Except for “Expendables 2”, another film of the “Universal Soldier” franchise has probably been the most awaited film among the fans of Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins and Jean Claude Van Damme.
The latest of the series, “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” has been heavily advertised not just officially by studios, and unofficially by the online web portals, but by Lundgren, Adkins and Van Damme themselves via their social networking accounts.
The story of the film centers around John (Scott Adkins) witnessing some masked men led by Luc Deveraux (Jean Claude Van Damme) killing his wife and daughter, and leaving him for dead.
Some time later, John awakens in the hospital, and soon finds out that Deveraux has established a group of separatist soldiers that are under “their own command”.
Tortured by the memories of Deveraux killing his family, John is determined to find Deveraux, and exact his revenge on the rogue universal soldier. Gathering up his memory piece by piece, John has to follow his own steps to find out why Deveraux decided to kill his family in the first place.
As it is revealed later, the truth turned out to be much more horrifying than he could have imagined. However, there is no turning back, as John soon finds himself alone against not only Deveraux and his fellow Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), but also an army of mind-controlled universal soldiers.
Most die-hard fans of the franchise did not like the fact that both Lundgren and Van Damme would be having quite a limited screen time in this installment of the series.
On the other hand, they were hoping that Scott Adkins would not let the action fans down, as he has already established himself as the next action/martial arts superstar.
The mixed martial arts fighter Andrei Arlovski also served as a nice eye-candy.
In “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning”, director John Hyams took the franchise into a totally different direction, first sign of which – was making Van Damme’s Luc Deveraux character a villain.
Van Damme does have a very limited screen time, however when he is on screen, he as different as he could have been. Deveraux is merciless and frightening. Cool!
Dolph Lundgren here seems to be more like the Andrew Scott from the original “Universal Soldier”, since many believed his character in “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” did not really have any similarities to the original character.
That is true, as in this installment of the series, Lundgren’s character behaves similarly to the original Andrew Scott, and of course delivers his classic lines from the original film.
Scott Adkins handles the lead part well, as his character is required not only to do action but act as well. Speaking of action, there should have been more of it, yet when it is there – its as good as it can be.
For those who have not seen the film yet, here’s a little spoiler for you – all of the leading men (Adkins, Van Damme, Lundgren and Arlovski) have fight scenes in the film, and those are really, really impressive. Brutal, gory, with machetes, knives, baseball bats and so on. Nothing to be disappointed about.
To sum it up – definitely worth watching. If you did not have enough of Adkins, Van Damme and Lundgren in “Expendables 2”, go ahead and dive into the world of “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” – this is R-rated stuff at its best.
Even though “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” was good, this one turned out to be better. The ending of “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” hints that there just might be another addition to the franchise coming out in the near future. And until then – enjoy this great addition to the franchise.
BZFILM SCALE: 7/10
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