Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Train Week: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

This might be the first full review of a Steven Seagal movie on Ninja Dixon. I'm not a big fan of Seagal, I find him boring as an actor and martial artists, but some of his movies is entertaining and has a huge amount of graphic violence. That's enough for me. The first Under Siege is actually one of the best Die Hard scenario-movies out there (and I heard the first draft was a Die Hard sequel) and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory is a surprisingly entertaining and spectacular sequel - and the only Seagal movie I've seen in cinema! It always takes some courage to admit that I actually like this one (and Belly of the Beast, but don't tell anyone!). But believe it or not, I'm just an ordinary guy, like everyone else...

Casey Ryback (Seagal, who else?) is back. This time for a train trip together with his niece Sarah (a very young Katherine Heigl!). Of course a gang of terrorists hijacks the train and controls a deadly satellite from it - because two of the passengers carries the codes to take over the satellite. Don't ask. Just accept this. Anyway, it won't take long until Ryback goes Jason Voorhees on the terrorists (among them the awesome Everett McGill!) and he gets some help from a "funny" porter and of course his niece can kick some ass to. That's about it.

A story thin as every other Die Hard scenario movie, but what makes this so damn entertaining is that it's set on a train. This is good for many reasons:

* People fighting outside the train.
* Dummy deaths.
* People falling from train which ends in dummy deaths.
* More people fighting on the outside of the train.

That's more or less what I expect and want from an action movie set on a train, there's not need for anything else. You know it's dangerous if you put stuntmen on the outside of the train, it's hard to fake and Under Siege 2 has plenty of roof-action and dummies falling and getting crushed by the train. There's also a great stunt when some poor sucker falls from the train and hits some tool shed by the side of the track, goes through it and lands in a pile of rubber stones. All in one take. Awesome.

Of course every scene is totally ridiculous, but that's just nice because I don't want a social-realistic drama when I watch a movie called Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. I want gory and graphic action, and this show has plenty of it. Lots of knife-stabbings, squibs, broken limbs and burning people. I'm not saying that this is a masterpiece, but it is in the terrorists-on-a-train genre. It just delivers so much stupidity and violence that it's hard to resist.

Steven Seagal is still in good shape (like G said when he first saw Seagal in this movie: "Ah, this is before he started to drink!") and probably makes one of his crappiest acting-performances ever (Well, he wasted a good opportunity in Machete by not acting at all. Stupid fucker!), but his desperate tries to say serious lines and look sad is a sight to behold and part of the fun. He handles the action better and he gets a lot of chances to kill people in a lot of creative ways.

Under Siege 2 is sadistic entertainment, one of those movies that only could have been done in the nineties. I miss that period of ultra-expensive ultra-violent close-to-republican crap-shit-turd flicks. They had their charm and is a nice reality-escape. 


Andreas Bengtsson said...

My favourite moment in US2 must be when Ryback tosses a bomb with a pager and on the display it says "youre fucked" and then the guy goes up in flames. Ingenius!
I also like Belly of the Beast,its pretty hilarious and has some outrageous action-sequences.
Then again I like most of Seagals work,maybe because I´m easily impressed,also because they are so proposterously silly.But the stuff he did in the "early" days are undeniably awesome in my humble opinion

Ninja Dixon said...

Yeah, and did he really expect someone to read that text before the bomb exploded? ;) I'm a big fan of Belly of the Beast, a fucking absurd action flick - I've seen it more times than I will confess ;)

Anonymous said...

So funny when the guy grabs two keyboards to write the passwords.

Anonymous said...

"The first Under Siege is actually one of the best Die Hard scenario-movies out there"

You could be right Ninja....my favorite scene must be with Erika Eleniak jumping out of cake....and crazy Tommy Lee Jones.

"(a very young Katherine Heigl!"

She was in this movie...?

I completely forgotten this.

"(among them the awesome Everett McGill!)"

Yeah...remember he is resistant to pepper spray...my favorite scene!

"Lots of knife-stabbings"

There was usually good knife fights in Segals movies....that´s why I loved some of his stuff so much.

Great review Ninja....I think I´m going to find Belly of the Beast.


Ninja Dixon said...

I need to rewatch the first!

Happy you liked the review Megatron!