HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
Girls Town
Burning
Hitchhikers, The
For All Mankind
Glass Key, The
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
   
 
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
   
 
  Universal Soldier: Regeneration Packing A PunchBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: John Hyams
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Andrei Arlovski, Mike Pyle, Corey Johnson, Garry Cooper, Emily Joyce, Zachary Baharov, Aki Avni, Kerry Shale, Yonko Dimitrov, Violeta Markovska, Stanislav Pishtalov, Marianne Stanicheva, John Laskowski
Genre: Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: There is a crisis in this Eastern European nation that starts in an art gallery where the President's two teenage children have been attending, but suddenly their bodyguards are killed, and they are dragged from the building into a waiting car. The bullets fly as the vehicle takes off along the street, and the kidnappers seem almost superhuman in their determination, gunning down anyone who stands in their way and sending pursuing cars with security in them tumbling. Arriving at a waiting helicopter, the kids are spirited away, and the head terrorist makes his demands known: free political prisoners, or a huge bomb will set off a chain of nuclear explosions...

After Universal Soldier: The Return, nobody had enormous faith in the franchise which in 2009 had lain dormant for a decade, justifiably so for many who had caught that fairly embarrassing attempt to cash in on one of its stars' biggest hits. But by that year, their careers had changed, and in the major markets of North America and most of Europe their movies went straight to disc, with selected markets screening it in cinemas where the appetite for no nonsense action flicks was still able to sustain such distribution. Universal Soldier: Regeneration was offered that treatment, but among those fans who shelled out for it, it won a high degree of praise.

They really regarded it as one of the best of its type, and it certainly appeared to tap into a post-Millennium mood in a way that the blockbuster action movies were not quite grasping at that time. Directed by the son of Peter Hyams, who served as cinematographer rather than director, the world it depicted was a murky and dangerous one of international terrorism on one hand, shady authorities clamping down on the lawbreakers with dodgy dealings themselves on the other, and us caught in the middle. The premise, of a group of reanimated corpses of soldiers pressed into service as a new fighting force, was present and correct, as was the fear that they would be impossible to control, and now there were two rival projects manufacturing them for battle.

What of Luc Deveraux? Played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, he was a broken man from the last time we saw him, encouraging the star to do actual acting as he is coached to live life in normality by a scientist (Emily Joyce) even as we can tell he will never be able to fit into society as she hopes - the Frankenstein's Monster element was still contained in the plotting. Then again, there was another star in the original Universal Soldier, and he was the villain played by Dolph Lundgren, was he back too? In a far reduced capacity, yes, as it was plain to see that the production only had access to their leading men for a limited amount of time, therefore had to make the best of what they were offered and fill out the rest of the time with, well, less famous names, chief among them Andrei Arlovski, a professional fighter making the move to film.

If Regeneration was planned to have Arlovski take off as a next generation exponent of the lower budget end of the action scale, it's debatable how far it succeeded, as the likes of Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White remained more celebrated in that field. But as far as this went, as a self-contained plot many found themselves responding to a tone and physicality that was so grave and self-serious that there was barely a spot of humour in the whole thing, Lundgren's slightly eccentric presence aside. This somehow made the peril more pressing, as while we were never in any doubt that Van Damme was going to win the day after a fashion, that sober mood lent a grit and tension that the visuals, mostly of abandoned factories and grimy, equally abandoned offices, bolstered with their lack of light, actual or moral. The theme that using violence to get your way will only come back and bite you was tangible, and if it was grey and predictable, that was par for the course. Music by Kris Hill and Michael Krassner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 306 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: