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Universal Soldier - The Return (1999)

tomatometer

5

Average Rating: 2.7/10
Reviews Counted: 58
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 55

Universal Soldier - The Return fails on almost every level, from its generic story to its second rate action and subpar performances.

13

Average Rating: 3.2/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 20

Universal Soldier - The Return fails on almost every level, from its generic story to its second rate action and subpar performances.

audience

24

liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 43,329

My Rating

Movie Info

Jean-Claude Van Damme returns as cybernetic warrior Luc Deveraux in this sequel to the 1992 action hit. After barely surviving his experiences as a part-human/part-robot Universal Soldier, Luc has opted to stay out of the front lines and work with a military project to refine and perfect the system. However, something goes wrong (as they so often do in films like this), and S.E.T.H. (Michael Jai White), the android supercomputer leading the new breed of soldiers, suddenly develops a murderous

Aug 28, 2001

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All Critics (58) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (55) | DVD (12)

You, dear moviegoer, must not buy a ticket to this badly programed sequel. You must save the world from Universal Soldier III: How Bad Can It Get?

July 27, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Universal Soldier: The Return isn't the dullest, most derivative, unimaginative, noisy, repetitive, mind-numbing and generally imbecilic movie of the year, it's not because director Mic Rodgers wasn't trying hard enough.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the record, this is the fourth Universal Soldier movie if you count two cable sequels, but why would you?

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's actually the fourth entry in the series, after a couple of straight-to-cable sequels. That's a lot of pulp to squeeze out of a concept that was fairly juiceless to begin with.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An underwhelming follow-up to one of the career-stalled action star's better efforts.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This SF action sequel must have been slapped together fast: live-action stunts created by uninspired editing lead up to computer-generated imagery that's just as lame.

March 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching a bunch of dull characters hurtling through a plate glass window about 50 times is neither inventive nor exhilarating, proving perhaps that ex-stunt co-ordinators shouldn't be allowed a stab at feature film directing.

July 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

This is cynical, manipulative, idiotic film-making. It's hard to express how bad this film is.

July 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Whereas Emmerich's original had enough personality and energy to provide solid (if stupid) entertainment, Rodgers seems content to merely cobble together a succession of blatantly lifted-and poorly executed-set-pieces

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Please, even if it means offsetting a planned schedule, do not see this movie. It could be the biggest mistake of your life. I should know: I made it.

March 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

Close your eyes and repeat after me: pro wrestlers must never ever EVER try to act.

January 9, 2003 | Comment (1)
Flipside Movie Emporium

Hopefully this is the last we have seen of the Unisol series, but unfortunately the dearth of creativity in Hollywood, will allow it to live for another abysmal dumbing.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A disappointing entry to the sci-fi / action-movie canon.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

I would suggest that you use this film solely as a form of torture.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Plenty of bone-crunching brawn, but not a brain cell in sight.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Universal Soldier - The Return

Sequel to Universal Soldier brings mindless action to a new level. However does it pay off? Well let me start by saying that the original film, although not the best action film, it certainly wasn't the worst either. But this film lacks anything that made the first one worth seeing. This is a mediocre action flick that has poor acting, a poor plot and sloppily thought out action scenes that simply fail to thrill. Universal Soldier: The Return feels lazy and it is clear that the filmmakers didn't care about creating something as exciting as the first. Universal Soldier was thrilling, fun and mindless popcorn action that worked because of an interesting idea. However this sequel tries too hard at bringing more depth to the UniSol franchise and it just doesn't succeed because the script is too sloppy and is limited to paper thin ideas that simply don't take off. Also one of the big problems with this sequel is that they tried to give Van Damme's character too much personality, and the result is not impressive, and leaves a lot to be desired. There is not much to offer fans of the first, and a few ideas were recycled from the previous one. This is a lacking film that just fails in terms of an effective and memorable action film. The script is laughable and the acting is wooden, with no standout performances. Even in terms of a mindless action yarn, Universal Soldier The Return just doesn't cut it. I much more enjoyed the first film, even with all its flaws, it was fun and engaging to watch, however this sequel is void of great action and interesting plot.
January 15, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Despite being a direct sequel to the original 92 hit this film has since become defunct and ignored within the UniSol franchise. That is of course on top of the two made for TV films which are also ignored, so really the UniSol franchise is a bit of a mess.

You can see why this film was not a hit upon release and since ignored. The whole look of the film is not much better than the previous made for TV films. Everything is set within your standard cliched generic military base/weapons experimentation type facility, it all looks very dull, very grey and with plenty of glass and computer monitors to shoot up hehe.

The plot about the master computer brain taking over the UniSol project it looks after and basically setting all the UniSols free is basic but reasonable. This equal lots of faceless military types getting shot to pieces every 5min and plenty of 'Terminator' style posturing from the UniSols. The saving grace being the fight between JCVD and White, White being one of the best visual fighters in the biz. Unfortunately Goldberg doesn't quite get the true fight he deserves and merely lurches around as comical relief half the time, if you can call it that.

The whole film feels very watered down and not really in the same adult vain as the original film. There is even a 'Hal' moment in the film clearly ripped from '2001', its like they are trying too hard with the material. End of the day this film hasn't broken away from the 'made for TV' look n feel of the previous two efforts.
December 5, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Not all that good. I thought it was best to just leave it alone after the first one.
February 26, 2009
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

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