Monday, April 30, 2012
Netflix Review: The Siege (1998)
Words by Chicken Man
What should now be seen as a Denzel classic, The Siege may also be seen as prophetic. Washington plays an FBI agent responding to a series of terror attacks in New York City, resulting in an eventual military occupation and declaration of martial law. The climax is when General Bruce Willis, having a prisoner in his custody, says, "The time has come for one man to suffer in order to save hundreds of lives." Denzel responds, "What if what they want is us to herd children into stadiums like we're doing and put soldiers on the street and have people looking over their shoulders?" I find this to be a very powerful scene, and what I think makes this movie what it is. Regrettably, the heroism of Washington's defense of civil liberty is watered down by his own warrantless seizures. Having to depend on the goodness of law enforcement to respect the 4th Amendment will lead to disappointment. This keeps the film from being better than it is. I liken it to Ghandi preaching non-violence unless they really deserve it and the avengers have Ghandi's approval. But regardless, it presents a frightening and plausible image of what happens to a society that will trade everything for a false sense of security. And for that, I find it to be a movie worth watching. Compare the government's response to terror attacks in the movie to real events. While this exercise is interesting in itself, it is also useful as a warning (or perhaps a prophecy) of things that are and of things to come.
at 5:14 PM