August 30, 2013

Friday Fight: Under Siege vs. Speed

Now that we’ve got all the FanExpo stuff finished, it’s time to get back to business; the Friday Fight has returned and this week we’ve got Keanu Reeves in Speed vs. Steven Seagal in Under Siege.
Two classic actioners, but which is best? Let’s dance!

Under Siege

Arguably Steven Seagal’s most iconic character, Casey Ryback is a chef onboard a Navy ship when terrorists decide to take over. We soon discover that not only can Ryback cook a mean burger but he’s a recipe for disaster for the bad guys. The villains in this movie are pretty legendary with Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey bringing more crazy than a nuthouse. This is one of the few movies where you get to see Busey dressed as a woman and also giving one of his zaniest performances. Erika Eleniak is the love interest whose highlight of the movie is jumping out of a cake naked. It is essentially Die Hard on a boat, sticking pretty rigidly to the formula, but it does it well. It has some great action with Seagal pimp slapping villains left and right. The music score is pretty forgettable though whereas Speed’s score is one of the all time greats.


Keanu Reeves is Jack Traven, a cop who goes by his gut rather than his brain is about to meet his match when Dennis Hopper’s insane ex-cop Howard Payne puts a bomb on a bus; if it goes above 50 mph the bomb is armed, if it goes under 50 well… you know the rest. Such a simple yet ingenious concept; Speed is one of my all time favourite movies. Reeves is awesome as Traven and I’m glad he’s returning to the action genre because he’s damn good at it. The movie is incredibly tense with some excellent stunts and climaxes with one of the best explosions of all time, when the bus crashes into a plane. This is also one of my favourite Dennis Hopper roles as Howard really is a complete nutjob. Mark Mancina’s score is in my top 5 action movie scores. Period. It’s got a great theme tune and pounds along during all of the excitement. The only weak link is sometimes Sandra Bullock is a little annoying but she’s not Willie Scott or anything.


I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that Speed is the winner for me by a country mile; everything about the movie just works for me. Great characters, spectacular action, tension and a fabulous music score make it still stand up today as one of all the all time great action movies.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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