Universal Soldier: Regeneration Reviews
Simply the plot here is really basic, group of terrorists have kidnapped the Ukrainian prime minister's son and daughter and holding them hostage for release of their mates that are banged up. Enter the US military and their UniSol project to save the day. Twist is the terrorists have also pinched the top ultra UniSol and using him for protection.
So you have a slow build up of slaughter as the US send in some regular UniSols and basic troops. Its kinda cool that their is this one ultra tough UniSol on the bad guys side, Andrei Arlovski is a rough looking fella and he sure does look good in action. Super UniSol v regular UniSol, can't deny its fun to watch...but fleeting.
Violence is high and the fighting is solid as Andrei wipes everyone out, so far so good. It just gets rather daft really when the US bigwigs decide to bring back aging UniSol 'Luc Deveraux' to go up against the new 'NGU' (new generation UniSol). Of course its a film and not real but come on...are we really suppose to think the wrinkled JCVD would be able to defeat Arlovski? just watching the film gives you the answer haha no.
Then of course you get the added bonus of seeing 'Scott' return from the UniSol grave. Now yes I admit its cool to see JCVD and Lundgren go at it again but there is completely no need for this in the film. Its obviously just a hook to get people back to see the film, both action allstars back for the sequel. Lundgren's role is merely a cameo and pointless, plus the fight between them both is mainly stunt doubles from what I could see.
So Lundgren comes and Lundgren goes with a weak ass death which make the whole thing even more pointless. We then get a pretty good fight between JCVD and Arlovski which of course you know how it will end, even though we all know it shouldn't do.
Putting it blankly, this film is only good for seeing some decent fights between a super UniSol and some regular UniSols. Then lastly seeing JCVD fight Arlovski, and that's it, the fight between Dolph and JCVD is pointless and kinda fake. Everything in between you can fast forward through. The blood splatters enough to make this a reasonable adult action flick but it feels more like a tame excuse just to get JCVD and Lundgren back together again, desperately trying to achieve the glory of the original.
Scott's a soldier like I've never seen."
"Beware of that guy,
His body count's high
'Cause he killed all the other marines."
A group of terrorists have taken over the power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Their demands are simple: free 227 political prisoners and give freedom to Pasalan (a made up government) or they will blow up the abandoned reactors, making Chernobyl the largest dirty bomb ever. And while they're at it, they'll also kill the Russian president's two children that they've taken hostage.
Luc Deveraux (Van Damme), who has tried to find his humanity all over again by the help of his own doctor, is once again called for. His job is to secure the bomb and rescue the kids. This time he is facing a more advanced Universal Soldier, code-named NGU. Has he got what it takes and oh yeah... What's Andrew Scott (Lundgren) doing in the picture?
'Universal Soldier: Regenaration' is a low budget movie and that can be seen so clearly. Like so many other similar movies, this fifth installment to the series was shot in Eastern parts of Europe for cheaper costs. There are so many things that bothered me in this movie and I'm sure that a lot of you would feel the same. Some explanations are as followed...
The action, especially the one with the U.S soldiers doing their operations is below any standards. It feels as if the crew had taken any random guy from the streets of Bulgaria and asked them if they want a part in a movie. There's like no authentic military procedures in the movie. None. The close combat scenes are a bit better but there's no wow factor here.
The use of anticipated characters. I chose to watch this movie because of Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme. I mean, the cover shows 'em both highlighted at the center. The screentime that the both get is so little that it left me very disappointed. Van Damme is the key character in the movie but he is basically shown at the beginning and in the end. Lundgren's main purpose here is to just give Van Damme an ass-whoopin'. Why? Why haven't they written this film entirely with a focus on these two figures? Ok, there's some questions answered at the end but I felt robbed.
'Universal Soldier: Regeneration' was also called 'New Beginning' at some point. So it is. There's no question about that this is not the last time that we will se these über soldiers in action. But I wanted Lundgren and.. well I got to see him but I wanted more, dammit! For those who are seeking closure to the series as they want it (before they fuck up the series again), 'Regeneration' comes recommended but ye be warned... You'll not be satisfied.
Part reunion, part reboot, Regeneration lives up to its name by rematching Van Damme against his original, cereal box-jawed nemesis, Dolph Lundgren, dragging a ton of retro-action baggage with them.
Actually, it's a bit of a cheat - you expect a versus movie, but both stars are AWOL for long stretches, Dolph, as a weirdly sympathetic FrankenSoldier, gets 15 minutes; Van Damme shows up to foil a terrorist nuke halfway through. Filling the gap is formidable walking fist Andrei Arlovski as a next-gen UniSol who likes to punch heads until they explode.
I sort of expected more.
