Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Reviews
The plot is just everywhere, I still don't think I get it. Adkins family is brutally killed by the now evil 'Luc Deveraux', he goes into a coma but comes out some 9 months later ready to get revenge. Sounds good right? no, for half the film we follow Adkins around as he talks to people and generally doesn't do anything remotely interesting accept for going into a strip joint (obligatory in UniSol films now it seems).
At the same time Arlovski is back again as another character I think, I'm actually not so sure if he's a clone of his last character from the last film or not. Anyway he is back and running around fighting other guys for apparently no reason what so ever. It turns out he is a 'sleeper' UniSol and has been 'switched on' by 'Luc Deveraux' and is now fighting other sleeper UniSols to find the strongest and recruit them...I think.
The whole idea is 'Luc Deveraux' is finding sleeper UniSols to recruit into his 'UniSol church' or new order so they can errr all take over the world I guess, beats me. Since when were there lots of sleeper UniSols running around?? I thought all UniSols were kept under lock and key as top secret fighting machines. Now there are tonnes of them in this film, all living regular lives without knowing, only needing to be 'switched on'.
The whole thing is completely naff frankly and makes no sense, why is 'Deveraux' now a bad guy wanting to kill innocents?. I know he ran off at the end of the last film but he was still aware of being good. Why on earth is Lundgren back in this? who keeps recloning him?? he's obviously a crap UniSol cos he keeps getting killed horribly lol!. While I'm on the subject how the hell are the characters 'Miles' and 'Dr Colin' back in this? they were killed in the last film and they aren't UniSols just regular mortals.
I'm still not even sure if Adkins family were suppose to be real or just a memory implant, such a mess.
Yes there are two good fight sequences, one between Adkins and Arlovski and the other between Adkins and Lundgren. JCVD doesn't really feature much and his final fight isn't that much really, maybe age is finally creeping up on him, it certainly is with Lundgren methinks. He's very slow and his movements are clearly fake these days.
Very disappointed with this and really just another poor excuse for JCVD to team up with Lundgren and Adkins. I think the time has come for this franchise to hang up its military boots before it heads back into bargain basement made for TV territory again. You know at some point it will without the big stars of course.
And why is Van Damme's head painted half black and half white in the finale?? what the hell is that about!?.
Scott Adkins was the wrong choice for the hero role. He is too flat and bland. His journey is kind of like Matt Damon's journey in Bourne Identity and Liam Neeson in Unknown. He is trying to find out who he really is. The style of the film feels like a horror film, which doesn't work here. The action scenes are not that good. I am surprised they brought back Andrei Arlovski back for this film. Lundgren does very little given the few scenes that he is in.
My favorite Universal Soldier film is the 2nd one with Van Damme, Goldberg, and Michael Jai White.
The greatest triumph of the movie surprisingly isn't its grandiose, gore splattered action sequences, but rather the screenplay of John Hyams, Doug Magnuson, and John Greenhalgh. While admittedly some elements of the film are clichéd and corny beyond belief, for every one generic writing choice, there're at least five narrative curveballs to make up for it. Juggling all of the ideas listed in the opening sentence while still allowing time for multiple fight scenes is pretty incredible, and can be considered an even greater accomplishment when realizing that exposition needs to be filled in for newcomers, and even more time must be set aside for character development. Besides a small writing credit for Hyams, and a sole TV writing credit for Magnuson, none of the writers had any official experience writing screenplays before now. If a reunion was put into place for Hyams' next picture, hopefully this team would be able to soar to even greater heights than the already lofty ones featured here.
When regarding the action sequences, it's difficult to think of another film as bipolar with its visual style and fight choreography. It opens with its, by far, most memorable scene: An unbroken take of a home invasion with gruesome consequences, shot entirely in the first person perspective. It's a brutally realistic, unrelentingly dark, slap-in-the-face way to start the film; seemingly a direct statement from the director that this installment will be the "Christopher Nolan-ification"of the franchise. Out with the old 90's style dumb action, and in with the new hyper realism technique of modern action filmmaking. However, after this opening sequence, the new style is slowly dropped in favor of a vision far closer to Zack Snyder. The violence gradually becomes more stylized as the film progresses, until the final fight, which more closely resembles a Boss Battle from a video game than anything else. It's ADHD directing and editing: Quickly growing tired of one filmmaking style, and then moving on to another.
The acting isn't all together very noticeable, other than a memorably loony performance from Lundgren as one of the leaders of an underground legion of Unisols. Though he only has around 15 minutes of screentime, he gives one of the most berserk acting jobs I've ever seen. Also, despite his huge presence on the film's cover Van Damme is only on screen for approximately 10 minutes, but probably less. Deveraux is seen only in brief flashbacks, and a final scene toward the conclusion.
While the action flick doesn't necessarily deliver anymore than it would based off its title, a more than solid script and some memorable action sequences make it more than worth anyone's time. Though I doubt it will have very much success in its brief theatrical run, it should provide solid entertainment for those who inevitably stumble across it when on DVD.
he gets tracked down by the uni sols ,including dolph lundgran this is a very Gorey action movie and will apeal to anyone who is a fan of the universal soldier movies i give this 3 out of 5 stars