Film Universal Soldier After their wartime deaths, two soldiers are reanimated for a government project. Their bodies are re-engineered to become UniSols: soldiers with superior power and killing instincts, devoid of emotion.
When a terrorist group take over the Hoover Dam tourist area, the Army sends in these UniSols to storm the dam and save hostages. Television reporter Veronica Roberts (Ally Walker) follows the team and meets one of the revived soldiers, GR44, who suddenly remembers his past life.
The Original (1992) Film Universal Soldier
The original 1992 film is one of Disney’s first comedies, combining classic fantasy tropes with cartoony humor.
It was one of Disney’s most successful films, earning Academy Awards for both its music and its original songs (which included “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali,” among others).
The film has several interesting elements that make it stand out from other similar animated Disney movies, including the use of the Arabian Nights fable as the basis for its story, an unusual setting, a
more mature cast, and a much smarter script. These differences helped the film achieve its high level of success and make it a favorite for many fans.
Despite its high production values, The Original (1992) is a slow-burn film that focuses more on character development and emotion than on spectacle or humor. Nevertheless, its humor is still entertaining and recognizable as Disney territory.
For example, there’s a moment in the movie when Jasmine cries at her fountain when Aladdin denies her request to be her own wife,
John Hyams Film Universal Soldier
and it’s the only time she is seen as a fully-developed, independent character. Nasim Pedrad’s Dalia also adds more female comedy to the film.
This is a rare occurrence in an animated Disney movie, as most of the studio’s early comedies were centered on male characters.
This film is a testament to how far Disney has come since its first attempts at animated comedy, and it is a great film for children.
Another thing to appreciate about this movie is that it’s not just a story of a man fighting against evil and magic, but a social critique of the racial divide between the poor and the rich in America. The
movie is set in Cabrini-Green, an inner city public housing project that was then undergoing a gentrification process.
It’s a very good and well-made show, that manages to avoid some of the usual pitfalls that are common in those kind of historical drama series. It is able to draw specific attention to all the
characters, even those that you wouldn’t expect to be involved in the plot; it’s not a parade of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, as you often see in other kinds of shows or movies.
The Return (1993) Film Universal Soldier
Universal Soldier was the film that catapulted Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren into the height of action cinema popularity.
The two stars had not teamed up together for a film since Van Damme’s “Masters of the Universe” five years earlier and this was their first big budget movie together.
In the movie, a top-secret government program takes deceased soldiers and turns them into invincible cyborgs called UniSols. These cyborgs are able to swim faster, run harder and follow orders better than normal soldiers.
Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) is one of the soldiers who gets reanimated and goes on a mission to Vietnam. He and his superior Sergeant Andrew Scott (Lundgren) end up battling each other until they’re both dead in the mud.
Twenty-two years later, a group of terrorists take over the tourist area of the Hoover Dam and begin killing hostages. The government sends in a load of UniSols to help the army.
The UniSols are reanimated with the help of a special computer system, HAL-9000. They can control the body’s
Film Universal Soldier functions and perform combat tasks more effectively than regular soldiers, but their bodies are prone to malfunctioning.
However, after a while of working with the machine, Luc begins to feel more human again and starts to love his daughter. Unfortunately, this makes him a target for the other UniSols. The other
UniSols are led by Dr Gregor, a brilliant scientist who believes that the UniSols can be used to fight the enemy.
Although the movie is a good watch for fans of both martial arts and science fiction, it’s also a bit silly at times. It features a lot of sexist jokes and dumb action.
It’s also a bit confusing at times, as the story seems to be set twenty-two years after the original movie. This makes it hard to remember who is who, which is why I prefer the previous two films in the series.
The film was written and directed by Roland Emmerich who would go on to direct some of the biggest sci-fi movies of the 90’s. The movie does feature some great action scenes and the actors
do a decent job but there is a lack of substance here as well. This is a shame because it would have been a really great action movie had the characters and plot made more sense.
Film Universal Soldier The sequel to the 1992 Roland Emmerich original, Universal Soldier: Regeneration takes the cloned cyborg franchise on a darker and more adult tangent. Rather than the glitzy, uneasy comedy
that the first Universal Soldier film established, this one is all about bloody violence and the nihilist, cold horror of a bleak Eastern European world.
The plot has a Russian flavor: Terrorists kidnap the Prime Minister’s two kids and take the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The Russian-American coalition forces send four Universal Soldiers to attack but are unable to get the job done. So they call in a lone cyborg to help them out.
Van Damme looks haggard here, as he often does in his later years, but it fits the character well: a man who has lost his memory and is struggling to reconnect with reality. The action director John
Hyams, the son of Peter Hyams, has the film calibrated for blazing, bone-snapping brutality, swinging for the fences with slaughter-filled long takes and wall-shattering brawls.
Hyams and his cinematographer, Peter Hyams, do a fine job of capturing the action in
Film Universal Soldier this movie. Using Eastern European locations and a score that reflects this, the film does a great job of depicting an apocalyptic, grimy world.
Regeneration is very dark and bleak, with plenty of electronic drones, clanks and whirrs. It’s a much more serious take on the Universal Soldier franchise than The Return, and it does a pretty good job of putting the old UniSol back on the straight and narrow.
The cast includes the always reliable Dolph Lundgren, as well as a surprisingly well-acted Victor Ostrovsky,
who plays an ex-soldier turned terrorist. The whole movie is set at the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power station, and the film is heavily Russian in tone and dialogue.
In addition to the story being about a new generation of Universal Soldiers, it also takes on the themes of gender and masculinity during World War I. The movie features several prominent
characters, including Siegfried Sassoon (played by Dolph Lundgren) who was a poet and soldier and is introduced as a conscientious objector to the war.
Day of Reckoning (2012)
One of the last major low-budget franchises to go straight to video, Universal Soldier has churned out countless stinkers that treat women as props and blood as canvas. But the latest entry into the
series, Day of Reckoning (available this Friday on limited release and VOD), is a fresh reimagining that brings this saga
to life with more depth and style than you’d ever expect from an action film about dead soldiers who come back to life to be turbo-killers.
Director John Hyams, who helmed the previous Universal Soldier, Regeneration, has a clear eye for pacing and staging bone-crunching fight sequences with precision. He’s also a master at capturing
the gruesome violence in long, single-take shots that don’t flash too much or blur the scene as much as some recent “Bourne Identity” sequels do.
In a surprisingly edgy and ambiguous tale of a disillusioned former soldier who becomes a rogue UniSol, Day of Reckoning takes the series’ premise further by shifting perspective, allowing the
characters’ experiences to take center stage in this iteration of the story. Van Damme and Lundgren reprise their roles as Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott, respectively, but their actions are mostly
backgrounded by the events of “Regeneration.” Instead, we’re introduced to Unisol John (Scott Adkins), who has awakened from a coma and discovered that his wife and daughter were killed by
Luc Deveraux’s UniSol gang during a home invasion. Warned that Deveraux is still at large, John launches a personal vendetta against the former hero in order to expose a larger conspiracy.
While the movie is far from flawless, there are enough jaw-dropping combat scenes to keep fans of the genre sucked in.
The action is incredibly well-choreographed and the cinematography is excellent, with close-ups capturing details of body parts that pop up during the fights.
While some of the action is unnecessarily confusing, the film does feature a number of clever and interesting uses of 3D, including some stunning moments of visual impact. Ultimately, however, Day
of Reckoning’s stylistic risks don’t pay off. In particular, a number of first-person POV sequences and the use of
strobe lights are likely to make viewers avert their eyes. It’s also a little too experimental for my liking – bordering on avant garde at times.