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Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

1995 film directed by Geoff Murphy

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And to believe Amtrak didn't get in on a gold mine in the "action movies on trains" business!

  • Jun 24, 2010
Rating:
+4
We all know that action movie sequels are usually bad right?  We also know that Steven Seagal movies aren't the greatest things in the world either right?  Well, in a surprise twist, Steven Seagals' first and only sequel to his mega hit Under Siege is not only one of his best movies, but it is arguably one of the better action movie sequels.

Seagal returns to the role of Casey Ryback, a former SEAL team leader who is on vacation and going to California with his estranged niece (Katherine Heigel in probably her first major role) neither are getting along well but Casey wants to make amends. 

Meanwhile, a government agency has just launched a new space based weapon, the brainchild of a former employee that they fired.  That employee, a computer whiz named Travis Dane has found himself some mercenaries and abducted the train Seagal is on and using it as a moving headquarters, one that the US cannot detect since it's constantly moving, and one that they would be afraid to attack since there are innocents on board if they found out where he was.  The purpose for the train is to provide a place to hack into the new space weapon and use it to destroy the Pentagon, and with it most of the Eastern US.  Seagal gets wind of the plan and decides to take back the train and stop Dane.

Hey, sounds routine but what it is, is a MAJOR step above Seagals' previous movie, On Deadly Ground and probably one of  his last real pieces of big budget entertainment (the other being Exit Wounds).  The movie has some great sets and outside scenery (even if some of the exterior motion shots are green screened, they're still convincing and give you the feeling of falling to your death if you misstep).  What ISN'T convincing though is the special effects and the Macguffin of the story.

The special effects are "special" the unfurling of the satelite weapon is clearly a few steps behind what other movie makers were doing at the time.  Also the weapon itself, it's a satelite that can use paricle beam technology to create EARTHQUAKES.  Good thing Christopher Walken didn't have this in A View To A Kill, and thats just what it is, a Bond movie weapon.  Look if it shot lasers, that would be one thing to blow up things but to tell me that somehow this thing is able to use particle beams to replicate the frequency of what is needed to create a seismic event.....yeah I know, movie making, action.  That or I don't understand what makes an Earthquake and all this is feasible, but i'd be the farm on the former.  Another caveat is no Erika Elaniak (the stripper in the cake) from the first movie.  Oh well.

Lets get back to the good.  The action.  Theres a lot of it.  No gratuitous ugly torture, just good ol' action and no messages to get in the way of it.  Seagal does in fact get injured at one point but sadly it's a plot crutch to get the bad guys off his back for a minute and of little consequence.  Another is that supporting characters from the first movie make it in here, sadly Gary Buesy was not in fact used with a rumor that he survived the first movie but the characters of Admiral Bates, Captain Garza and Tom Breaker all return in similar capacity to the first movie, to give plot exposition but they still do it well.

No, the political tone of the first movie is gone and so is the cool battleship setting but Under Siege 2 is still a good action film and if thats all your looking for then it will succeed.  I like the train setting and the movie stays fun regardless.  Imagine if Seagal's career stayed afloat, if we could have gotten another movie as good as this one.  Then again we also could have gotten On Deadly Ground 2 where Seagal fights Al Gore to the death.
And to believe Amtrak didn't get in on a gold mine in the

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More Under Siege 2: Dark Territory reviews
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
posted in MovieSucktastic
Steven Seagal's career continued to slide with this movie, but it's what On Deadly Ground should have been. More action. It's mindless with typical stupid action movie stunts, but at least it's entertaining. Great for an action movie junkie.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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