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Universal Soldier - The Return
Universal Soldier - The Return
Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg, Heidi Schanz, Michael Jai White, Xander Berkeley
Director: Mic Rodgers
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     1999     1hr 23min


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Movie Details

Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg, Heidi Schanz, Michael Jai White, Xander Berkeley
Director: Mic Rodgers
Creators: Adam Merims, Allen Shapiro, Christopher Leitch, Dean Devlin, John Fasano, Richard Rothstein, William Malone
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robots & Androids
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/28/1999
Original Release Date: 08/20/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 08/20/1999
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 16
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Saw the movie at the theater ...
(3 out of 5 stars)

"there was a short recall of some scenes from the original universal soldier movie to connect to this sequel, but not enough background on the events that led to luc devereaux's wedding and becoming a father. i think the newsreporter's character was a waste of time in this movie since all she did was get in the way. the action was not lacking in this film though it could have used more of the humor from the original movie. i guess i expected a continuation of the original characters as the made for tv movies (universal soldier II & III) did."
Oh the humanity!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 02/26/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"There are bad movies, and then there are BAD movies. "Universal Soldier: The Return" is a cosmically bad movie, a movie so poor in every aspect of its execution that one would have to look to "Manos: The Hands of Fate" for comparison. The first "Universal Soldier" film was a moderately entertaining shoot 'em up flick starring action stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and "Rocky" refugee Dolph Lundgren that essentially accomplished what it set out to do: people perished in violent ways, stuff exploded, and Van Damme and Lundgren beat each other into bloody pulps at the end of the film. Even the presence of the charming Ally Walker as Van Damme's female sidekick greatly helped the film. The movie garnered enough attention and fans to merit the release of a special edition DVD some time back. It unfortunately also garnered enough attention and fans to merit this unredeemable piece of trash sequel. The second, and one hopes final, installment in a franchise that should never have become a franchise achieves such heights of utter banality and stupidity that I sat in open-mouthed awe watching it. I think I can safely say I am less of a person for having sat through this atrocity. Expect to spend a few days in a coma after the credits roll.

Van Damme returns as Luc, the reanimated soldier who triumphed over the forces of government sponsored evil in the first film. On this outing he now works for Dr. Dylan Cotner (Xander Berkeley), a scientist who reconstituted the universal soldier program with the help of his supercomputer S.E.T.H. Luc, with his female sidekick Maggie (Kiana Tom), helps design and run training missions for a new batch of super soldiers. The film opens with what the filmmakers hope is a pulse-pounding jaunt up a river, a jaunt filled with explosions, stunts, gunfire, and the briefest glimpse of Tom's incredibly fit form. As the mission grinds to a halt we learn several important things: Kiana Tom is incredibly hot but can't act her way out of a paper bag, Luc has a daughter named Hillary (Karis Paige Bryant) who you just know will get into trouble at some point, and the only soldiers we must pay attention to are Romeo (Bill Goldberg) and the one played by Michael Jai White. Frankly, turning off the film immediately after glimpsing Tom's amazing physique is probably a good thing. Everything that follows is dull, predictable, and so full of plot holes as to defy description. "Universal Soldier: The Return" feels like eighty minutes of dental surgery rather than an action film.

Sure enough, Cotner's computer goes on the fritz and unleashes the killing power of the universal soldiers. In the resulting conflagration S.E.T.H. implants its consciousness in Michael Jai White, Luc and his loved ones flee from the compound, and the military swoops in to contain the problem. An extraordinarily untalented actress named Heidi Schanz also pops in as nosy reporter called Erin who is interested in exposing the government's latest shenanigans. Predictably, Van Damme and Schanz team up to track, track down something to defeat the supercomputer. I think they need some code to shut the system down, but in the meantime the film takes them all over the place so that a wisecracking Romeo can follow them around while absorbing all the abuse Luc can hand out. Even throwing in a few scenes set in an adult's only club can't make this turkey fly. It's dull, folks, and painfully so. By the time the film grinds to its inevitable showdown between Luc and S.E.T.H. back at the shattered compound--with an injured Hillary's life balancing precariously in the background to serve as motivation for an overwhelmed Luc (Geez, what a surprise there!)--I knew I just wasted far too much of my life with this car wreck. How bad can it be, you ask? Read on...

Plot holes in this film are innumerable, as uncountable as grains of sand on the beach or acne on a teenager's face. For example, Luc explains to Erin that he was once a universal soldier just like Romeo but Cotner "cured" him by restoring him to life; he no longer needs injections or ice or any of the other devices used by the soldiers. What the heck are we doing marveling at this amazing supercomputer when Cotner just performed a miracle of biblical implications? He brought someone back from the dead! How exactly did he accomplish this feat? We don't find out from Van Damme, who simply smirks his way through a few lines of dialogue that simply boggle the mind with their monumentally idiotic implications. I could go on, but let's discuss the performances instead--or the lack thereof. I should say I adore Kiana Tom; she's a drop dead gorgeous babe with a body that could stop the earth's rotation, but watching her stumble through dialogue is like having your appendix taken out through your mouth. Another problem is the lumbering Bill Goldberg, whose "funny" lines are anything but. And the more I think about Heidi Schanz, the less I think of her. You have to wonder about a film where Jean-Claude Van Damme is the best thespian in the cast.

You might think a movie this foolhardy shouldn't contain any bonus features on DVD. You would be wrong. Trailers for this film, "The Return," "Double Team," "Desert Heat," "Knock Off," "Maximum Risk," and "Nowhere to Run" showcase the dubious career of Jean-Claude Van Damme. A making of feature, a Van Damme career retrospective (Ha!), a Michael Jai White feature, and talent bios round out the disc. My advice to those viewers thinking of renting "Universal Soldier: The Return"? Run, my friends, run far, far away and don't look back.

Action, Action,and more van damme action!
jeff vallee | jordan elbridge, NY | 01/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Part 2 of universal soldier(universal soldier-the return)this movie is about one man fighting against tons of unisol soldiers, that are 2.5 times stronger then any man. The main computer goes out of control. I won't go into detail, cause i don't want to ruin the movie, but Jean-Claude Van Damme Pulls out some awsome martial arts foot action in this movie. The best fighting scene yet of jean claude is in this movie. This movie has some comedy scenes,as well as action. Bill goldberg does an outstanding job in this film. I just don't see how this didn't become a big hit in the movie theaters. I rent movies qite often and i think jean claude movie gets so underated. If you u were to pick out the latest top 10 movies, jean claude movie should be atleast a 3 on the top 10 list. so if you want a great hit, this movie is a must see."
Misses Lundgren
Jeffrey Leach | 02/06/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This film is a mess. The title and story is nothing but a cash-in on the first movie. That being said, I'm happy Dolph didn't star in this film, there is no disguising the fact this movie really stinks! Rent the original Universal Soldier for a good action flick."