It is hard to believe that it has been over two decades since this action thriller came out. Adventure on the high seas with a post-modern twist filled with so many guns and explosions, it is hard to tell exactly whom to root for, or why the bad guys are doing what they are doing. The advertisement teased us with “In 1992 a battleship’s been sabotaged by nuclear pirates out to steal its warheads. Now, surrounded by terrorists, a lone man stands with a deadly plan of attack.” What those execs on Madison Avenue did not tell us was that this battleship was The Battleship!
This takes place on the Missouri, on her final voyage before decommission. Right after Bush Sr. said his good-byes to the brave old girl, the crew takes her out for a celebration. Her captain, Capt. Adams (Patrick O’Neal) is an old no-nonsense officer, but he is all about keeping crew morale up, and when his XO, Cmdr. Krill (Gary Busey) authorizes a chopper to land on his ship without informing him, the commander tells him that it is for his birthday party. This is going to be a night for the crew to remember, but not in a good way. Behind the flare and partying pomp, which includes a gourmet buffet, a blues band and a cake with an exotic dancer popping out of it, is a plan to steal the Tomahawk missiles on the Missouri as part of a terrorist plot to arm a group called, “The Revolution”.
Krill is just the gatekeeper to get this group onto the ship, and an unhinged one at that. What Krill and his group superior, William Stranix (Tommy Lee Jones) do not know is that Capt. Adams’ personal cook is Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal). Ryback is an ex-Navy Seal that is trained in many kinds of combat. Ryback is wanting to finish out his navy career in peace, and has more decorations than the Captain. He also happens to be a Louisiana native that has a talent for cooking that rivals any Cordon Bleu-edcuated chef.
When Stranix and his team arrive, everything looks to be above board. They even have an ex-Playboy Playmate, Jordan Tate (Erika Eleniak) in tow, as she is part of the entertainment. Jordan has a nasty case of motion-sickness when she lands, and Stranix sets her in a private room to get changed into her skimpy costume and get into the fake cake made of steel hoops and fabrics. Jordan takes some motion-sickness pills, too many, and passes out not long after she gets in the cake.
while she is sleeping, all hell breaks loose when the Revolution gets underway. They shoot officers, the ship’s captain, and random sailors to keep the others in line. While this is going on, Ryback is locked in the food cooler of the galley where he works. A young, not-too-bright grunt has been put in charge of guarding him by Stranix and Krill. After much convincing to make the kid see logic, Casey finally gets him to call the bridge to find out what’s going on, since they heard gunfire. Two goons go down to the galley, and soon receive the Velociraptor treatment from Rybeck and he gets loose. Once he comes across those whom were not killed or captured by Stranix and Krill’s goons, including Jordan, he makes things get really ugly for and even uglier organization, with the help of the brass at the Pentagon.
Steven Seagal has been making tons of movies since the 1980s, but this one my favorites by him. There is an Under Siege 2, but it is not nearly as engaging as this high energy action thriller. The pace never stops from beginning to end, and you wonder how you managed to catch a breath along the way.
I give this film a Musing review of