Saturday, July 16, 2011

UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY (1995) - Seagal's back

I always had a soft spot for Steven Seagal despite all the crap he's gotten over the years about his poor acting and his refusal to cut off that stupid ponytail. His big break, which would also turn out to be his only really good action movie, was 1992's Under Siege. I loved that one as a kid, and it remains a guilty pleasure of mine. After the success of the movie, a sequel was inevitable. Unfortunately, Under Siege 2 lacks a lot of the stuff that made the first flick such a fun action movie, and was is mostly a rehash of tired ideas.

Family vacations are never dull when Seagal is your uncle.
Immediately after the opening credits, we see the Air Force is testing out a secret new satellite. After trying out the super high-resolution cameras by zooming in on a sunbathing chick's boobs, the generals seem pleased with their new weapon's abilities. Our hero Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) has retired from the Navy and has decided to take his niece Sarah (Katherine Heigl), whose parents were killed in a plane crash, on a cross country train trip to take her mind off things. Of course things go terribly wrong, and a team of terrorists hijack their train almost immediately and start killing off passengers and crew. The gang is Travis Dane (Eric Bogosian), the guy who originally built the satellite and was later scorned by the government.

Dane - one of the most boring and most annoying villains of the 90s.
After faking his own death, he now plans to blackmail the government with his satellite baby. It turns out that the sat is in fact a space weapon capable of creating earthquakes, and Dane shows he's the real deal by starting a quake in China. The government is helpless since as long as the train is mobile, they can't track Dane's signals. Fortunately for America and the good guys, Casey Muthafucking Ryback is on the train, and he won't be having any of Dane's shenanigans. Casey takes it upon himself to make sure that he rescues his niece and delivers some much needed punishment to the terrorists.

The albino henchman was a nice touch. Note the bad guy from The Mask behind him.
As far as acting is concerned, with Seagal you get what you see. Every line is delivered in his trademark half-whispered style and since he does most of his talking with his fists, it's not all that bad. After watching this movie, I'm convinced that Under Siege 2 is Katherine Heigl's most memorable work, since just about everything else she's done is even worse than this flick. As far as ass kicking is concerned, Seagal delivers as usual. He stabs, shoots, throat punches, chokes and groin kicks legions of terrorist baddies without breaking a sweat or ruffling his ponytail.

Look closely: that's Seagal face-kicking a dude off a moving train.
He delivers an impressive amount of violence and some memorable kills. My personal favorite being during the finale when he shuts a helicopter door on an unlucky S.O.B. hanging on for dear life, slicing off his fingers as he falls into a blazing inferno below. Classy stuff. And speaking of bad guys, Dane's crew is a real bunch of assholes. They happily murder anyone they see fit, and do evil things like tell crying babies to shut up, throw people off of moving trains, interrupt sex scenes, and even shoot a guy's boom box. Dane himself isn't really a memorable villain (aside from the fact that he sounds like Tom Bergeron), which is a shame since the first movie had the great Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey villains.

Epic Seagal finishing movie incoming.
The dialogue is laughably bad at times, and most of the movie's attempts at one liners fall pretty flat. The movie's only saving grace is the fact that Seagal lays down some serious ass kicking throughout the movie. Again, nothing really memorable, but it's passable. You can't really say the same of most of Seagal's later movies. Compared to some of those, Under Siege 2 is a gem but that's not saying much. Stick with first one.

TL;DR - Typical Seagal action but without the first one's fun factor - 5/10


  1. I wish Skynet would send a Terminator back in time and destroy this movie, making a future world were we all live in freedom without the tyranny that is,Katherine Heigl

  2. hehe I like this movie very much :D

  3. Sometimes I question if Steven Segal is a real person and not just an elaborate character put on by some guy.

  4. segal could double as jabba the hut now that fat Fu*8r

  5. Steven SEagal is so damn awesome