Film Review: American Siege (dir by Edward Drake)


For a few months, I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to review American Siege.

On the one hand, I try to review every film that I see, regardless of how bad (or good) it might be.  I love movies.  I love talking about them.  I love writing about them.  I love sharing my opinions about them and hearing and reading the opinions of others.  That goes for all films, even really bad ones like American Siege.

On the other hand, American Siege is also one of the films that Bruce Willis made shortly before announcing his retirement from acting.  Since his retirement was announced, there have been a lot of stories that have suggested that Bruce’s condition led to him accepting a lot of roles that he normally would not have even considered and that Willis was not always fully aware of what was happening on the sets of the films in which he appeared.  Regardless of how much of that is true or not, it’s a heart-breaking story and it makes it difficult to watch Willis in a film like American Siege.

In American Siege, Willis plays a sheriff in a small Georgia town.  When a group of loud rednecks take a local pharmacist hostage, Willis and his deputies drive out to the man’s house.  However, Willis is ordered to stand down by the richest man in town, who is played by Timothy V. Murphy.  It turns out that the pharmacist has evidence that links Murphy to an unsolved crime.  The rednecks might be loud and stupid and self-destructive but it turns out that they’re not actually the worst people in town.

American Siege is 90 minutes of people shouting at each other and pointing guns out of windows.  There’s not much of a story to be found and even the unsolved mystery is a bit of a dud.  As was typical of his last few films, Bruce Willis is only on screen for a few minutes and he delivers his lines in a heart-breakingly flat monotone.  The rest of the cast is actually okay, even if they do go bit a overboard with the fake Southern accents.  The rednecks are convincingly redneck-y and Murphy is convincingly condescending as the rich man who has never had to face any consequences for his actions.  But the main reason anyone is going to watch this film is because of Bruce Willis and, sadly, there’s none of the swagger that made Willis in a superstar.

So, why am I reviewing American Siege?  Mostly it’s so I can recommend that, if you are really determined to watch one Bruce Willis’s later films, you skip American Siege and watch Gasoline AlleyGasoline Alley was made by the same director and it also features Bruce Willis but it’s a hundred times better than American Siege and it actually gives Willis a decent role to go out on.

Of course, my ultimate recommendation, as far as all this is concerned, is that you go and rewatch the first three Die Hards.  They’re not just for Christmas!

2 responses to “Film Review: American Siege (dir by Edward Drake)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 7/4/22 — 7/10/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Film Review: A Day To Die (dir by Wes Miller) | Through the Shattered Lens

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