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Sudden Death vs Under Siege

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Which do you prefer?
40.00%
6 votes
Sudden Death
40.00%
6 votes
Under Siege
20.00%
3 votes
Hate them both
15 votes. You may not vote on this poll




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My copy of Sudden Death finally came in the mail yesterday, and after taking it in last night, I saw plenty of similarities between it and Under Siege (obvious ones anyway). The lone, disgraced hero, the Die Hard type plot, the marvellous villains. So anyway, which do you prefer of the two?



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I give them both
, and those aren't camp ratings! So, I guess the poll should have "Love Them Both".
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I saw Under Siege in the theater when it came out. I will take Seagal over Van Damme anyday.
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As for my opinion on the two:



Under Siege is one of my top favourite films. It's a relentlessly entertaining, Die Hard-type action film that doesn't really push the boundaries of the genre, but doesn't sink to the bottom of the action sinkhole, like Executive Decision (which also stars Seagal, albeit briefly) or Die Hard 4.0. I love it to death, and I've rewatched it endlessly. It's quite a bit of fun watching Steve take out terrorists on a boat, and if you ask anyone what their favourite Seagal film is, it's usually Under Siege (unless they're not a fan, and choose that piece of s--t Executive Decision).

Sudden Death was released three years after, with Jean Claude Van Damme as Darren McCord, a disgraced firefighter who becomes a one man army after a team of terrorists take his daughter and the Vice President of The United States Of America hostage... in an owner's box at a hockey game. When I heard the plot, it sounded like a recipe for some great turn off your brain fun. I'm not much of a JCVD fan, but Sudden Death is not only his best film to date, but his only film I really like at all. A lot of the film is completely implausible, but that's most of the fun. Hell, there's a scene where JCVD takes on goalie duties for the Pittsburgh Penguins.



I think both films have their fair share of flaws in their execution and creative choices. They both unashamedly rip off almost every action film before them, for one thing. And it's pretty easy to see that Steven Seagal has very little acting talent. Jean Claude has a little more than he does, actually giving an ok performance as McCord, but still isn't much chop. Out of the two, I'd rather watch Steven in Under Siege, but points go to JCVD for actually trying to act like he's in danger in most of his scenes. Seagal (and the viewer) knows he's going to win before he actually has. So Under Siege doesn't require much effort to watch, and that's why it remains such a great comfort film for me. But out of the two, I'd say JCVD gives a better acting job, but Seagal's pretentious dialogue delivery puts him over the top. I actually enjoy both of their dialogue delivery (JCVD's awkward French accent), but Seagal comes off as a smug bastard. And I still love the guy.



I also think both Under Siege and Sudden Death's greatest strength lies in the casting for their primary villains. Tommy Lee Jones is immensely over the top as Bill Strannix, a disillusioned former CIA agent working with Gary Busey's arseholish turncoat officer Commander Krill. I've always thought that Jones and Busey were better villains than Under Siege actually deserves, and their public image was probably the reason why the film became so commercially successful. And, honestly, no matter what your opinion on the film is, you have to admit that Jones and Busey are pretty damn good in their roles. Critically and commercially, this is Steven Seagal's best film, but it's not really his film, is it?

Powers Boothe is, to me, what elevates Sudden Death to being so enjoyable. If you've seen Sudden Death, you know what I'm talking about. Giving probably the best performance in a Die Hard ripoff ever, Boothe plays Joshua Foss, another disillusioned, intelligent CIA agent who's equally ruthless and menacing. Boothe, who I was already a fan of from Deadwood, has become one of my favourite cinematic villains of all time, and adds a lot of class to what could've been a standard Jean Claude film without him.

I think out of the two films, I prefer Sudden Death's premise (an idea from the wife of the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins), but I think Andrew Davis' directorial style is more suited to an action film like Under Siege, more so than Peter Hyams' stilted shooting. Andrew Davis films his sequences in a more slick, frenetic manner, moreso than Hyams' small scale, nothing-less-than-competent job. I'm not saying Hyam does a bad job with Sudden Death, just not a very impressive one. Still, it's at least competent.

