Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Movie Review

Release: 2012, Rating: R, Runtime: 114 min.

What has happened to the Universal Soldier series? We got a cheesy, but awesome movie in the early 90’s, Universal Soldier and from there, we were treated to a bunch of low budget, STV sequels (Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business). In the late 90’s, we got a true sequel by the way of Universal Soldier: The Return, which ignored the STV versions, but quite honestly sucked. Finally, we got a worthy sequel in Universal Soldier: Regeneration, which rocked me so much, it hurt. So, I ask again what the hell happened to the Universal Soldier series, to warrant us yet another shitty sequel by the way of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning? We were so close to having two good movies in a row…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit. 

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The movies plot defines the word convoluted. It throws at us a bunch of nonsensical exposition about clones, implanted memories and extreme bouts of fighting. We also got Van Damme looking very depressed and like he wasn’t being paid to be in the movie.

Ohhh god! I’m sooooo bored.

The movie follows newcomer to the series Scott Adkins as John, whose family is brutally murdered in front of him by Jean-Claude Van Damme himself, Luc Deveraux. Flash forward nine months of being in a coma and John gets out and hunts down Luc. Cut to several flashy scenes of a depressed Van Damme, a criminally underused Dolph Lundgren, returning as Andrew Scott and finally Andrei ‘The Pit Bull’ Arlovski, who returns from the far better sequel Regeneration.

The movie is just too damn long and too damn strange for my taste. It plods along with no end in sight and the action scenes come few and far between. I will admit, when they do happen, they are pretty damn exciting, although I wish the fight between Adkins and Van Damme would’ve lasted longer. Same goes with the Dolph Lundgren fight. Also, the movie is pretty violent and gory, which surprised me a lot and I really enjoyed it better for it.

Fans of the first movie and Universal Soldier: Regeneration are probably going to be pretty disappointed with Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. I know some reviews really praise the movie for trying something different and unique, but honestly, I just see as them trying to be too damn smart and odd for their own good. If you happen to be curious enough to see how the series has once again dropped in quality, check the movie out. You’ll probably enjoy the fight scenes and gore, but other than that, you’ll be bored to tears, much like Van Damme was.


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