Norwegian body building champ Daniel Stisen, who made quite the impact in last year’s action fest Last Man Down is back and flexing his rather large biceps as a mercenary assassin in his newest starring vehicle The Siege. Stisen is a specimen to say the least and literally owns the screen every second he’s on camera with his forbidding and formidable presence. Stisen gives off an Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime vibe and even though The Siege is familiar material, it’s a fun watch with enough hard R rated action in its last hour ti satisfy even the most jaded action cinema fan.
The plot for the movie tells the story of Walker who is an elite assassin working for a clandestine operation. When an agent is compromised in the field, as Walker is at the beginning during a hit, they are sent to an agency back site to procure a new identity.
Unfortunately for Walker and the other clients and guards, a ruthless team of mercs (is there any other kind?) infiltrate said Black site on a mission to obtain a very important person who their boss (played by a gleefully sneering Byron Gibson) has lost.
Now Walker must team up with an equally ruthless hit woman named Elda (Lauren Okadigbo) to survive the night and run a gauntlet of fiercely trained killers with firepower and fisticuffs.
Let me go on record in saying once again that The Siege, helmed by Brad Watson, doesn’t bring anything new to the plot table but an action fan like myself can care less as after the story is established, the film hits the ground running with relentless fights and violence with Stisen’s Walker grunting his lines with fierce gravitas as he systematically eliminates the squad of killers with the help of assassin Elda.
Stisen is the star but the film does give Okadigbo plenty to do and she steals the show on every altercation she’s in. Okadigbo is fluid and fierce in her fight scenes and it’s a joy to watch her do her thing as she hardly breaks a sweat as she methodically punches, kicks and shoots everything in sight. She definitely has a future in this genre and I do hope to see more of her. She also gets one ferocious fight with Black Site’s Samantha Schnitzler that is a show stopper. Schnitzler is another raw action talent that certainly deserves to be utilized more and as mercenary Keates, she gets a little moment to shine.
Make no mistake though as Stisen does what he does best and that’s flex his physique in every action sequence as he brings a crescendo of pain unlike anything else in his scenes. Stisen definitely looks comfortable in the action star role and I love his dead pan delivery during the movie’s quieter moments. I also find it refreshing that Stisen’s characters aren’t perfect and here Walker does get to take his lumps as well. Heroes and Anti-Heroes are human after all and it makes it more believable.
The Siege is another film in the Die Hard clone group but for the life of me, I can’t get enough of these types of films. You know what you’re going to get from the trailer and if you enjoy action films with little thought and massive action then here ya go! Is the movie title generic? Of course but who the hell cares.
The action sequences are treated with respect and the choreography is a step above other DTV titles with a brutal flare that is sorely missed nowadays. There’s equal parts firefights and beatdowns and Watson gives us what we want which is a hulking action star taking out the trash and a female co-star who keeps up every step of the way. When your action star kills bad guys while chomping on a stogie, you know you’re in for a violently wonderful time.
The action is confined to the black site although there are a few scenes outside and while the movie takes place over one night, it moves fast and packs as much in as it can in its short 97 minute running time.
You’ll probably read some negative reviews that will pick apart Stisen’s acting or the weak plot but if you get what this movie is going for then set aside the negatives and buckle up. Movies like The Siege make no excuses for what they are and that’s pure adrenaline and bloody go for broke tropes.
Overall, Daniel Stisen improves on his earlier role in Last Man Down and he has the look of an 80’s action star that is larger than life. He has fun with who his characters are and is most happy when he’s pummeling hapless bad guys into submission.
Lauren Okadigbo runs away with her role and she’s exciting to watch as well. She brings a fresh intensity to her fight scenes and once again, I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t headline her own film in the future or at the very least get another opportunity to showcase her high-octane talents.
The Siege is as advertised and that’s a macho laced, adrenaline pumping kill fest with ample amounts of politically incorrect violence to compete with other films. I had a good time with this one and will be anxiously awaiting Stisen’s next ode to brutality on the future. Just simply check your brain in when you hit the play button and enjoy all the bloodlust this one has to offer. The tagline reads “Unleash Hell” and that’s what fans get with this one and quite frankly, that’s all one can ask for.
3.5 Out of 5 Stars
Daniel Stisen gives Schwarzenegger in his prime a run for his money in the movie that’s equal parts beatdown and firepower. A brutal good time will be had.
THE SIEGE hits theaters March 10 and will be available On Demand and Digital March 14 from Saban Films.
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