Written by Mr. Mouseburger 18th Jun 2005
Travis Dane's plans have backfired, he had successfully gained control of the stealth government satellite, Grazer One, whose primary purpose seems to be nothing more sinister than zooming in from the far reaches of space to view the erect nipples of some sunbathing beauty. He had also managed to take control of a stealth train with which to terrorise the US government. However, what Dane did not account for was getting on a train with Ex Navy SEAL, and all round hard bastard, Casey Ryback on board.
Come the climactic ending of the film, Ryback has made his way past a slew of mercenary minions, including Penn(q.v.), in order to meet the end of level boss, Travis Dane. When Ryback confronts him, Dane is confident that nothing can stop him from destroying Washington.
However, by standing there clutching a laptop with a mobile phone taped to it, there appears to be a flaw in the plan. Ryback shoots the phone and the bullet plunges deep into Dane's stomach, to which Dane says "I didn't think of that". This action by Ryback breaks the communication link with the satellite, and allows the military to quickly self-destruct Grazier One before it can fire on Washington. Following the shot, Dane falls out of the train window to his death (or so we are led to believe).
There are suddenly more pressing matters for Ryback and his niece, as the train they are in is about to be hit by an oncoming train. Sarah manages to get on to the helicopter rope ladder before the collision, but our hero is less fortunate. Thrown to the end of the carriage, and with carriages being crumpled rapidly, he has to make a dash for the end of the train. I say dash, but in a Seagull film there is no such thing as dashing, it is always a casual Sunday afternoon jog.
The drama is intensified when you see the last carriage starting to topple over the ravine. In the nick of time, Ryback leaps out and grabs the helicopter's rope ladder. What a boy!
But wait a minute, as Ryback is climbing the ladder Dane's hand grabs hold of him. We see a nice backdrop of explosions from the train's collision, and Dane is slowly being consumed by fire. His involvement in this film is finally ended when Ryback gets into the helicopter and slams the door shut. The door must be razor sharp, as this simple shutting action is enough to sever off Dane’s fingers and shear the rope ladder too, sending Dane falling into the fireball below.
I have listed this as unsatisfying because I felt the scriptwriters chose the easy option of having Ryback shoot Dane's mobile phone to stop the attack instead of something more cerebral. As was established earlier in the film, the area of America this train was travelling in was called "dark territory", which is to say that you could not get a mobile phone signal there. So how could Dane be uplinked to the satellite?!