Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 11, 2013
A man watches as his family is killed, then dedicates his life to tracking down the killer despite having lost all memory of his past life. Surprising sequel plays more like an ultraviolent horror/suspense movie than the expected action flick. Longtime fans of the franchise may not like the change in tone but it's fairly entertaining as a standalone film.
Super Reviewer
½ January 13, 2013
Where does the latest entry in the Universal Soldier franchise stand? Usually by the fourth film in any series, ideas start to be less than original and filmmakers start to recycle ideas and make mediocre and awful outings that will surely displease fans. However with this fourth entry, the filmmakers have made the most violent film in the franchise, and this is a savage work of action that is among the best in the series. Forget what you saw with the other three films in the series; Day of Reckoning is a totally new, refreshing and very entertaining film in the series that is worth seeing if you're a fan of the Universal Soldier films. This is one of the more elaborate films in the series in terms of plot, and it seems that the screenwriters went all out to create some much more engaging for action fans. The mindless action is there, but there is also a much better plot as well. Acting wise, the performances are adequate, but could have been better. Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning feels like a revenge action flick, and is one of the better films in the genre. I really didn't expect much out of this film, and quite honestly it surprised, considering that this series was never excellent in the first place and that it is a straight to DVD film. Fans should definitely check this one out and it far better than other entries. I'm very surprised that they were able to pull the film since the first and considering that, it's saying something about the quality of the film, and in some areas, it exceeds in delivering in some areas where the original failed. A pretty good and impressive straight to DVD picture that provides a highly entertaining two hours.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2013
decent enough but not really the usual Universal Soldier kind of movie
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2012
One of the best action films of 2012. The best Universal Soldier yet. It hits all the right notes. A tremendously cool, frighting and mind-blowing action ride. An intense, bloody, sizzling and electrifying movie. A fully-loaded, adrenaline-pumping and hard-edged action-packed thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat right till the very end. It`s loaded with brutal and explosive action sequences and heart-racing suspense and riveting story that keeps you guessing and enthralled at every corner. A sharp, muscular, atmospheric and intensely scary thrill-machine. Director, John Hyams boldly and fearlessly takes the franchise to new territory and pulls it off awesomely. The most brutal entry to the series, it works as a sequel for long-time fans and a stand-alone film for newcomers. A wickedly entertaining and explosive tour de force. Scott Adkins is excellent, he is the lead of this picture and keeps you glued to your seat and compelled with his strong performance and incredible physicality. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lungdren are back. Van Damme is a force of nature, he dose so much with so little and still manages to keep your attention. Lungdren is electric, giving a fierce and great performance. It has a horror movie type of feel at the start and explodes with great twist and turns all the way through. This makes Universal Soldier and Universal Soldier: Regeneration, look like puppy chow. It takes you down and a more dark and twisted road, It`s as if David Cronenberg made a martial arts take on Apocalypse Now.
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2012
What the hell goes on here? I'm still rather confused with this plot, on top of that it sucked ass!. This is now overall the sixth UniSol film but the third that is suppose to be cannon...somehow, and frankly it needs to be the last.

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!?.
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2014
Of the 4 Universal Soldier films, this is by far, the worse one yet. It is like they wanted to give the franchise a huge reboot and failed at it. They had a great idea of turning our hero Van Damme as the villain here. He does a great job here. But they failed in explaining why our hero went bad. A lot of the Universal Solider film do not have continuity.

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.
September 7, 2013
½ September 26, 2013
This was just another terrible attempt at a sequel. The only good movie of the entire franchise was the original. The last movie tops it off for being the worst of them all.
May 23, 2013
kinda entertaining but the story confusing luc deveraux was the good guy in the other ones but this nah this waste of time
½ November 24, 2012
Somehow the fans and critics alike, both seem to enjoy this movie. I still can't believe that I actually checked that this is one I wanted to see. The movie actually made no sense...The plot was none existent and I think I even fell asleep on some parts of it. Save your money and don't buy or rent this one
½ November 20, 2012
A fantastic entry that totally lives up to the hype. Lundgren gives a great performance as well as Van Damme. Scott Adkins ferociously embodies a modern action hero. Definitely worth the money on VOD.
November 5, 2012
Replete with plot points involving cloning, mind control, false memories, superhuman soldiers, shady government dealings, screwdriver lobotomies, underground brotherhoods, and regenerating limbs, it's an accomplished feat that John Hyams' fourth sequel to the unlikely "Universal Soldier" franchise doesn't come off as a hastily assembled, ludicrous jumble of insanity. A series packed with as much visceral energy and intensity as offbeat sci-fi elements, this installment pushes usual protagonist Luc Deveraux (most commonly portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme) off to the sidelines, and chooses to focus on a new recruit to the Universal Solder program, played by Scott Adkins. Also returning is Dolph Lundgren as St. Andrew Scott, the initial antagonist of the original film. With the two reigning champions of direct-to-video action flicks reuniting for an over-the-top, testosterone infused, gore extravaganza, all director Hyans essentially needs to do is shoot a couple of well choreographed fight scenes, and call it quits to deliver the grindhouse masterpiece college frat boys will inevitably be able to quote verbatim. And while the film doesn't necessarily reach such great heights when compared to ordinary Hollywood action pictures, it certainly crosses this low bar with flying colors.

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.

Grade: B-
½ March 13, 2015
Sono tentato di mettergli 8, questo è veramente l'Apocalypse Now dei film d'azione o_O ci vogliono i cojones per prendere una saga di serie B dimenticata da tutti e trasformarla in questa roba ribaltando tutto. Tanto di cappello a Hyams jr, ma soprattutto a Van Damme.
November 19, 2014
matko jedyna, tak si? nie powinno robi? filmów!
February 28, 2014
Scott Adkins plays a man who has his family killed by universal soldiers the leader played by Luc Deveraux ( van damn) and goes after vengeance ,but in pursuit of him
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
½ September 25, 2014
Bleak Brutalist action film,Van Damme shows up and kind of just gives up,as though hes in some sort of art film
August 9, 2014
Leads you down a rabbit hole that you wish you never started.
½ July 8, 2014
Outstanding and intense. Will probably become a 5 upon rewatch due to distraction.
June 14, 2014
I don't know why I watched it except for the fact it was on TV. Waste of time
½ March 22, 2014
Got this rec from Smugfilm's John D'Amico with very strong praise, so I was expecting something unusual and special. It's certainly not a run of the mill action movie in a lot of ways. Lighting and colors are artful and deliberate, and a few scenes have a strangeness that is downright Lynchian (the office inside the blue-hued meat freezer, for instance). The spare and visceral score suits the hero's tone as well as the grunting, gory fights. The concept is executed about as well tonally and artistically as you could ask for. But the concept isn't very original, and it's rarely fun. There is waaaaay too much machismo; once the plot kicks into gear, most of the film is nothing but oiled musclemen beating each other up in dramatically destructible environments. The amnesia plot device, the super-soldier program, the empty pageantry and rhetoric of super-soldier revolutionaries, it's all just so humdrum. Yawn.
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