It was inevitable really, a sequel to the biggest hit that Steven Seagal ever had. The plot this time sees ex-SEAL Casey Ryback (Seagal) taking a train journey with his niece (Katherine Heigl before she shed her puppy fat and became too good for this kind of stuff – ironic considering that this movie and Bride Of Chucky are two of the more watchable films that she’s starred in). Unfortunately for everyone on the train, it is about to be commandeered by some very bad men (led by Eric Bogosian) who want to make ridiculously large sums of money by causing ridiculously large amounts of damage. It’s up to our hero chef to save the day once more.
Geoff Murphy directs this sequel, from a script written by Richard Hatem and Matt Reeves (yes, THAT Matt Reeves), and he often hits all the right buttons. The whole thing is ludicrously unbelievable but nobody stands around and pretends that they’re partaking in something by Shakespeare. Special effects are okay, though inconsistent, but people punch, kick and shoot each other convincingly enough and that’s the most important thing to get right in a film of this type.
Seagal provides his usual, limited, range of expressions, Eric Bogosian has a blast as the smartass bad guy and Katherine Heigl gets put in peril because she’s the niece of Ryback. Elsewhere, we get decent supporting turns from Morris Chestnut (he’s the nervy sidekick this time and he’s okay but, let’s face it, he’s no Erika Eleniak), Everett McGill is a tough baddie who relishes the challenge of facing up to Ryback and Peter Greene points a gun and shouts at people. There’s also a small amount of screentime for Brenda Bakke, who doesn’t get to do all that much but I have a soft spot for her and just thought I’d sneak her name in here.
Slap-happy chop-socky goodness, a train racing towards danger and a quip or two to accompany each major death – it all adds up to a sequel that will please fans of the first movie even if it’s all forgotten about a few days later.