Universal Soldier Regeneration Is Not Very Good

The first Universal Soldier came out back in 1992, was directed by Roldand Emmerich, starred Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, and is a pretty decent action movie.

It’s got a pretty ludicrous plot. Van Damme is killed in Vietnam while fighting with Lundgren, their bodies are preserved and they’re brought back as super soldiers in the early 90’s. Lundgren goes crazy, makes a necklace out of various people’s ears, and tries to kill Van Damme. There’s shooting, chasing, fighting and explosions, it’s fun.

Unfortunately Universal Soldier Regeneration lacks fun. And most of the movie lack Van Damme.

The movie starts out alright, with a pretty decent car chase. These two kids get kidnapped by the bad guy universal soldier and there’s shooting and smashing and it’s a good way to start the movie. It’s the next hour that drops the ball.

Cause the only reason anyone rented this movie is that they wanted to see Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren fighting again. That doesn’t happen till about 75 something minutes into the movie, so up until that point the watcher probably just doesn’t give a fuck.

So that plot has something to do with Russian people who are angry about some political prisoners or something so they kidnap the prime ministers kids, that’s what the first scene was all about. They take the kids to Chernobyl and plant some bombs that’ll blow up one of the reactors there. It’ll cause  a ton of radiation and mess up 100’s of miles of Russia or something.

It honestly feels like the movie is set in Chernobyl because the producers had an abandoned industrial looking place and some burnt out old buildings to film in.

The angry Russian guys are employing a mad scientist sort of dude who sucks at acting, and has one leftover 2nd generation universal soldier; which makes the Americans get involved, they’re concerned ya see. They send some forces who get the shit killed out of them, and then there’s a subplot with this American commando guy trying to save the kids, and I just didn’t care.

Yeah there’s some action, and the middle hour of the movie isn’t altogether boring, it’s just kinda dumb. The Americans send in the four non-Jean Claude UNISOLs that they’ve got, they all get killed by the new 2nd gen bad guy Unisol controlled by the angry Russian guys. They all get killed pretty quick. It’s just surprising, cause you know in the first movie it was kinda established that these dudes were hard to kill, but most of them die by getting stabbed, or punched a lot.

So there’s some more stuff that goes on, and the Americans get their asses handed to them, and they realize that finding Jean Cluade is like their only chance, but since he’s been in only like 2 scenes in the first hour, they have to shoot him up with some serum that’ll turn him into a killing machine. So finally after an hour of not caring we finally get to watch him in the movie.

Dolph shows up as a clone of his dude from the first movie and the excitement builds.

So the first legitimately awesome stuff happens, Jean Claude is mowing guys down, there’s this really great sequence where he takes out like an entire floor of dudes in a single shot, then he goes upstairs and proceeds to stab a ton of guys. It’s really cool, I was thinking at this point, that if the movie continued to be this cool I’d forgive the Jeane Claude free middle hour.

But alas it doesn’t continue to be that awesome.

Jean Claude randomly wanders into a room where Dolph is bothering those kids from earlier and then they fight. It’s a little bit random really. The fight is pretty cool, there’s plenty of them throwing each other into various things that break, and then bust through a couple of walls. And just when you think it’s gonna go on for a bit longer and things are going to get even more impressive, Dolph gets killed and it’s done.

So the whole reason that anyone would decide to watch the movie in the first place, a cinematic re-match between Van Damme and Lundgren is over in about 5 minutes or so.

Then Jean Clause has to fight the movie’s main bad guy, and eventually the movie ends with the viewer still sad and disappointed.

It’s not that the stuff that isn’t Jean Claude is terrible, it’s just not super great, and as a viewer I could have cared less. The action is okay, the special effects aren’t bad, and it’s a decent looking movie, Peter Hyams was the cinematographer  after all. Actually for a direct to DVD movie it’s quite good looking, most of it looks well made. So I guess for a direct to DVD action movie you could do a lot worse.

It’s just, as someone who wanted to see a fun action movie involving Jean Claude Van Damme, it was depressing to see him sidelined for an hour of the movie, so that there could be filler scenes and plot involving people that I didn’t care about.

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    • Andrei Arlovski
    • May 3rd, 2010

    But dude, I was in the movie, therefore it was awesome. Do you know how many dudes I beat up in real life? I would squash JCVD in a fight.

      • jon
      • May 3rd, 2010

      Well sir, I do not have any knowledge of how many dudes you beat up in real life. If you’d care to enlighten me well then I shall listen, but otherwise I shall still maintain that there was nowhere near enough Jean Claude or Dolph in the film.

    • altendo
    • May 3rd, 2010

    The movie taught me that I can kill everyone if I just punch them the right way.

    Andrei, you are indeed a killing machine, as evidenced by the defeat of 4 super soldiers.

    • Andrei Arlovski
    • May 4th, 2010

    I used to be the heavyweight champion of the UFC. So I kick dudes asses in movies and real life, get off JCVD’s nuts, he’s a fake. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7sVDeGvoBo

    • jon
    • May 4th, 2010

    @Andrei Arlovski

    Well bro dude Arlovski, once again I have no doubts about how fightastic you are in the real world. I still maintain that in the film your tendency to sit on people and punch them in the head might have been overused. And no matter how fake you say Jean Claude may be, he will always be known as THE MUSSELS FROM BRUSSELS and be able to do this:

    CAN YOU DO THE SPLITZ? CAN YOU?

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