Ahighly serviceable actioner about terrorists taking over a nuclear base, “Project Shadowchaser II” reps a further budget notch in the belts of L.A.-based Brit duo, helmer John Eyres and producer Geoff Griffith (“Monolith”). Though this second trip to the “Die Hard” well doesn’t have anything to keep Joel Silver awake nights, action buffs are assured a smooth ride.
Long-planned followup to the 1991 Eyres-Griffith original finally emerges under the Nu Image banner, with a plot totally different from that previously announced. Only links with the first is (now Nu Image contractee) Frank Zagarino as a terrorist android, and a similar holed-up storyline. Pic is also known as “Night Siege.”
Setting this time is Christmas at a privately run nuclear base ordered to dismantle its arsenal by the U.S. prez. When terrorists, led by a blond musclehead (Zagarino), take over the joint and threaten to nuke Washington, D.C. , a maintenance engineer (Bryan Genesse), a scientist (Beth Toussaint) and her son pick them off one by one.
Pic is smoothly cut, and has a script that takes time to sketch characters before the last hour of action. Genesse (also doubling as martial arts coordinator) and Toussaint make a good team without too many clever wisecracks, and Zagarino has a ball as the sicko android. Limited effects are solid and thriller elements click neatly into place.