Seagal on a Train
Whilst easily one of Steven Seagal's most enjoyable movies "Under Siege" wasn't anything more than entertainingly average. Yet that didn't stop "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" showing up 3 years later which saw Seagal once more being the hero of the piece as Casey Ryback who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when he is on a train taken over by mercenaries. And to be honest "Under Siege 2" is pretty much a re-run of what we saw in the first movie as Ryback almost single handedly beats the bad guys just in the nick of time.
Having set himself up as restaurateur Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal - On Deadly Ground) tries to build bridges with his niece Sarah (Katherine Heigl - Killers) who he hasn't seen in years and wasn't there for when her parents died in a plane crash. Going on a train journey together Casey finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when a group of mercenaries lead by Travis Dane (Eric Bogosian) take control of the train in order to have a moving location to take control of a military satellite capable of mass destruction. With time running out Casey must use all his expert training to wrestle back control of the train and stop Dane from succeeding in destroying the Pentagon with the satellite.
So here we go again with a story which revolves around a hero being in the wrong place at the wrong time and so we have an action movie aboard a train. There is some back story to "Under Siege 2" as to why Ryback is on the train, travelling with his niece who is played by a young Katherine Heigl, and some explanation about this super satellite which some bad guys try to take control of, using the train to make their location harder to track. But to be honest all that "Under Siege 2" is really about is Seagal reprising the character of Casey Ryback so that he can kick a lot of butt whilst saving the day. And trust me Seagal kicks a lot of butt this time around some of which is surprisingly violent.
As such the actual storyline to "Under Siege 2" could really be about anything especially as it draws on as many cliches that you can think of. There is the wise cracking coloured guy who finds himself involved in the action as he buddies up with Ryback, the super tough mercenary who relishes the chance to prove he is better than our hero and they even sneak in some nudity, because a 90's action movie wouldn't be complete without a set of boobs. "Under Siege 2" really is that simple and obvious as it sticks firmly to a well worked routine which countless other 90s action movies followed.
But despite this there are some nice action scenes which let's be honest that is what "Under Siege 2" is really all about. Once more we not only get Ryback kicking butt but also creating a few adhoc explosives with the use of cooking equipment. It is what it wants to be and that is entertaining all though the implausibly over the top ending undoes so much of the solid work delivered throughout the movie. In fact the ending goes beyond being over the top and is so cheesy that it hurts.
Of course at the centre of all of this is Steven Seagal as our returning hero Casey Ryback, a cook who deserves a health warning. And once more Seagal walks through "Under Siege 2" as being almost emotionless, turning up the charm a little as he flirts with a woman and has a niece to be nice to but it is very much a continuation of his character in the first movie and so all the emotionless is still a problem. And aside from Seagal, well Everett McGill and Peter Greene make a solid couple of cliche mercenaries whilst Morris Chestnut is just as cliche as train porter Bobby and Eric Bogosian gives us a cliche genius maniac as Travis Dane. But ironically the actor who makes the biggest impact is a young Katherine Heigl as Ryback's niece Sarah and it's not because she does a lot but because you don't expect to see her in this sort of movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Under Siege 2" pretty much delivers more of what we saw in "Under Siege", which is action, action and more action. It is all very cliche and also very average but it is spoilt by going beyond over the top when it comes to the supposedly exciting ending which is so cheesy it hurts.