Universal Soldier (1992)

Luc Devereux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is deep in the shit in Vietnam, which is further complicated by his sergeant, Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), killing a village full of peaceful locals. Scott has completely lost it, thinking everyone is a traitor, including Private Devereux, who just wants to go home.  Reinforcements arrive right after the two soldiers kill each other.  Instead of listing the men killed-in-action, they report the entire platoon missing; the Army has plans for these corpses.  We jump 20 years into the future where the Army is using genetically enhanced soldiers to perform specialized missions. Guess who is part of that team?  That’s right, Devereux and Scott, renamed as GR-44 & GR-13 respectively.  They are the test subjects of some super-secret government experiment that revives dead tissue, and with the addition of tons of steroids, creates the perfect weapon.

Things have been going well up until their latest mission, when GR-13 starts having ‘Nam flashbacks and remembers that GR-44 is sort of a dickhead.  This happens again later and GR-13 escapes the program along with a female reporter, whom he was supposed to kill.  Together they flee from the Army, but are being followed with orders to terminate on-site.  GR-13 instincts tell him what he wanted to do just before he died: go home, and a now fully aware, GR-44 has the same instincts: kill all traitors.  An epic fight is about to ensue with a battle between JCVD and Ivan Drago. Who will win? Who will live to be in the next THREE sequels? Huh, we didn’t even know they made one.

Alex’s Thoughts: Once you put in the DVD and see the awful menus, you sort of know what’s coming next.  It’s a pretty standard 90’s action flick, with heavy emphasis on blowing things all to hell.  Everything about it is pretty forgettable, but is entertaining for most guys while you are watching it.  The fact that the main actors are basically robots through most of it helps the fact that they are there more for their muscles than their acting chops. But don’t worry, Van Damme snaps out of cyborg mode long enough at the end to deliver some snappy one-liners, and Lundgren might give Mickey Rourke a run for his money when it comes to playing crazy.  If you remember watching this back in the day, it might be fun to re-watch it. If not, you might just want to pass. Alex Rates This Movie: 6/10 

Tim’s Thoughts: I first saw this when I was 15, and thought “wow, that movie has it all, JCVD, He-Man, and that crazy black guy with the crooked eye.” Now I watch this movie and I say “Yep, JCVD, He-Man, and a blonde lady who’s so obnoxious she makes Kate Capshaw tolerable.”  It’s not that bad for what it is, so if you want a popcorn action movie, that feels VERY 90’s (I realize that’s a very specific desire) then check it out. I don’t know, maybe you are watching Under Siege, or Hard Target, and want some more, either way pretty standard, and nothing really special here. It’s no Timecop that’s for sure. Tim Rates This Movie: 6/10

“Do you have a family, a friend? Is there a Mrs. 44 waiting for you some place?”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here, or add it to you Netflix queue.

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