UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING (2012) Review FFF 2012
Directed by John Hyams
Yesterday I went to see Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning at my local Cinemaxx.
I was quite excited for it, because it was supposed to be bigger and different from the third part, also directed by John Hyams. I didn`t really like that one, mostly because Van Damme looked so tired and bored to death. For a DTV title it sure was pretty good, but my critiscism mostly was due to the story and Van Damme. The second part was ignored(probably a good thing) and yet the story for the third felt very run of the mill-cheap.
From what I gathered, this was going to be pretty violent and in 3D. Both not really a reason for joy, the third was very violent , but it wasn`t fun, except for Dolph`s final moment there.
Well, I´m happy to say that they achieved fun violence here!
The film opened like a horror film and used the 3D for atmosphere , rather than “in your eye-poking” stuff.It`s also shot completely in first-person perspective for the entire opening scene. Ill try to not spoil anything, cuz I didn`t know anything about the story, apart from a few pics I`ve seen online. That`s the way you should go into this, too. If you are lucky enough to catch it at Fantasy Filmfest in Germany or Actionfest in the US. Otherwise you`ll have to wait til the end of October for it to appear on DVD and Blue Ray. Maybe it gets a limited run at theatres, too.
I have written some ugly stuff about John Hyams, after I´ve been quite disappointed with his past few outings. To me, it was nothing special. Maybe my expectations are too high, possible.
Most seem to like the 3rd UNISOLs outing, I didn`t. But this time, I have to say: They really did something different. Finally, it didn`t feel like run of the mill stuff.
As I said, it opens like a horror-film and it continues to not be your ordinary action movie. A bit film-noir, thriller elements and medical sci-fi all mixed into one dark, but very entertaining experience. For the first time I liked Scott Adkins as an actor. I couldn`t feel much sympathy for him in his earlier movies. After all, he is the central figure in the film and if you don`t like him, the film is pretty much done, right? He did very well. The action-and blood-metre is pretty high in this film, with scenes you would only come to expect in horror films, this is really hard R, for real! And they managed to make it fun, too. There were several scenes that made us cheer and scream out loud in the cinema. (Btw, it wasn`t really packed, only a hundred people there, tops.) I would love to talk about certain aspects of the film, but that would include all-out spoilers, I guess. For now, I must hold back.
I really have to watch the third part again, maybe this time around I could enjoy it more. Also, I must refresh my memory …the Unisols seem to not need any cooling devices anymore, the body overheating and such seems to be no problem anymore. Maybe that was explained in the third, I don`t remember. Andrei Arlovski gets quite a lot of screen time and fights a lot. Dolph Lundgren has a few good scenes and two fights. Van Damme has some key scenes and a great fight at the end. He is the leader of his Unisols pack, with an agenda of their own. The suspense is held up til the end, with a major twist I can`t spoil as well.
I wish I could revisit it now, but I have to work from memory of one screening only.
It is a brutal mystery sci-fi thriller, refreshingly different. Fans of the main actors will love it, there is no doubt about that . John Hyams redeemed himself with this one in my mind. If he keeps doing inspired movies like this he has my full support.
From me, if I`d go by a scale from 1 to 10, I´d give this 8 out of 10.
Brutal, fun action galore, a great genre-mix that`s thrilling til the end. Some very good fights and lots of blown off heads!!! (some scenes are really out there!)
Written by Ingo