Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

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Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
Man holding on to the outside of a speeding train.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Geoff Murphy
Produced by Arnon Milchan
Gary W. Goldstein
Steve Perry
Steven Seagal
Written by Richard Hatem
Matt Reeves
Based on Characters
by J.F. Lawton
Starring
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cinematography Robbie Greenberg
Edited by Michael Tronick
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • July 14, 1995 (1995-07-14)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million
Box office $104,324,083

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory is a 1995 American action film set on board a train traveling through the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Los Angeles. Directed by Geoff Murphy, it stars Steven Seagal as the ex-Navy SEAL, Casey Ryback, and is the sequel to the 1992 film Under Siege also starring Seagal.[1] The title refers to the railroading term that the subject train was travelling through dark territory, a section of railroad track that has no train signals and in which communications between train dispatchers and the railroad engineers were impossible.

The film was produced by Seagal along with Arnon Milchan and Steve Perry.[2] The film's cast also included Eric Bogosian, Everett McGill, Morris Chestnut, Peter Greene, Kurtwood Smith and Katherine Heigl. Nick Mancuso, Andy Romano, and Dale Dye also reprised their roles from the first film.

Plot[edit]

Casey Ryback retires from the United States Navy and has settled in Denver, Colorado, owning and running a restaurant named Mile High Cafe, where he is also an executive chef. Sometime after, his estranged brother, James Ryback, dies in a plane crash. Casey meets James' daughter, Sarah, whom he will accompany to Los Angeles to attend his funeral. The two board the Grand Continental, a train traveling from Denver to Los Angeles through the Rocky Mountains. Onboard, they befriend a porter named Bobby Zachs as well as the train's chefs.

As the train makes its approach to the Rocky Mountains, it is hijacked by armed mercenaries, led by former U.S. government computer hacker and computer genius Travis Dane with his second-in-command and mercenary leader Marcus Penn. Dane worked on Grazer One, a top-secret military satellite particle weapon designed to destroy underground targets. The military fired Dane due to his mental instability; Dane later faked his suicide.

The mercenaries take the train's passengers and staff hostage, herding them into the last two cars. Casey kills one mercenary, then slips away. Among the hostages are two former US Department of Defense colleagues who worked with Dane. Dane threatens them with torture unless they reveal the codes to take over Grazer. Despite giving up the codes, they are thrown from the train into a deep valley. During the course of events, Zachs becomes Casey's sidekick.

Middle Eastern terrorists have offered Dane $1 billion to destroy the Eastern seaboard by using Grazer to target a nuclear reactor located underneath the Pentagon. Dane demonstrates Grazer to investors by destroying a Chinese chemical weapons plant. After one investor offers an additional $100 million, Dane destroys an airliner carrying the investor's ex-wife.

The U.S. government has difficulty locating Dane or Grazer. When officials destroy what they think is Grazer, Dane explains the NSA's premier intelligence satellite was destroyed instead. As long as the train keeps moving, his location cannot be determined. However, Casey faxes a message to his assistant manager at the Mile High Cafe, who contacts Admiral Bates. Bates reluctantly approves a stealth bomber strike to destroy the train.

Zachs discovers that they are on the wrong tracks and on a collision course with a Southern Pacific freight train hauling gasoline tank cars. Since the trains are in dark territory, it was impossible for the train dispatchers to communicate with the trains' engineers to stop the trains to avoid collision. Casey kills the mercenaries one by one and releases the hostages, but Dane uses his computer skills to locate the stealth bombers and re-targets Grazer to knock them out before they can complete their mission. Meanwhile, Penn had previously captured Sarah and uses her as bait for Casey. Casey confronts Penn and breaks his neck after a fight that spills into the kitchen.

Casey finds Dane about to depart in a chopper hovering over the train. When Dane informs Casey that there is no way to stop Grazer from destroying Washington, Casey shoots him. The bullet destroys Dane's computer and injures Dane. Pentagon control of the satellite is restored and it is destroyed by remote control one second before it would have fired on the Pentagon.

The Grand Continental and freight train collide on a trestle. Casey races through the exploding train and grabs a rope ladder dangling from the chopper. Dane, who had survived Casey's bullet, also catches on to the ladder. He attempts to climb into the helicopter, but falls to his death into the explosion when Casey shuts the helicopter door on his hands, severing his fingers. The explosion causes the helicopter to spin out of control, but the pilot is able to regain control.

Casey, having previously detached the last two cars from the rest of the train, informs the Pentagon that the passengers are safe. Later, Sarah and Casey pay their last respects at James' grave.

Cast[edit]

  • Steven Seagal as Lieutenant Casey Ryback, a former Navy SEAL who now heads and manages a restaurant in Denver
  • Eric Bogosian as Travis Dane, a crazed computer genius-turned-cyberterrorist leader who designed the Grazer One satellite weapon for the US government before being fired for his mental instability
  • Everett McGill as Marcus Penn, the mercenary leader & Dane’s second-in-command who leads a team of terrorists to hijack the Grand Continental train to set up the satellite equipment
  • Katherine Heigl as Sarah Ryback, Ryback's niece who accompanies him on the train to go to her father's funeral
  • Morris Chestnut as Bobby Zachs, an eager porter of the train who reluctantly helps Ryback with the hijacked train
  • Nick Mancuso as Tom Breaker, the shady CIA director who assists ATAC on Grazer One
  • Brenda Bakke as Captain Linda Gilder, a member of ATAC and one of Dane's former colleagues
  • Andy Romano as Admiral Bates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Dale Dye as Captain Garza, Admiral Bates' right-hand man
  • Kurtwood Smith as Major General Stanley Cooper, an Air Force general who commands ATAC and Dane's former boss
  • Jonathan Banks as Scotty, the mercenary under the orders of Penn's

Reception[edit]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a three-star rating in his review,[3] while Peter Rainer of The Los Angeles Times wrote that "the action upstaged the actors."[4] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 37% based on reviews from 30 critics.[5] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[6]

Box office[edit]

Under Siege 2 opened at #2 at the box office under Apollo 13 in 2,150 theaters and made $12,624,402 for the weekend.[7]

Sequel[edit]

On October 3, 2016, Seagal announced on his official Twitter account that the script for Under Siege 3 was in development.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (1995-07-15). "FILM REVIEW; All Aboard for Cataclysm And Just Forget the Bar Car". The New York TImes. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  2. ^ Brennan, Judy (1994-09-25). "Steven Seagal, Please Call Your Accountant". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  4. ^ Rainer, Peter (1995-07-17). "Under Siege 2 Plays Out Pyrotechnics". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  5. ^ "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  6. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. 
  7. ^ Dutka, Elaine (1995-07-18). "Weekend Box Office : 'Under Siege' Opens in No. 2 Spot". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  8. ^ "Steven Seagal on Twitter". 

External links[edit]