UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY (1995, Dark Territory Productions, USA, 100 mins, Colour, 1.85:1, SDDS/Dolby Digital, Cert: 15, Action/Thriller) ∗∗∗∗∗
Starring: Steven Seagal (Casey Ryback), Eric Bogosian (Travis Dane), Everett McGill (Marcus Penn), Katherine Heigl (Sarah Ryback), Morris Chestnut (Bobby Zachs), Peter Greene (Mercenary #1), Patrick Kilpatrick (Mercenary #2), Scott Sowers (Mercenary #3), Afifi Alaouie (Female Mercenary), Andy Romano (Admiral Bates), Brenda Bakke (Captain Linda Gilder), Sandra Taylor (Kelly, Barmaid), Jonathan Banks (Scotty, Mercenary), David Gianopoulos (Captain David Trilling), Royce D. Applegate (Ryback’s Cook), Nick Mancuso (Tom Breaker).
Producer: Arnon Milchan, Steven Seagal, Steve Perry; Director: Geoff Murphy; Writer: Richard Hatem, Matt Reeves (based on characters created by J. F. Lawton); Director of Photography: Robbie Greenberg (Technicolor); Music: Basil Poledouris; Film Editor: Michael Tronick; Production Designer: Albert Brenner; Art Director: Carol Winstead Wood; Set Decorator: Kathe Klopp; Costume Designer: Richard Bruno.
In this sequel to Seagal’s UNDER SIEGE Casey Ryback gets on board a train travelling from Colorado to LA to start a vacation with his niece. However, in an extraordinary case of deja-vu a group of terrorists take over the train in order to use it as a base from which to hijack a top secret US satellite carrying deadly weapons.
It’s basically more of the same and for anyone who enjoyed the first they will likely enjoy this. However whereas the first had elements of class amongst the cheese – notably Tommy Lee Jones and the tight direction of Andrew Davis – here the villains are even more one-dimensional and the direction is merely competent and lacking in flair. Seagal, if anything, is more wooden when delivering his lines than in the first film, but his physical presence makes up for his shortcomings as an actor. There are good supporting roles for Chestnut as a porter who becomes Seagal’s unwitting sidekick and Heigl as his stroppy niece. McGill, as a heavy, makes a good serious contrast to Bogosian’s wildly overblown chief villain.
The confines of the setting limits the film’s opportunities for action set pieces, which begin to become repetitive as it progresses. The end result is a functional, but overly-derivative action thriller that whilst watchable offers nothing new.