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Universal Soldier: Regeneration

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Universal Soldier: Regeneration - 5/5/2010 12:41:37 PM   
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RE: Universal Soldier: Regeneration - 5/5/2010 3:03:28 PM   

Posts: 18275
Joined: 10/3/2006
From: Punishment Park
Director John Hyams, with a limited budget, actors who either a) were doing this for contractual reasons, b) were only available for a week or c) UFC fighters, and a single location for his action scenes to a sequel to a 15 year + movie, and its awful sequel (not to mention crappy TV Movies), produced real gold here.

What emerged is an exciting, well shot movie which avoids the trap of many DTV movies, by keeping the plot lean and functional.

The plot, as it is, involves terrorists taking over the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, and threatens to blow up the core. They have also kidnapped the President of Russia (maybe somewhere else) kids. It is up to a joint US/Russian taskforce to save the kids and disarm the terrorist group. Only thing is, they have a next generation Unisolider - tougher, stronger and more cunning than those we met in the first film.

Moving away from the blockbuster fun of the first movie, and the stupidity of the second film, US3 is a pretty bleak movie, but has a heck of a lot of ambition.

Van Damme, looking pretty old now, and downbeat, gives a subdued performance, although I would not call it lazy. His character, Luc Deveraux, seems numb to the world. If the first film was about him escaping the bonds of his programming, this sequel is all about the character reverting back the function he was built for - war.

Lundgren doesn't get a huge amount of screen time, but what he has makes an impression. While not playing the role of Andrew Scott quite as broad, he brings intensity to the role which is a whole other kinda crazy. While a brief appearance, the pay off is wonderful - and a cool Blade Runner reference to boot!

Andrei Arlovski (one of the UFC fighters) plays a next generation Unisol and is suitably imposing. His fight scenes with a group of previous generation Unisoliders was great - the guy is HUGE, and says little.

Mike Pyle, playing a normal solider, in the middle of this crazy never-ending war, does good work, as goes Kerry Shale as the evilllll Dr.Colin.

Now that is out of the way, what about the action?

This is some of the most impressive DTV stuff I have ever seen. The movie starts with an impressive car chase, follows on with an attack on the terrorists base which brings to mind the Modern Warfare videogames (in fact much of the film evokes those sort of games - although the film never becomes too comic book), and never really stops. Van Damme rampaging through a building taking out the bad guys with a knife was a show stopping moment.

This isn't a film for everyone. It simply cannot compete with the blockbusters in terms of scale, but I have to say I found this film to be much more engaging than say, Terminator: Salvation. Indeed the way Hyams shot this reminds me of the young, hungry James Cameron.

That the film looks great is not coincidence. Hyams father, Peter Hyams is the director of 2010, Capricorn One, Outland, Time Cop, End of Days..., and is the cinematographer for US3. While the bleak, grey, East European setting is something of a cliché now in DTV circles, they manage to make it look beautiful. The reactor in particular is well shot.

You may think this is over hyping the pudding, but for a film like this to turn out to this good is still a rare thing. If you like solid action filmmaking, no quick cutting, plenty of violence, and some pretty nifty camera work, then you are in for a treat.

If this is the start of a reboot, long may it continue. If this is a one off, then fingers crossed that Hyams gets some bigger work.

We are entering a time when some really good stuff is coming from the world of DTV. Universal Solider 3 is further evidence that it should not be a ghetto for past it action stars and directors who have fallen from grace.


It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 2
hard as nails... - 7/6/2011 7:42:08 AM   


Posts: 80
Joined: 19/4/2006
From: Ireland

As has been documented in many of the surprisingly positive reviews for this second Universal Soldier sequel, this is indeed a surprise package of the highest order. The dismal Universal Soldier: the return had all but eradicated respect for the series,so it is with great delight that Regeneration comes highly recommended from this reviewer.
Kicking off with a frenzied kidnapping scene (Taut, realistic and brutal) the plot snowballs into a Chernobyl location which sees Russian terrorists demanding political subterfuge and respect for their comrades currently sitting in a prison..with a renegade scientist aiding their plans by creating another USOL clone( UFC giant Arlovski) to keep the rescue attempts from US marines to a minimum.
In all honesty,as with the franchise in general,plot is immaterial to the outstanding action sequences. This eventually gets both Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott back into the frame,and therein lies the cherry on the cake,as is to be expected. Moving to the Russian locations is a great success for Director Hyams, the action is slickly paced and no-nonsense to a fine point, with less of the Hollywood inspired heroics/trappings from the original.
Agree with the empire reviewer in terms of the script being a little overwrought,but that is to be expected in all Van Damme movies being honest.Considering this was a direct to dvd release,it has to be reined in as a surprise hit.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 3
RE: hard as nails... - 6/12/2012 7:27:37 AM   

Posts: 654
Joined: 3/4/2012
Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009)

OK so THIS is officially the sequel to the original 92 film despite it being fourth UniSol film IF you count the two made for TV films...geez!. So in other words they are trying yet again to reboot this ailing franchise, is it worth it you ask? hmmm sorta.

Simply the plot here is really basic, group of terrorists have kidnapped the Ukrainian prime minister's son and daughter and holding them hostage for release of their mates that are banged up. Enter the US military and their UniSol project to save the day. Twist is the terrorists have also pinched the top ultra UniSol and using him for protection.

So you have a slow build up of slaughter as the US send in some regular UniSols and basic troops. Its kinda cool that their is this one ultra tough UniSol on the bad guys side, Andrei Arlovski is a rough looking fella and he sure does look good in action. Super UniSol v regular UniSol, can't deny its fun to watch...but fleeting.

Violence is high and the fighting is solid as Andrei wipes everyone out, so far so good. It just gets rather daft really when the US bigwigs decide to bring back aging UniSol 'Luc Deveraux' to go up against the new 'NGU' (new generation UniSol). Of course its a film and not real but come on...are we really suppose to think the wrinkled JCVD would be able to defeat Arlovski? just watching the film gives you the answer haha no.

Then of course you get the added bonus of seeing 'Scott' return from the UniSol grave. Now yes I admit its cool to see JCVD and Lundgren go at it again but there is completely no need for this in the film. Its obviously just a hook to get people back to see the film, both action allstars back for the sequel. Lundgren's role is merely a cameo and pointless, plus the fight between them both is mainly stunt doubles from what I could see.

So Lundgren comes and Lundgren goes with a weak ass death which make the whole thing even more pointless. We then get a pretty good fight between JCVD and Arlovski which of course you know how it will end, even though we all know it shouldn't do.

Putting it blankly, this film is only good for seeing some decent fights between a super UniSol and some regular UniSols. Then lastly seeing JCVD fight Arlovski, and that's it, the fight between Dolph and JCVD is pointless and kinda fake. Everything in between you can fast forward through. The blood splatters enough to make this a reasonable adult action flick but it feels more like a tame excuse just to get JCVD and Lundgren back together again, desperately trying to achieve the glory of the original.

(in reply to cadz)
Post #: 4
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