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Review Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995): Die Hard on a train! / Believe it or not one of Seagal's best.

genre: die hard clone, action, thriller







When I saw this the first time I liked it but didn't like it as much as the original. However upon each viewing I actually am enjoying it a whole lot better.

Why? First of all, this sequel moves in quite a fast pace. Not a single second is wasted with distractions. You get introduced to characters who are important and get an idea of what is at stake. This also means that Seagal himself doesn't get time to annoy you with unnecessary dialogue and boasting. Although the boasting is done for him. Whenever is found out Casey Ryback is involved people act like he is the Grim Reaper himself. At least initially. When the bad guys feel like they have defeated him they always express their disappointment of what a pushover he was. Until it hits them. It's one of those reoccurring events that makes Under Siege 2 fun.

The setting also is unique since there aren't that many Die Hard type of films that take place on a train. Or at least competently. You do get a sense that events are serious since the bad guys don't hesitate to kill. Excluding their incompetence of course when it comes to dealing with Ryback. But if these events didn't clue you in of the gravity the supporting cast surely will. Nick Mancuso, a usually very good actor apparently didn't care much for his role or the film and he often reacts in a way that is far over the top and ridiculous. But strangely enough it's effective. Did I mention they blow up a big piece of China? Then you just know that these villains mean business. The main baddies are played by Eric Bogosian and Everett McGill. It wasn't clear who outranked who but it's my guess they had teamed up one day at some bad guy convention and never looked back. Bogosian's character is not your typical villain but he does seem to be very intelligent and effective. Yet I have mixed feelings about him. Especially when Everett is in the same room as he is, McGill just standing there gives more chills than Bogosian ever could. He just has that kind of face and presence. It would have made more sense if Dane (Eric Bogosian) was a high level henchman than an equal to Everett. It doesn't really matter since they hardly are a match for Seagal. He does his thing but if I do have to critique him or his character that he wins too easily. It would have been nice had there been real long fights.

Overall this is one of the better Die Hard Clones. It entertains through and through even on multiple viewings and if you aren't a big fan of Steven Seagal.






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