REVIEW: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)


Runtime: 100 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: “A force of armed men, probably numbering above 20, has taken over the grand continental passenger train travelling from Denver to L.A.  Signature equipment including high bandwitdh satellite transmission equipment have been floated on board.  Aggressors appear to be professional and fully armed” — Emergency email from Casey Ryback.

It seems sometimes that to get a good review on this site, you keep having to go back a decade or two.  Like the mid 1990s.  Under Siege 2 is an unfairly underrated movie.  It’s struggling to stay above a 5/10 on the IMDb and 30% on Rotten Tomatoes.  I think it was a victim of changing times, certain people were starting to turn on violent action movies around this time.

A “god damned maniac” has hijacked a train and is using it as a command platform, from whence he is threatening to blow up Washington with a weapon from space.  Anyone on board who resists is threatened with being stabbed in the eyeball.  Hell, even Mike from Breaking Bad is their driver.  But surely when they took Sensei Seagal’s niece on the same train, they should’ve known that wrists would be slashed and their men would be thrown in front of speeding 200 ton behemoth?  What, this type of retribution was too manly for Captain America, during his train action sequence?  Sad, when we were kids, Seagal’s methods were more… direct.

Die Hard 4 ripped this movie off by the way – ex-government genius uses vehicle on the move to evade detection.  There’s also a sniping sequence stolen by the movie Snowpiercer.  Don’t tell anyone though, it’s not en vogue to admit anything original or cool came from a movie like this, even though it is a Die Hard clone.  I mean how can you not like this?  I mean, here is a movie where subterenean penetrator weapons anchored from space are used to incinerate ex-wives! (for an extra $100,000,000).

The movie is not as good as the original, that goes without saying.  The villains are weaker (yet curiously superior to many of today’s pissant baddies).  I think the ending should have been more considered too, the final jump is a bit weak to me. But its shortcomings are bailed out by superior dialogue.  “Fuck, you ruined my coat!”.  “Hey man, touch me again and it’s yo ass!” And while Eric Bogosian is no Alan Rickman, he’s certainly a manlier villain than anything the likes of Tom Hiddleston have put out in recent times.

1995 seemed like the end of an era, or the beginning of the end.  Like I said movies like this were becoming maligned and as such, the likes of Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme had to tread carefully.  Sadly both men let their egos destroy their respective careers right around the same time.

I guarantee that Under Siege 2 has aged better than you think or might hope.  Give it another try.  Seen it too recently?  Check out the similar-ish movie, Narrow Margin, starring manly man Gene Hackman.