simply doesn't want to make a woman the star of a film like this. If the story had been told from Annette Bening's point of view, it could have been a superior movie. As it is, the viewer is totally confused, even after it's explained. There is no way that I can spoil the ending by revealing what transpires. If anything, it will help you understand what you are seeing. We all know that our government isn't perfect, but we hope that it's better than any other country's way of life. We also know that the FBI, the CIA, the police, the Army, etc. don't tell each other what is happening, and each wants credit for anything good that occurs, but none of them want to take the blame.

The true question asked by The Siege is: What happens when a country such as the United States of America assists a government against their oppressors and then, suddenly withdraws that support? It also makes us take a serious look at constitutional law. As Americans we often take our rights for granted. If you can sift through the sieve [rather the siege] you will find a moral.

There has been a lot of press about ethnic groups who object to the way they are portrayed in the film. I don't think that they have seen the film yet because, it shows how ALL ethnic groups band together here in the USA when a wrong is being done. It is so reminiscent of what happened to the Orientals in California following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I do not want to see this movie again, although I might watch it on TV some night just to try to see if it makes sense to me now. I give it a C-.


The review above was posted to the newsgroup ( for German reviews).
The Internet Movie Database accepts no responsibility for the contents of the review and has no editorial control. Unless stated otherwise, the copyright belongs to the author.
Please direct comments/criticisms of the review to relevant newsgroups.
Broken URLs in the reviews are the responsibility of the author.
The formatting of the review is likely to differ from the original due to ASCII to HTML conversion.

Related links: index of all reviews