Universal Soldier - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Universal Soldier Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 13, 2013
Universal Soldier is among Roland Emmerich better works as a director. The film is a fun and entertaining popcorn flick that no one should take seriously. The plot is pretty good, and though not too great is a pretty cool idea in terms of Si Fi action. Acting wise, there are some so-so performances from the cast, but Lundgren and Van Damme are pretty good considering their lack of talent. They're perfect for the roles they play as it doesn't really require any great acting. This one should appeal to fans of mindless action films, and if you're looking for sheer entertainment value, Universal Soldier will surely give you what you're looking for in terms of effective thrills and interesting concept. Emmerich is not a good directing, but at times, he can create something watchable, and along Independence Day, The Patriot and Day After Tomorrow, Universal Soldier is one of his most entertaining films. Don't expect anything great with this one, as it is very flawed, but manages to overcome its weaknesses by delivering good action sequences that are designed to thrill and entertain the viewer looking for memorable thrills. This film has been compared to The Terminator, and I can see why, in some respects. Nonetheless, the film works well enough to separate itself from The Terminator by exploring new territory. If you enjoy mindless action flicks, then definitely give this one a shot. The film lacks any great performances, but it doesn't try to be an accomplished film in terms of acting, or truly remarkable story. This is a popcorn action flick, pure and simple and it doesn't try to be anything more than that. A definite must see for action fans looking for very good action and thrills.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2007
The first and easily the best of the entire franchise methinks. This Emmerich film is clearly a better and well funded film than all the rest. Its glossy all over from the camera angles, costumes, explosions and editing to the superb finale fight.

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.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2012
Not critically very good however the story was interesting and it was just something easy and fun to watch. Van Damme and Lundgren were good in the roles (although not great) but it's just a good watch if you want something easy.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2011
Hilarious movie. You can't go wrong with Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren as robots, laughable and absurd in the vein of Commando. Hollywood typically generates hit movies when they put bad actors into robot roles, that's dat robot power.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2010
This movie is more fun than a barrel of bodybuilders. If you can get past the silliness of the US military apparently stealing the workd of Mr. Freeze and making cryogenically-powered supermen out of decades-dead soldiers, this movie is great fun. The action scenes are well-shot, the fights are well choreographed and the entire concoction is threaded with enough comedy to keep the whole debacle above water. I really kind of relished the anxiety that the military higher-ups had about the potential for thier muscular bionic zombies breaking thier bonds. When Andrew Scott wyles out, it's delicious; not just because the hulking blond giant is a pleasure to watch, but because it's hilarious to see his ex-superiors scramble to avoid upsetting him.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2010
It is an incredibly unique and outlandish plot that almost anyone can get into and enjoy. While it's not perfect or exactly good on a serious level, it is about as enjoyable and fun as movies get. The double team of Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme really sells the movie and fuels all of the great moments, but even without them it is an interesting plot. I feel like Roland Emmerich really made his best movies early on, because this and Stargate remain his most original pieces of work.
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2009
The ultimate action showdown between two classic action heroes. It packs more serious punch than The Terminator. A riveting, exhilarating and spectacular action-packed thriller. A great amount of hard-boiled thrills and pulse-pounding excitement from start to finish. An original classic. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren turn up the heat with unstoppable force and when their characters come to their senses both the stars deliver pretty great performances. An action fans fun-house dream. An adrenaline-charged non-stop action rollar-coaster thrill-machine. A guilty pleasure loaded with great fight scenes and explosive gun battles. One of Lundgren's and Van Dammes's best films.
Super Reviewer
November 29, 2009
Man I dont know why this Movie is so overrated.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2009
In "Universal Soldier," Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a man who was supposedly killed in a war and is revived as a cyborg who is ordered around by the people who made him. Even though he's now mostly a robot, Van Damme keeps seeing flashes of things that happened in the past. These flashbacks turn him against one of his cyborg allies (Dolph Lundgren) and eventually leads to his freedom from being controlled by his creators. But the creators won't let Van Damme go free without them doing everything they can to get him back and under their control once again.
"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.
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2008
Universal crap.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2007
One of those movies that made me like Van Damme so much hehehe!
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2007
Wow..I still love it after all these years, What a Great Movie ^_^
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2007
I want ice.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2007
One of Van Damme's better action films as a futuristic soldier.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2007
Not as good as it could have been - very dramatic, it should have been made as an all out action packed movie - rather than mixing the drama in it.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2007
pretty decent action flick
Super Reviewer
½ December 30, 2006
Two of the least charismatic "stars" around in a hopeless Robocop rip-off that shows how useless Emmerich and Devlin are without a big bag of money and visual effects overload to back them up.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2006
Good action.
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2006
Wham-bang action picture for the boys. Bizarre that these guys can shoot through a telephone line but still miss an escaping car.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2007
This movie is entertaining, loud and destructive. Makes for a great night out at the movies. It was surprisingly good for those late 80's early 90's cheesy action movies.
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