Sunday, May 18, 2008

Universal Solider (1992)

Universal Soldier (1992) is the story of Sergeant Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) and Private Luc Devereaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a pair of unlikely Vietnam soldiers who kill each other in the first five minutes of the movie. Never fear, both are immediately put on ice and enrolled in an off-the-books government program to create the ultimate fighting machine

Just how the government manufactures these super soldiers is a little hazy. But from what I gather, hyper-acceleration of the bodies turns dead flesh into living tissue... its genetic. The end result is an invincible "unisol". Unfortunately, the serum used to keep the hyper-accelerated veterans' past lives at bay fails to do so in the case of Scott and Devereaux. In no time, memories of the conflict that ended in their original demise come flooding back, and hi-jinx/karate ensue.

I think the one thing that this movie is missing is a good training montage. What kind of action movie doesn't have a training montage? I guess director Roland Emmerich thought that he could get away with it because he includes 1) an armored semi-truck that drives across the country putting down the occasional hostage situation, 2) a sassy female reporter who doesn't play the game by the rules, 3) and Damme's sweet little smile.

Overall, I don't think that Universal Soldier is one of Van Damme's better movies. Damme belongs in a loin cloth fighting a guy with a unibrow or a pony tail. Not in army fatigues. However, it is one of Lundgren's top three, along with Rocky IV and Masters of the Universe. As it turns out, this was the last good thing he did.


Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

You're discharged...Sarge.

Anonymous said...

For a good alternative along similar lines with some GREAT training sequences, I prefer Kurt Russel in Soldier. Maybe a bit too recent (1998) but a quality film from start to finish.