I really tried to like it but some of the actors acting was painful to watch. However, there's cool UFC action but that's about it.
The story is okay, but in comparison to the first 'Universal Soldier' movie that was a hit, not even close even part two in my opinion was a better film.
This is more like a TV flick.
Not to say this movie was down right crap, it just hit on average, making it watchable by the fans.
The story, naturally, is a simple one - the Russian President's offspring are abducted by terrorists who occupy the Chernobyl Nuclear Complex; rigging the reactor with explosives and threatening to detonate these explosives unless the President complies with their demands. The terrorists also have a second generation Universal Soldier under their control (an enormous, unstoppable brute played by Andrei 'The Pitbull' Arlovski). With traditional armies failing to diffuse the dire situation, the powers that be have no alternative but to resurrect their 'Universal Soldier' program. Eventually, when things get desperate, the government recruits Luc Deveraux (Van Damme); one of the originals of the 'UniSol' program.
Universal Soldier: Regeneration was written by Victor Ostrovsky and helmed by newcomer John Hyams. Interestingly, John is the son of Hollywood mainstay Peter Hyams, who was responsible for such Van Damme vehicles Timecop and Sudden Death. Peter merely acted as cinematographer here; allowing his son to handle the directorial duties. Speaking from a critical standpoint, Regeneration is pretty poor, but John Hyams absolutely nailed the action sequences. The flick opens with a humdinger of a car chase - an effective, gritty, technically sound slice of cinema, which is particularly laudable given the lowly $14 million sum Hyams was playing with. Well aware that every penny counts, and keen to show off his film-making skills, the relatively inexperienced director displays real flair throughout the constant action sequences (some of which resemble Call of Duty: Modern Warfare). Topping this off, the fight choreography is sensational - the various punch-ups scattering judiciously throughout the runtime are guaranteed to get pulses pounding.
The crown jewel is, of course, the battle between Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. The first Universal Soldier, helmed by Roland Emmerich (before the man went on to become a destroyer of worlds), was nothing more than an excuse to pit two of the biggest action stars of the era against each other time and time again. Arriving seventeen years after the original film, this very basic formula is reused for Regeneration, and it still brings about a highly entertaining action vehicle. Granted, Van Damme only appears in about half the film, and Lundgren only receives roughly 15 minutes of screen-time, but even this is enough to saddle the film with a "Worth a Look" sticker. The boys bring it, and then some - they beat the tar out of each other, and their size difference works just as well here as it did in 1992. They're the real deal, too - it would appear they didn't have stuntmen doubling for them very often, because most of the time Van Damme and Lundgren can be clearly seen either receiving the beatings or dishing them out.
In addition, the work of Van Damme and Lundgren in Regeneration truly suits the acting range of both stars: they merely play emotionless thugs whose single objective is to kick some serious ass. Witnessing these two masters of mayhem at work reminds us (and will hopefully remind Hollywood) just how deserving Van Damme and Lundgren are of being given a chance at a big theatrical comeback. Granted, they are dire thespians, but they remain watchable in the context of a hardcore action film. These two aren't the only muscle-bound performers to see in Regeneration, mind you - wrestler Andrei 'The Pitbull' Arlovski is given ample opportunity to slaughter people and show off his fighting chops.
Taken merely at face value, Universal Soldier: Regeneration is a success. It achieves everything it sets out to do, and doesn't short the actionphiles one bit. It's easy to acknowledge the film's flaws - the highly predictable screenplay, the unremarkable dialogue, the not-so- compelling plot - but it all comes with the territory. Why expect the next The Godfather of a Universal Soldier flick? The final 30 minutes delivers the type of slam-bang, balls-to-the-wall action movie-making that's easy to appreciate. Regeneration is atmospheric, brisk and knows when to quit. It's a great beer and pizza flick, fellas.
Van Damme felt a little out of place and too old in the role here. He seemed like he was taking a step back with the role rather than a step forward (which he did in the 2nd film). Arlovski is awesome in the film. I could see him playing a Terminator in any new Terminator films. It was great that they brought Lundren back, but he is doing the exact same thing in the first film. He doesn't bring any depth or growth to the role.
I know the next Universal Soldier film brings a major character change to Van Damme. That one I definitely want to check out.
Lets just say if you were a fan of the original back in 1992, you will like this one as well. Now I have to go back and see if the original holds up to my 20 year old memories...
Van Damme just looks depressed that he's older and Lundgren just looks happy to be in a movie lol. There's a lot of action, yet the movie isn't that well done or exciting. The scenes where Arlovski fights and kills soldiers is like an Ultimate Fighting match, there's a lot of use of leg scissors and mounted punches to the face until his victims stop moving. So the fight scenes aren't all that exciting, in fact the movie isn't all that exciting either.