The Siege

Newcity Chicago

DIRECTED BY: Edward Zwick

REVIEWED: 11-09-98

Ed Zwick is one of the more versatile craftsmen working today, shifting from television ("thirtysomething," "My So-Called Life") to film ("About Last Night," "Glory") with equal aplomb. With "The Siege," a cautionary tale about the potential of American freedoms being revoked to stem the fear of terrorist attacks, Zwick and co-writers Lawrence Wright and Menno Meyjes partake both of melodrama and close-in examination of their chosen milieus. They cannily using stock figures (like Bruce Willis' blood-mad Army general) to push the plotline along while we get to soak up the details of an internecine battle between a driven FBI agent (Denzel Washington) and a troubled CIA functionary (Annette Bening) against the backdrop of a militarized New York. Working with master cinematographer Roger Deakins, Zwick finds the widescreen framing and subtle detailing that suggest the polyglot character of a contemporary metropolis, while remaining attentive to mood and portent. The clichˇ view of Zwick is that he wants to alternate social issue films with television that pores over the sociology of his peers, but he believes he's been able to grow past that. "There's a great Satchel Paige line about always staying a moving target. I don't want to conform to expectations. I also think there's a temptation for people to think they know an artist too quickly and too well.

--Ray Pride

Full Length Reviews
The Siege

Capsule Reviews
The Siege
The Siege
The Siege

Other Films by Edward Zwick
Courage Under Fire
Legends of the Fall

Film Vault Suggested Links
Paths of Glory
Three Kings
Plunkett and Macleane

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