Nothin' but pure science fiction!
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Universal Soldier (1992)

Post new topic   Reply to topic    ALL SCI-FI Forum Index -> Sci-Fi Movies from 1970 to 2000
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Galactic Fleet Vice Admiral (site admin)

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 523

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:13 pm    Post subject: Universal Soldier (1992) Reply with quote


___________ Universal Soldier (1992) Trailer


When this first came out and even before, in previews, it seemed to me an attempt to recapture the look and feel of Jim Cameron's Terminator 2 (91). That's not a bad way to go, even if you end up with a pale imitation.

The concept is not quite the same — instead of cyborgs, we have here Unisols, short for Universal Soldiers, another in a long line of attempts to create the perfect soldiers (see also Soldier of only a few years later, with Kurt Russell as the title character).

Unisols are dead Vietnam veterans, revived in some manner and kept in cold storage until needed for some special mission. They have enhanced strength and regenerative abilities, but also tend to overheat after a short time of being active (hence, back to cold storage).

They also have no memories of their old lives and are little more than automatons. Two of these humorless killers are played by Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.


The film begins during the waning days of the war in Vietnam. Van Damme & Lundgren — corporal & sergeant — are at odds with each other because Lundgren has gone off the deep end in the jungle, and they end up killing each other.

However, their bodies are packed in ice and — quick flash forward to the present — there's this huge para-military truck which functions as a mobile control center, dispatching a squad of Unisols to deal with some terrorists. Though their memories have been wiped, the Unisols (Van Damme & Lundgren at least) seem to retain their basic personality traits. Lundgren tends to be extra vicious in his work. Van Damme also seems to begin regaining some memory.

Enter nosy TV journalist Ally Walker and soon Van Damme is on the run with her — first from the military in general, but later from the still psychotic Lundgren.


This was an early effort from the writer-director team of Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich, who later gave us Stargate (94) and Independence Day (96).

As with those, this is designed as crowd-pleasing entertainment. It was something of a casting coup to get Van Damme & Lundgren to square off against each other here. Each was at the peak of his career at this time and it was like a sci-fi action film version of the top two fighters in the WWF in final battle.

Van Damme is the best fighter, but Lundgren is just huge and more powerful. Both also give better-than-expected performances, injecting some needed humor, so that Ally Walker didn't have to carry that part all by herself. Lundgren, in particular, seems to be enjoying himself. Though there's some cartoon-style violence, there's also enough bloodshed that Lundgren poses a real threat at some points — he really does look like someone who can snap your neck too easily.

It veers sideways a bit in the climactic fight. I heard they re-shot this to extend it and give it more 'oomph', but it's still the weakest portion of the picture, full of clichés, like Van Damme standing up in slow-mo after he's supposedly had it.

This does have a strong beginning — a nearly haunting retread of the Vietnam War — and you might get a slight chill when the two dead soldiers are abruptly reintroduced in modern times. And when they zip up those body bags in Vietnam in the first act, seeming to close the story on the two before it even begins, you may think, this could be good. It kind of was.

BoG's Score: 7 out of 10

Universal Trivia: There were various sequels — a couple of direct-to-video sequels with different actors in 1998 and also one with Van Damme, Universal Soldier: The Return (1999). Van Damme & Lundgren then both returned much later in more sequels in 2009 & 2012.

____________ Universal Soldier (1992) Review


Galaxy Overlord Galactus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Galactic Ambassador

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1302

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They originally wanted Dolph Lundgren to play the hero role and Jean-Claude Van Damme to play the bad guy. Lundren wanted the villain role, and clearly had a good time with it.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ALL SCI-FI Forum Index -> Sci-Fi Movies from 1970 to 2000 All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group