Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) The Aikido Cook Is Back Again. Lock Up Your Pots And Pans

That chef with the killer culinary skills is back. After making souffle outta a bunch of hardened terrorists trying to takeover a US Battleship in Under Siege (1992) The Cook, The Drag Queen and The Booby Cake, our hero, Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) is back ready to cook up some tasty delights. This time his savoury entrée is served up on a train in, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Casey has to take a small break from his much loved restaurant. Not for a happy occasion or a relaxing vacation I must add. No, unfortunately, he is meeting his estranged niece, Sarah Ryback (Katherine Heigl), to visit his recently departed, brothers grave. But to cheer things up for our Casey, he gets to cook onboard the Grand Continental travelling from Denver to Los Angeles through the scenic Rocky Mountains. And as a special pudding treat, he wasn’t expecting a hijacked train filled with classic baddies from films bygone. “Best vacation ever!…

Check out all these villains. You ready for this?…

I love a double name, Patrick Kilpatrick who played the psychopath Sandman in Death Warrant (1990) with the kickboxing policeman, ‎Jean-Claude Van Damme. There’s Peter Greene who went bonkers as Dorian in The Mask (1994) pitted against the rubber faced Jim Carrey. We get a new train driver when Jonathan Banks turns up. He’s better known as everyone’s favourite anti-hero Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. You might also recall him as the moody prisoner with mirrored aviator shades in Stir Crazy (1980)? Time to calm down the testosterone with some sexy estrogen before we jump to the next selection of villains. Look out for the gorgeous Costa Rican, Afifi Alaouie, who out macho’s all the dudes. A sharp shooting, no nonsense, silent killer.

You should recognise, Henry Kingi, who played the crazy El Scorpio in Predator 2 (1990). A legendary stunt man with a face that’s been in hundreds of movies. Which brings us around to our main mercenary boss, Marcus Penn, played by Everett McGill who, lets be honest, has the perfect face of a baddie. You’ll know him from Silver Bullet (1985) and The People Under The Stairs (1991). Two cult films I really need to be reviewing here soon. However, Everett might look the part but actually, he often played good guys like his recurring role as Big Ed Hurley in Twin Peaks and the origin of prehistoric mankind in Quest for Fire (1981). But you will be pleased to now that here in Under Siege 2 he is the ultimate villain, looking more like a Gestapo Nazi officer of pain. Marcus Penn is the leader of these vicious and despicable bunch of mercenaries lusting after the promise of a cut of a cool billion dollars.

Which brings us to the character Travis Dane, the unbelievably, annoyingly bad and completely over the top, computer geek freak. I’m guessing the script and casting wanted the legend Elliott Gould? Until… “He won’t do it, not for all the money in the world.” “Shit! director Geoff Murphy gonna loose his mind. Look, go find any Jewish looking dude with a jheri curl perm and tell Geoff, Elliotts off his meds. That’s why he’s so wacky!” Somehow they managed to get away with it and in steps Eric Gogosain. His nuttiness actually suits the film to be fair. Which by all accounts is prime 90s action nonsense but all the fun for it.

Tagline – A top secret nuclear satellite. A team of international terrorists. A government held hostage. An undetectable moving headquarters. Only one hero stands in the way.

Computer genius Travis Dane is all bitter and twisted with the Department of Defense. You see he had invented a top secret military satellite weapon that uses particle beams to start earthquakes on it’s targets. When they realised Travis was crazier than a bag of frogs, he’s subsequently fired. Only for him to become a crazed super-villain. With the help of the mercenaries and his advance technological skills he hijacks a train and sets up the untraceable weapon system and welcomes the corrupt world of adversaries to fill his Swiss bank account to take out any target of their choosing. The Pentagon becomes target number one! Frantically the Department of Defense tries everything they can, all to no avail. Luckily the cook was onboard, never bet against the cook.

So our retired Navy Seal finds himself hiding in a fridge once again before making cocktails of explosives and doing those tiny quick and devastating chops, punches and knife stabs his trademark calls for. All leading up to another dagger in the kitchen showdown, like the Tommy Lee Jones one in the first film. Of course it’s awesome. But before all that he has to save all the hostages, befriend train porter Bobby Zachs (Morris Chestnut) and terrify him to not flirt on his young, feisty niece Sarah and stop her from having a teenage angst stroppy fit. Of course, Casey does it all with a pinch of salt and sprinkle of oregano. All without raising his softly spoken voice. Casey is as cool as a cucumber tzatziki dip.

Ok lets get real, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory is pretty bad. However, it is really fun bad, and expensive, and that’s all that mattered when renting an action video cassette back in the day.. It’s a very enjoyable sequel made way more so by that fantastic collection of bad guys. With Everett McGill on fine, totally serious, psychotic form. He gets some wonderful silly scenes. One using mace spray as breath freshener “Not mace, sweetheart. Pepper spray. Sold to civilians. But once you get used to it…it just clears the sinuses!“. And another with Ms Heigl digging her thumbnail into a pressure pain point on his face and he practically has an orgasm. So what you waiting for? Go revisit, or remember or watch for the very first time. And best of all, just have fun at the movies. Thanks for popping on by.

Mikey Wolf…

PS. Here’s some choice lines to end with.

