[90’s Action Month] Universal Soldier Review

Universal-Soldier

Plot – 

A shady division of the U.S. Army is taking dead soldiers and bringing them back to life, effectively creating super soldiers.  Unfortunately for them, two of the soldiers start remembering who they were.  And then all hell breaks loose as they go to war against one another.

Review –

Universal Soldier has always been a favorite flick of mine.  Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren were two action idols of mine growing up.  To finally see them collide together in the same movie was, quite simply, a dream come true.  Does the movie deliver?  You’re goddamn right it does!

Van Damme plays Luc, a soldier who died in Vietnam trying to stop his sergeant, Andrew Scott(played by Lundgren) from massacring some innocent Vietnamese locals.  Now, this was the moment I realized we weren’t just seeing another run of the mill action movie.  The two leads kill each other within five minutes or so of the movie!  Not many flicks have the balls to do that.

After a mission to save the Hoover Dam from terrorists, a nosy reporter who had just been fired from her job sneaks in and snoops around.  Eventually, she discovers that the soldiers are not at all normal.  The Army is alerted and send a couple Unisols out to deal with her and retrieve the camera film.  Scott shoots her camera man and it causes Luc to have a flash of memory, taking the reporter away from the danger.  From there, it’s a game of cat and mouse as both Luc and Scott start regaining their memories and Scott hunts Luc down like a rabid dog.

universalsoldier-cryo

I’m glad we cant see the shrinkage in this shot

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of Roland Emmerich.  I think the guy is a hack.  A one trick pony.  Michael Bay-lite.  That being said, this movie of his came out before he became such a one note director and is easily the best movie he’s ever released.  The action is tight and the set pieces are amazing without going too far over the top.  Sorry folks, he doesn’t blow up the White House in this flick.  It’s competently shot and honestly very gripping.  You won’t be bored, that’s for damn sure.

universalsoldier_barfight

Take Van Damme’s food at your own peril

The action scenes are some of the best and most fun I’ve ever seen.  From the motel shootout, to the gas station shoot out, to the insanely entertaining bar fight Van Damme gets in, the action flows naturally and at times with a sense of humor.  The bar fight in particular is a great moment.  It blends humor with a lot of ass kicking and just makes me smile.  It’s easily a highlight of the movie.

Dolph Lundgren gets a lot of time to show off his ass kicking skills as well.  In fact, other than the bar fight, pretty much every action scene has both of them going at it.  Fun times!

universal-soldier-dolph-lundgren-ear-collection-vietnam

When Dolph say lend him your ears, he means it literally

The acting in this film really comes down to two people.  Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme.  That’s not to say the others were bad, it’s just that this movie is very firmly their show.  Everyone else is sort of window dressing.  Believe it or not, that’s not a bad thing.  Not in this, at least.

Van Damme holds his own as the hero.  He plays the amnesia up perfectly well and you can’t help but feel for him.  His lack of understanding is also the source of a lot of the humor in this movie.  Like when he asks the reporter to seek out something hard on his body.  No, he didn’t mean that.

The real star of the show is Dolph Lundgren.  In this, he’s allowed to go batshit crazy with the role.  You never know what he’s going to do or how bad he’s going to hurt somebody at any moment.  Honestly, he was easily my favorite thing in the movie.  Every time he’s not on screen I was waiting to see him again.

UniversalSoldier-pecgrope

Marcey’s favorite moment, hands down.  Further down.

In closing

This movie has everything going for it.  Two amazing action legends in their prime.  A ton of death and destruction.  The Muscles from Brussels getting felt up.  Dolph Lundgren’s ear collection.  If you like violent and funny action flicks, then check this out!  You won’t be disappointed.

UniversalSoldier-woodchipper

5 cut off ears on a necklace out of 5.

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