Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Blu-ray Review
PictureUnder Siege 2 gets its Blu-ray debut complete with a 1080p High Definition video rendition in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. Detail is pretty good, but not wholly stable, occasionally allowing both grain and softness to invade the picture. For the most part it looks good however, the exterior train sequences looking generally much better than the interior film set sequences. Stock footage is blended in quite well, with shots from the oil rig explosion in Seagal's own On Deadly Ground and stealth fighter scenes integrated into the proceedings almost as if they were commissioned for this movie. It is neither a big budget affair ($60 Million movie), nor is it that recent (made 3 years after Under Siege, putting it at nearly 14 years' old, so it is understandable that things don't look perfect, but - considering it was about twice the budget of the prequel, I was surprised that it did not look significantly better on Blu-ray. Still, the picture is never even close to being bad enough to distract you from the action proceedings, with a decent enough colour rendition that gives you good (if slightly pinkish) skin tones, lush scenery, clinically blue ops centres and realistic train interiors. Blacks are also pretty consistently solid, noticeably so during the final act which is largely set at night, and overall this is a passable if far from exemplary presentation for this sequel.
SoundTo accompany the movie we get a perfectly acceptable, if totally unexceptional Dolby Digital 5.1 track. They clearly haven't bothered splashing out for anything indicative of a High Definition release, but then again this is probably not a premium title to go that extra mile with. Still, the track does the movie justice, offering up clear and coherent dialogue, from Seagal's low-pitched rumblings to the incessant babbling of the eccentric, diabolical villain. The effects are quite well represented as well, gunshots offering up some punch and track dynamics, with a few explosions thrown into the mix, but little attention paid to anything smaller or more atmospheric - aside from perhaps the constant train-related sounds. The score sticks to the slightly patriotic action thriller sentiments established by the first movie, and does quite well to keep you enthused about the action and thrills, but overall this is just a by-the-numbers representation that certainly does not detract from the movie but seldom dips into territory worthy of note.
ExtrasAll we get is a trailer gallery for some of Seagal's movies.
VerdictUnder Siege 2 is a harmless, perfectly enjoyable Die Hard-style Seagal movie, entertaining for what it is and unlikely to disappoint if you're aware of its limitations. As sequels go, it does well to live up to the standards of the first outing, yet still remain fresh and original. No Seagal fan is going to be disappointed and few action movie-goers out there should be disappointed. On Blu-ray, the movie looks decent enough and comes with an acceptable aural presentation and nothing but trailers to round off the disc. It's what you would expect for this kind of release, nothing special, but few purchasers out there are likely to be complaining - they're getting a decent enough medium-budget Seagal action movie on Blu-ray, looking and sounding the best it probably ever will.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.97
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