John Hyams, the director of Universal Soldier: Regeneration, returns to co-write and direct the semi-sequel science fiction action film Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren both reprise their roles as Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott respectively. Joining them are British martial artist Scott Adkins, Belarusian mixed martial artist and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski, James DuMont, David Jensen, Mariah Bonner, Audrey P. Scott and Kristopher Van Varenberg.
Family man John wakes up from a nine-month coma to memories of the brutal murder of his wife and daughter during a home invasion. Suffering from amnesia, the only clear image in his head is the face of the leader of the killers. With the help of the FBI, it is revealed that the leader is Luc Deveraux, one of the original Universal Soldiers who has now gone rogue.
While John is on the hunt for Deveraux and piecing together his shattered memories, he must fight a relentless deprogrammed UniSol named Magnus who is dead set on killing him. Meanwhile, Deveraux and back-from-the-dead comrade Andrew Scott have their own mission. They are recruiting and deprogramming wayward UniSols to train them in brutal life-and-death combat for a vengeful war against their former government employers. As the trail of clues lead John closer to Deveraux and the genetically enhanced army, he uncovers a forgotten past that makes him begin to question everything he knows.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is a fresh, ambitious approach on the Universal Soldier movie franchise that mixes psychological horror, martial arts and action. Much darker and grittier than its predecessors, Director Hyams adds twists and turns to the plot and a slow burn that leads to the bloodiest and goriest action sequences ever involving machetes, axes, guns, hand-to-hand combat and more -- all masterfully choreographed and captured with superb camera shots. While British martial artist Scott Adkins takes center stage, Van Damme and Lundgren’s appearances are unfortunately much briefer, with less screen time than expected. Nonetheless, the actors give solid performances and the final gruesome testosterone-fueled showdown - mano a mano - is bone crushing.
Overall, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is not your typical Universal Soldier franchise film. Setting aside expectations, fans of the franchise and genre will not be disappointed, especially with the hardcore violent fight scenes. Just a note, the U.S. release is the cut version with a R rating. Releasing in Germany is the NC-17 uncut, even bloodier version with 2D and 3D on Blu-ray, available to purchase at Amazon.de. Also if you have sensitivity to flashing strobe lights, there are several scenes in the film that may be disorienting and best to fast-forward through.
DVD and Blu-ray special features include audio commentary with director John Hyams and Dolph Lundgren, plus a three-part making-of featurette.
View video: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Trailer
- Jean-Claude Van Damme as Luc Deveraux
- Scott Adkins as John
- Dolph Lundgren as Andrew Scott
- Rus Blackwell as Agent Gorman
- Mariah Bonner as Sarah
- Kristopher Van Varenberg as Miles
- Andrei Arlovski as Magnus
- Audrey P. Scott as Emma
- Roy Jones, Jr. as Mess Hall UniSol
- Audio Commentary with Director John Hyams and Dolph Lundgren
- Days of Reckoning: The Making of US4:
- Coming Into Focus - Looks at the characters in the film, the making-of several sequences, and the challenges of shooting those scenes.
- There Is No End - Chronicles the final scene along with the weapons and stunts used to create it.
- Production Wrap - Cast and crew discuss the production of the film, along with an in-depth look at some of the last days on set, fight rehearsals and stunt choreography.
Release Date: February 11, 2013
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