Universal Soldier Reviews
Totally over the top violence and with a very over used robot/cyborg plot line (can't really help but mention 'The Terminator' here, sorry). But this is still a good solid action flick, possibly Lundgren's best as well. The final showdown between Van Damme and Lundgren is seriously epic, very tense and Lundgren being pretty darn intimidating in his 'pyscho zone'. The way he is so unstable makes for a very nerve racking character to watch.
Some of the sequences where he questions people or attacks them is actually pretty violent. The guy is like a rabid dog as he tears people apart, knives them or just guns them down...'are we having fun yet!?'. Lundgren really pulls out all the stops with this badass bad guy, highly impressive.
Visuals are good all the way through and like I said all the action is first rate with some great fights. JCVD in the bluecollar diner is nice, also the initial sequence with all the UniSols at the start is cool. Well some are your typical JCVD fights and setups basically but we know and love em right. Walker is cute, Lundgren is fudging evil and its all very predictable of course, like so many other similar action fests.
Its a much darker affair than most of JCVD's work if you ask me, very gritty and dirty with some real adrenaline flowing through the finale. You really feel the heat and sweat at the end, and if you're not cheering for 'Devereaux' to kick 'Scott's' ass then there's something wrong with you.
Cheesy as hell (check some of the dialog) but holy shit this is a riot. High bodycount assured.
I find it interesting that both Van Damme and Lundgren are playing organic robots - meat puppets, if you will - who gradually regain their memories in life. Both characters are in nearly identical circumstances, yet the actors play them very differently: Lundgren crafts an idiosyncratic character whose mannerisms are borderline playful, while Van Damme really embraces the robotic side of Luc Deveaux and despite his relative warmth and compassion, remains completely sober and languid. It's a strange dichotomy and interesting to see the two big blokes pitted against each other. It reminds me a little of the Batman-Joker relationship.
"Universal Soldier" is a good overall movie, but I didn't think it was the best Van Damme movie. The only thing that keeps the movie from being boring are the few fighting sequences and the feud between Van Damme and Lundgren. Jean-Claude Van Damme does one of his best acting jobs in this movie and Dolph Lundgren also did a good job. There is a few fighting sequences in the movie, but when compared to most of the other Van Damme movies, there's really not that much fighting involved in "Universal Soldier." I recommend anybody who likes Van Damme movies or good action movies to get "Universal Soldier." It doesn't have the best script or the best plot, but it is entertaining nonetheless. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. Van Damme's probably done more nude scenes than any actor I've ever known of lol.