AMERICAN SIEGE (2022) Reviews of Bruce Willis action thriller – now with three clips

 

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American Siege is a 2022 American action thriller film about a sheriff of a small rural town who has to contend with hostage-takers.

Directed by Edward Drake (Apex; Gasoline AlleyCosmic SinBroil) from a screenplay co-written with Corey Large.

The American-Canadian movie stars Bruce Willis (Fortress; ApexDeadlockMidnight in the SwitchgrassOut of DeathHard KillCosmic SinBreachGlassDie Hard franchise), Rob Gough, Timothy V. Murphy, Johann Urb, Anna Hindman, Trevor Gretzky and Cullen G. Chambers.

Plot:

An ex-NYPD officer-turned-sheriff of a small rural Georgia town has to contend with some miscreants who have taken a wealthy doctor hostage.

Reviews:

” …this is more of a crime-thriller than an action-thriller. It’s good to see Drake write a great script that builds up the characters and shows us all the skeletons in their closet, every character has a murky past. The most honest people seemed to be the hostage-takers – who were trying to uncover a conspiracy, this made a great twist to narrative, though it’s not as cut and dry as that while viewing…” Action Reloaded

“The helmer has no imagination, sticking with crummy VOD cinematography that identifies tension through shaky handheld camerawork, and acting is hit and miss at best, finding Irishman Murphy struggling with a southern accent, while Willis is his usual disengaged self (Hindman is the most compelling of the cast, providing some enthusiasm for the job).” Blu-ray.com

“The lack of action. The plot that no one cares about. These are warning signs. I guess American Siege is better than Cosmic Sin and Apex put together, but that’s not saying much.  Reviews that only slam Bruce are lazy reviews. American Siege is loaded with issues, but surprisingly, Bruce is one of the bright spots in one hot mess of a movie.” Bulletproof Action

” …to be fair, the script gives us a missing-girl storyline with an interesting (though not entirely thought out) twist. But the movie ends with a long boring standoff outside the pharmacist’s house, Roy and his gang up against a private militia led by a guy who looks like a buff Steve Bannon.” The Guardian

“Ben Watts is written as weary and uninterested, obviously to go along with Willis’ real-time willingness and effort. Even after that, he comes across as beleaguered. The obvious disdain for his position does not transcend enough to pass off as that of the character. The quality of other actors did not help either.” High on Films

” …one or two modest cuts above most of Willis’s recent notorious output. In this case, he brings some pathos to Watts, perhaps recognizing parallels with his own tarnished glory. Regardless, he has considerable screentime and delivers a half-decent performance […] there is melancholy to Siege that you won’t find in Willis’s other grind-em-outs. Scott Currie’s acoustic score elevates that tone, which further distinguishes the film.” J.B. Spins

“There’s a twist of sorts, but it’s hardly enough to justify the build-up, and when Willis eventually starts putting bullets in heads, it’s like he has woken up from a lucid dream and decided to get all this over with as quickly as he possibly can. It’s quick, but not quite quick enough to spare us the suffering…” Ready Steady Cut

“It has big guns, shoot-outs, hostage situations, and plenty of characters that look the part for a violent action thriller. Sadly though, none of it gels together into something compelling […] It’s too often boring, watered down, and predictable.” The Silverscreen Analysis

“At one point Willis’s character is asked, “Can you at least try to pretend like you give a sh*t?” That could not only apply to his performance, but to everyone involved with American Siege. It’s not awful on the level of Cosmic Sin or Apex I will say that for it. But it is a dull, talky, by the numbers film that fails as a basic thriller. And with only two short bursts of action, it fails as a DTV shoot ’em up as well.” Voices from the Balcony

Release:

In the USA, American Siege will be released On-Demand on January 7th 2022.

Cast and characters:

Bruce Willis … Ben Watts
Rob Gough … Roy
Timothy V. Murphy … Charles Rutledge
Johann Urb … Toby Baker
Anna Hindman … Grace Baker
Trevor Gretzky … Kyle Rutledge
Cullen G. Chambers … John Keats
Eric Buarque
Johnny Messner … Silas
Janet Jones … Marisa Lewis
Kelcey Rose … Samantha Lane
Sarah May Sommers … Brigit Baker
Robert Laenen … Sundance
Joe Munroe … Kane
Billy Jack Harlow … Butch
Buddy Watkins … Militia
Joshua Cavender Cole … Militia
Stephen Dixon … Militia Member
Phillip Joe Luke … Coach
Blake Marshall … Militia
Johnathan Woodward … FBI Agent

Filming locations:

Fitzgerald, Georgia

Budget:

$10 million (estimated)

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Trailer:

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

MOVIES and MANIA says:

American Siege is yet another Bruce Willis vehicle quickie production and was shot in just eight days. Director Edward Drake is on record that Brucie was on set for just one of those days. Thankfully, this small-town conspiracy thriller has more atmosphere and is better than other recent Drake-Willis efforts such as Cosmic Sin (awful!) and Apex (which at least had minor tongue-in-cheek value). Indeed, the unstoppable pair already have another one in the can: Gasoline Alley, which is due in February. That’s sure crankin’ ’em out! Amusingly, Willis’ character is criticised by two lead characters for being a lazy, useless has-been and it makes you wonder how meta this dialogue was intended? Yet, at least he’s less laconic than usual.

As regards the plot, it begins intriguingly and generally moves swiftly with three bad ‘uns looking for justice/vengeance. The initial home invasion – in which Anna Hindman (impressive in her first feature role) spits out verbal venom and even greater violence – sets up the possibility of a major conflab that never really arrives. The local gun-loving militia is depicted as the unthinking type that these macho morons are, the ongoing revelations are somewhat far-fetched given the size and locality of the house under siege and the FBI seem on permanent slo-mo.

There’s some smile-inducing tension in the house under Siege but the pace is never racked up enough for a film with that ‘s’ word in its title. There are just some brief gunshot volleys and a few deaths. It’s all as low key as a film shot so quickly has to be. Having been sent packing with his tail between his legs, it will come as no spoiler surprise to say that Bruce’s morally flawed Sheriff returns to partly save the day. Well, he has to, even if he’s around for such a short while.

Composer Scott Currie delivers a downbeat score that fits the tone well and overall, American Siege isn’t as awful as expected. But it’s still not good and the sight of the Georgia Film Commission proudly splashed at the end will make anyone ponder whether these lowlife scumbag characters (right up to the Mayor) are the kind they want representing their state on screen. Still, it brought another ironic smile.

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