After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft 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 Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City.Written by
Karen Eiler <email@example.com>
Bruce Willis was welcomed to the Pentagon where he received a crash course in briefings and information that, while unclassified, did give him a sense of what General Devereaux would deal with, both in general, and in the event of a major national crisis. See more »
The events of the film take place in 1998, 3 years after the detonation of an explosive-laden truck in Oklahoma City. While many federal buildings were already constructed and could not be set back from a thoroughfare by the 100 foot minimum to prevent or minimize future terrorist attacks, ALL had anti-ramming posts, pillars and planters installed.
The van shown in the film could not have penetrated these barriers and thus the explosion would have taken place OUTSIDE the building, rather than inside of the lobby. There would have been heavy damage to the structure; however its total collapse as shown in the film likely would not have occurred. See more »
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard:
[conversing with Elise]
You think I want to lose them? You think I'm in the losing people business, huh? If I don't take them out properly, they hit the streets in two hours! I don't care if I find semtex, plutonium, dynamite; self-lighting charcoal briquettes! Without the right warrant, they walk.
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Some post-2001 versions have the World Trade Center digitally removed from the New York skyline. See more »
First You Cry
Written by Buddy Flett and David Egan
Performed by Little Buster And The Soul Brothers
Courtesy of Rounder Records
by arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group See more »
One of the Effects of Cinematic Media: Reaction
Watching the 1998 THE SIEGE in 2007 and then rolling through all the reviews of this film from the time of release to the present is a lesson in the power of the cinema. The obvious initial response was less about the film as a film than about the manner in which the FBI, CIA, Military, Terrorists, and public responded to the unimaginable: shouts of protests about 'glorification of occult terrorists', the Hollywood idea of the impossible happening, and the criticism of the fine cast of actors who steeped into roles 'beyond swallowing' are all here in these reviews.
Now, six years after 9/11 reviewers are taking a different view, though most still find the film pompous and obnoxious. Offensive versus defensive. And after viewing the movie as a movie it is gratifying to know that people feel strongly and are vocal about the depiction of the 'war against terrorism' we continue to lose. Movies that make people think and talk are valuable, and in that light the film is more successful than initially considered.
Yes, there are gaping holes in the script and the plot and the concept, but as a little thriller it maintains our attention throughout and offers some fine moments from actors such as Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Tony Shalhoub, Bruce Willis, Sami Bouajila, Ahmed Ben Larby, Aasif Mandvi among others. And then there are the panoramas of New York City under siege with the Twin Towers standing mightily in the cityscape... It begs the question: if scriptwriter Lawrence Wright and director Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, Courage Under Fire, Glory, Leaving Normal, Legends of the Fall, etc) were thinking along these lines and finding flaws in our intelligence forces, why weren't the leaders in Washington, DC in tune with 'absurd possibilities'? It makes one think - and that is the best thing about this film. Grady Harp
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