  • Casey Ryback –Tits to die for, huh?
  • Marcus Penn –RRRRRRRRYBACK!
  • Marcus Penn –You know I’ve never been afraid of anybody. But that uncle of yours scares me… and I like it.”
  • Travis Dane –Yeah, go get your throat ripped out. I’ve got 8 million people to kill and a billion dollars to pick up.
  • Marcus Penn –Assumption is the MOTHER of all fuck ups!
  • Casey Ryback –Nobody beats me in the kitchen.”

Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) Dolph Lundgren And Brandon Lee Join Forces To Fight Yakuza Boss

Johnny –We’re gonna nail this guy. And when we get done… we’re gonna go eat fish off those naked chicks!

OK, thanks for popping in for today’s review of Showdown In Little Tokyo.

All the best… Mikey Wolfman…

Me –Excuse me? What’s that? You wanted more of a review than lets eat shusi off naked girls? Oh! OK! I’ll see what I can come up with!

Two Los Angeles cops join forces. There’s the giant blond, musclebound, Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) and the super chic, suited and slick Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee). Their paths had crossed when fighting breaks out in a noodle bar on the streets of Little Tokyo, an area of downtown LA. Chris, the tall American had been raised all his life in Japan and lived and breathed the culture. Whereas, Johnny, on the other-hand, was an all American boy of mixed Japanese descent and embraced everything of his country. Both were masters of their chosen martial art. Johnny eyes up Chris with confusion as he speaks Japanese and wears his favourite samurai ninja style outfit “You sure are going full out for culture appropriation bro?

Chris lives the life. He was friends with the local noodle bar owner, he speaks fluent Japanese, dresses the part and resides in a reconstruction of his old family home. A traditional Japanese style house with minimal furniture and shoji paper screens. Chris had a traumatic past. His parents were murdered in front of him by a young member of the Iron Claw Yakuza clan when he was 9 years old. Trained from an early age he’d managed to lash out with his sword and cut the Yakuza’s face as he escaped. He would never forget the killers fully tattooed torso featuring the Iron Claw emblem.One day he had vowed to revenge his parent. That day would arrive when Yoshida (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) turns up with his scarred face and kills the local nightclub owner of the Bonsai Club. Squished in a scrap car compactor!

The psychotic Kingpin Yakuza boss, Yoshida runs the Red Dragon local brewery, a front for his drug distribution trade. A place he assigns all the local hood gangs. Everything was running so smoothly. Crystal meth being shipped out in concealed beer bottles. It was the perfect operation. Apart from dishing out some decapitations here and there and the usual lunatic boss stuff, boss Yoshida was quite happy with himself. Well, that was until our fighting Fist of Fury friends turn up and start kicking his gangs ass.

Tagline – The deadliest vice-kingpin under the Rising Sun has just come to the City of Angels…where two angels of death are about to make him wish he’d stayed in Japan.

There’s a common question that often arises, along with other things, on this movie site whilst I revisit the old memories of the video store rental days. That old sage classic of legend… Will you be needing the pause button during the duration of this here movie? Well, I let you know there’s a bouncing, bountiful, abundance of booby action in this cult action film. I’d say close your eyes and randomly press that button anywhere and you’re bound to land on some joyful, eye popping scene or another.

And to counteract that abundance flashing of Dolph’s pectoral muscles poking out of his skimpy vest all the time! We get the gorgeous Tia Carrere playing hot girl, damsel in distress, Minako Okeya. She’s happy to join the flesh-fest and drops her drawers for some hot-tub, lets fix these bruised muscles, fun. Somehow her hair suddenly becomes longer in a different style and her breasts become somewhat larger? Must of been the angle of the camera? Surely they wouldn’t of used a body double with boob implants? Anyhow I digress…

Showdown In Little Tokyo is full of frantic 90s action mayhem. Clocking in at one hour and fifteen minutes it doesn’t stop. It’s relentless. Apparently, as a result of the studio being pissed at the final test screen reaction they went to town chopping it up. And to be honest to them, it’s made it a rollercoaster ride of fun. Tons of fighting in saunas and steam houses, plus shootout and kung-fu galore. Plenty of explosions and they even throw in a fun electric shock torture scene. It also features one of the greatest baddie deaths to be filmed. All I’ll say is it features a giant catherine wheel. It’s here on YouTube if you want to see it. But best of all is the buddy relationship between our Dolph and Brandon. It’s well written with all the constant cheesy macho banter between them. It’s is sad to see Brandon coming across really likable and makes you feel gutted that the son of legend Bruce Lee would be soon killed, in his prime, during the filming of The Crow (1994). Showdown In Little Tokyo is a fun way to remember him.

I’ll leave with some choice interaction between Chris and Johnny

  • Johnny – (Asking for a translation) “What did that mean?
    Chris –Roughly translated, out of the frying pan and boned up the ass with a red-hot poker.
    Johnny –There you have it.
  • Chris –Hey, she was frightened.
    Johnny –Yeah, I saw you strip down for that hot tub. I’d be frightened, too…
  • Johnny –Kenner, just in case we get killed, I wanted to tell you, you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man.”
    Chris –Thanks. I don’t know what to say.
  • Chris –Are you scared?
    Johnny – (Bends down to smell his ass then stands back upright) “Nah!
  • Johnny – (Whilst being tortured with electric) “In between cooking cycles you’re supposed to baste us!
    Chris –That’s right, you FUCKING IDIOTS!!!