Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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


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 … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Christopher Leitch, Richard Rothstein, John Fasano, William Malone, Dean Devlin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Official Site

Cast


as Dylan Cotner

as Capt. Blackburn

as Maggie

as General Radford

as Sgt. Morrow

as 2nd Technician

as RL Gate Guard

as Hillary's Doctor

as Drag Queen

as 60-Year-Old Woman

as Erin's Stripper

as Female News Anchor

as Pediatric Nurse

as Radio Man

as Big Biker

as Lead RL Guard
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Universal Soldier: The Return

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (24)

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?

Full Review… | July 27, 2014
New York Daily News
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 7, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 7, 2013
AV Club
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 17, 2008
Variety
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

TheDudeLebowski65
Alex roy

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.

phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

"Universal Soldier: The Return" isn't what you think it might be if you saw the original Universal Soldier movie that starred Van Damme. Jean-Claude Van Damme is not one of the universal soldiers in this movie, he's a human going up against many evil universal soldiers including wrestling star, Goldberg, and Seth (martial artist, Michael Jai White).
"Universal Soldier: The Return" isn't really a good movie, but it does have a lot of good special effects, and fighting sequences. The first 50 minutes of the movie isn't that great, but the last 40 minutes of the movie is some of the best action and fighting sequences I've seen in awhile. If you like Van Damme movies or movies with some good action, I recommend seeing "Universal Soldier: The Return." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. 40 minutes of great action, otherwise, eh.

stormyweather980
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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