Direct to video sequels allow movie makers to capitalize on a pre-existing fan base that gurantees some level of success for their film. Consequently, more often then not, these sequels to fail to live up to their predecessors. Many of them fail miserably and then ruin the good concept of the original. Films like 30 Days of Night, The Butterfly Effect, and The Scorpion King have all had a series of lackluster follow ups to the entertaining original.
Universal Soldier debuted in (add yr). It was a great action film that featured two of the great action stars from the 90’s in Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. The film was a great film that has spurned a number of less than spectacular sequels that have never equated to the original. Universal Soldier: The Return, Universal Soldier: Regeneration and now Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is a ruthless, brutal regurgitation of an attempt at an action film that completely twists and mangles the idea of a great 90’s action flick. This merciless calamity hopelessly ravages the concept that made the original a success. Three of the stars of the action packed extravaganza, The Expendables, come together once again to give life to the latest addition to the Universal Soldier film franchise. The film returns its original stars Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme to the roles of Luke Deverueax and Andrew Scott. The film stars Jean Claude Van Damme (The Expendables 2), Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables 2), and Scott Adkins (Assignation Games).
Day of Reckoning is a direct to video feature that debuted on video in 2013. The movie is a tragic raping of the once great movie. It’s loosely based on the once great film but this new addition literally no real connection with the prior films in the series. It’s chaotic and pedestrian at best. Most of the story makes little to no sense. It’s so far removed from the prior films to bare the name that it shouldn’t even be called Universal Soldier. The movie makes you feel like you have amnesia just like John (Adkins)
This is the first film in the series that Jean Claude Van Damme’s character, Luke Deveraux, is not focus of the film. This iteration shifts the focus from Deveraux as the protagonist and thrusts Scott Adkins into the role. It makes for an interesting approach to the story but it quickly squanders the potential of this new perspective on the Universal Soldier story.
The best aspect of this belligerent pillaging is its action. The film bolsters a high level of unmitigated and unchecked violence. The opening sequence is literally ruthless and completely brutal. It sets an early tone for the film. Scott Adkins gives a decent performance in a bad movie. He probably could have done better with a better film behind him but with this garbage, he definitely makes the most if it in the center of the action. Jean Claude Van Damme returns as Luke Deveraux and Dolph Lundgren resumes his role as Andrew Scott. Despite the fact that they are at the core of the whole Universal Soldier universe the duo are only in the film for some bad, over extended cameos.
Day of Reckoning should be titled “Day of Raping.” I don't know if you ever saw the 1st one because it was a great movie. A good mix of action and sci-fi with two really good performances by Lundgren and Van Damme. Since that one, there have been a number of sequels, most of them are mediocre at best but this one hit rock bottom. The film lacks continuity as it does really connect to the other films about the “Uni-Solvs” (Universal Soldiers). This film It has that cheesy direct to video feel. It showed nearly no connection to the others other than the title and a mention here or there about the Uni-Solvs. In addition, the acting was just so bad it should be sinful. Stay far away from this one and don’t get seduced by the title. Not worth Getting it from Redbox or really even acknowledging the existence of it.
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