Overall, they're both great movies in my eyes. As evidenced by my top ten, I love Under Siege, but I also love Sudden Death. They both represent the best of not only JCVD and Seagal, but also of Peter Hyams (his most enjoyable film by far) and Andrew Davis. But Under Siege just pips the competition, predictably. It's my ultimate comfort film. I've got plenty of time for it, and it's easily rewatchable.

Wow, I did ramble on for a bit, didn't I? And about a JCVD/Steven Seagal double feature, at that! Sorry if I wasted your time, but it's sole purpose was to offer up my opinion, and I think that was acheived.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
First off, I think that Andrew Davis' best film is The Fugitive and that Peter Hyams' best is Capricorn One, but I certainly enjoy both of these. The other thing which is really interesting to me is how perhaps the best scene in both films takes place in a kitchen.



Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
I also love The Fugitive, even I think Tommy Lee Jones was much, much better in Under Siege, Natural Born Killers, JFK & even Batman Forever. But I still love him in The Fugitive, which Harrison Ford signed up for because he was so impressed with Davis' job with Under Siege.

I actually haven't seen much of Hyams' work. I think I might have seen Time Cop and Outlander, but can't remember much of them. I also like End Of Days, which everyone seems to hate.

You're right about the kitchen part, even though my personal favourite scene in Under Siege is the cheesy "I'm just the cook" line.



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Wow for some reason I still haven't seen Under Siege. And that's despite being a huge fan of action films. Did just tape it recently though so will definitely give it a go finally.

Sudden Death however is great stuff! But then I do love a bit of Van Damme nonsense, also owning the following on DVD - Death Warrant, TimeCop, Hard Target, Universal Soldier and Bloodsport.



Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Wow for some reason I still haven't seen Under Siege. And that's despite being a huge fan of action films. Did just tape it recently though so will definitely give it a go finally.

Sudden Death however is great stuff! But then I do love a bit of Van Damme nonsense, also owning the following on DVD - Death Warrant, TimeCop, Hard Target, Universal Soldier and Bloodsport.
Definitely see it. I'd recommend it to you, especially since you're a fan of Die Hard and those other Van Damme films.

And Prestige, how could you not like that knife fight at the end?



I would go for under siege!



Under Siege is my favorite of the two. I agree with TylerDurden99 that having Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey as the baddies in the film was inspired casting and they easily steal the film from Seagal, although he is good here and this is definitely his best film, IMO. While he is not a great thespian, Seagal does have a strong screen presence and is intense enough to obliterate his own kidney stones (should he have them).

Also, this was probably the best of the "Die Hard-in-a-choose-your-location" movies to come out after the original DH (outside of that film's own sequels). I even enjoyed Under Siege 2 a lot, story and coincidences aside in the film. The action was aces.

I liked Sudden Death quite a bit, and, again, like TylerDurden99, view Powers Boothe's bad guy as the main reason for the film working. I do enjoy Van Damme in the movie, but Powers Boothe is one of my favorite actors and this is his movie, really. So, in the end, Under Siege for the win.
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Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Yeah, I also loved Under Siege 2. I was expecting a cheap, trashy sequel, but it turned out to be pretty damn enjoyable. Along with the first, it's the best Seagal has to offer, though On Deadly Ground is hilarious.



Oh man, On Deadly Ground! I call that one "Billy Jack Goes to Alaska." All the speechifying, oy! Especially in the bar/saloon, where he defends the Inuits from the bully *cough*Billy Jack*cough* and instead of just giving the guy (Mike Starr) a beatdown, beats him, then gets him to realize the error of his ways with some awkwardly-written and acted lines about "the measure of a man" or some such. And Michael Caine chewing up the scenery as the oil magnate with slick-black hair (get it...oil..get it?). Still, it is great cheese.



Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
I love the part where he states he doesn't want to resort to violence and proceeds to spend the rest of the film beating, shooting, stabbing and blowing up everything in sight.

Another film of his I like is Exit Wounds, but I'd say that one is actually a pretty good movie.