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  Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Satellite Of Hate
Year: 1995
Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Steven Seagal, Eric Bogosian, Everett McGill, Katherine Heigl, Morris Chestnut, Peter Greene, Patrick Kilpatrick, Scott Sowers, Afifi Alaouie, Andy Romano, Brenda Bakke, Sandra Taylor, Jonathan Banks, Kurtwood Smith, David Gianopolous, Dale Dye
Genre: Action, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A new satellite has been launched into orbit, and NASA thought it was intended for surveillance because of its pinpoint accuracy in showing magnified images from the ground, but there is another reason why the U.S. Military wished to send it up. It's actually a weapon that has the power to cause earthquakes and explosions wherever it is targetted, and if it should fall into the wrong hands who knows what chaos could erupt? Fortunately that's not going to happen, so the staff in the control room head off for the weekend. Nothing can go wrong now.

Yeah, and the band played believe it if you like, this is a Steven Seagal movie after all and he has to have someone to fight against, so who better than a group of terrorists holding the world to ransom? This was of course the sequel to Under Siege, the surprise Seagal hit that allowed him to make his dream project On Deadly Ground, and when that was received with indifference and outright hostility in some quarters, he decided to go back to the territory - the dark territory - that had made him a winner at the box office. Alas, the damage had been done, and this was in no way the success the initial instalment had been.

Therefore the rest of his career took the form of mainly straight to DVD efforts, with the odd foray into bigger budgeted fare reminding those outside of his legion of hardcore fans that he was still around and still kicking (literally). As most of his works have been on the lower budgeted side of the movie divide, both before this brief spell and after, it's almost a novelty to see Seagal in something where the stunts were intended to knock the audience out of their seats, even if in this instance the plot had been lifted from Silver Streak from a couple of decades before. This time Casey Ryback, the superchef with fists of fury, is on a train with his frosty niece Sarah (Katherine Heigl), heading to pay respects at the grave of her father.

Unfortunately this is also the train where two of those control room workers have opted to enjoy a tryst together, and it is they who have the codes to the satellite, so our main baddie Travis Dane (Eric Bogosian) takes his band of mercenaries, seemingly about fifty of them, to board the carriages and threaten the couple until they get the information they need. Obviously this works, they have a train full of hostages, and Dane manages to blow up a load of Chinese people to demonstrate that he means business. Now he has the government's attention he can tell them his demands: give him one billion dollars or he blows up the Pentagon, Washington D.C., and most of the East coast.

Dane has all the possibilities covered: except one. Yes, Casey has avoided the heavies by climbing on the roof, and takes the odd opportunity to slip back through the windows to despatch a bad guy or ten. Assisting him is resistable comic relief Morris Chestnut, but on the other side is Everett McGill, staging a comeback in the movies after being typecast in Twin Peaks, so it's a pity that while he's a memorable baddie, not enough audiences saw this for him to make an impression. McGill is Penn, the anti-Seagal, and you can see how this pretty much writes itself after a while; as long as there are toughs bumped off every five minutes then everyone apparently would be satisfied. If there's a drawback, it was the moment you paused to think about what you were watching, you'd realise it was completely preposterous, so it's little wonder so many were finding Seagal a figure of fun after this point in his career. Music by Basil Poledouris.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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