Friday, May 7, 2010

Universal Soldier: Regeneration

The rule of movie making is that the first film is a huge smash, then the sequel is another huge hit.
Then the third movie is a piece of shit.

Not in the case of Universal Soldier: Regeneration.

If you want to get technical, this is the fifth movie in the franchise, however it's the third Universal Soldier movie to star Jean Claude Van Damme, so in my mind it's the third movie in the franchise.
Not to discredit the makers of the two tele-movies, and I apologise to Burt Reynolds for not crediting him for his work on the franchise.

Anyway, on to Universal Soldier: Regeneration.
Here's the trailer.
And here's the redband trailer (you must be over 18 years of age to watch this one....)

Here's the movie poster.
It really doesn't leave you with much, hey? It is a straight-to-DVD release but as I've written before, don't let that discourage you from seeing this.
This movie has SO much going for it, and in many ways does things so very, very right.

The director, John Hyams, really sets up something great here. If you're going to watch this movie, you know what you want to see.
And you get it.

At the moment one of the most popular video games on the market is Call To Duty.
Whilst watching this movie I certainly felt like I was watching a Call To Duty movie.
This movie really shows how tough the US military are. Something which wasn't shown to much extent in the previous films, and is one of the reasons this movie works so well.

It's gritty, it's real (despite being a movie about soldiers brought back from the dead to fulfill impossible military objectives). Best of all it shows Jean Claude Van Damme at his career best.

At the age of 50 I was thinking beforehand that we would see close-ups of Van Damme, and get a stock standard action film.

The cinematographer, Peter Hyams, really needs praise for his work on this film.
Unlike most American action films, in which the camera is up-close-and-personal when it comes time to film an action scene, in this film the camera stays well away.
I call this the Hong Kong style of filming action movies. It worked so very well in the 1970's-1980's Hong Kong action films, and it certainly works well in this film.

By having the camera well away from the action, we get to see everything. The foreground, the background, the two protaganists.
And best of all, we get to see that it's really Jean Claude Van Damme pulling off these amazing feats of action, rather than some body double.

And boy is there action. Just look at these images!

This movie has a plot. There's Chernobyl, there's a bunch of terrorists, and a rogue military outfit conducting their own tests on Universal Soldiers.

And yep, they've brought back Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), who is still as crazy as ever.

At 53 years of age Dolph is still as fit as ever. I knew he was big in the original movie, and especially in Rocky IV, but my God look at him here. He's huge!
With Andrew Scott running around Chernobyl, you know Luc Deveraux (Jean Claude Van Damme) isn't far behind. Luc's been spending his time in between the sequel and this film, trying to integrate himself back into society.
To not much luck.
So when the fan gets a nice spraying, the military get him suited up and back into action.

Needless to say, when Luc confronts Andrew, it's not a happy reunion.
I was certainly pumped to see the ensuing fight scene though. It's a doozy!

As you can see in this image though, they hug it out. :)

That's not the end of it though.
Throughout this movie NGU (Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski) has been causing headaches (and causalities) for the US military. Even up against other Unisols, he can't be stopped.

And when NGU is a Former Ultimate Fighting Champion, it's not hard to see why and how he kicks so much ass.

Here he is again.
You just know NGU and Luc are going to have a showdown.
It happens, and I loved every second of it.
It's fierce, it's brutal, and as I wrote about above, it's there in all it's glory.

Thankfully though by the end of the movie they all fight out their problems, for a group photo.

Isn't that nice? :)

In all honesty, if you're a fan of the Universal Soldier movies, or even if you just want to see a traditional, hardcore action film, please check out this movie.

You can purchase it here
Universal Soldier: Regeneration

Or you can hire it from your local video store (unless you live in Australia, in which you need to go to a speciality DVD store handling US-based DVD's).
In closing, for an action film I give this a 9 out of 10.
It comes with my highest recommendation.
If you're in the mood for an action film, watch this.
What did you think of this review? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen the movie and I LUVED IT. Good review Maart.