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Universal Soldier: The Return


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), the heroic former Universal Soldier, is about to be thrown into action once again. With the Cold War over and defense budgets slashed, the entire Universal Soldier team is facing elimination, including SETH, the super-computer that controls the ultra-warriors. Knowing that his days are numbered, SETH decides to seek revenge by destroying his creators and implementing a reign of terror on the outside world. Morphing into human form as the quintessential Universal Soldier (Michael Jai White), SETH begins to unleash his wicked plan with the aid of his top soldier (Bill Goldberg). When conventional military strength fails to thwart his efforts, Luc must take charge. As Luc faces SETH and his team of unstoppable soldiers, a battle pitting man against machine and good against evil ensues, offering the kind of high-intensity sci-fi action you't soon forget.

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Universal Soldier Luc Deveraux is back. Jean-Claude Van Damme gallantly attempts to resurrect interest in his tepid career with this action-riddled roller-coaster ride. Set in the not-too-distant future, Deveraux has been employed by the government to oversee the new UniSol project. What is UniSol? It's a military plan to turn dead soldiers into invincible fighting machines (see the first Univeral Soldier for more details). It's also the scheme that went horribly wrong when the soldiers turned psycho, killing the scientists who created them. Not deterred by this early setback, the government replicates the project. This time they figure that they can control the soldiers through a supercomputer called SETH (kind of like HAL in 2001, but smarter). But, as we all know, machines frequently break down. Pretty soon the computer comes to the conclusion that it's superior to humans and therefore it must destroy them. Uh oh.

Van Damme to the rescue. The muscles from Brussels heroically leap into action confronting the dangerous soldiers led by Bill (WCW) Goldberg and Michael Jai White (last seen in Spawn). The action is impressive and the stunts are engrossing. Goldberg is charismatic as the cartoonish villain who sneers and snouts while muttering macho things like, "I'm gonna kill that guy." Van Damme looks more at home in a production that he is not directing, and for once he lets his fists do the talking. Ironically, the movie is missing the gloss and big-budget pathos of its predecessor (created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich), making the original decidedly better. --Jeremy Storey


Special Features

  • A Universal Soldier's Workout featurette with Michael Jai White
  • Looking Back, Moving Forward featurette with Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Making-of featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg, Heidi Schanz, Michael Jai White, Xander Berkeley
  • Directors: Mic Rodgers
  • Writers: Christopher Leitch, Dean Devlin, John Fasano, Richard Rothstein, William Malone
  • Producers: Adam Merims, Allen Shapiro
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 1999
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000022TSJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Universal Soldier: The Return" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 1999
Format: DVD
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jeff vallee on January 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason VINE VOICE on May 31, 2009
Format: DVD
The Jean Claude Van Damme Review Matrix (JCVD-RM)

1. Who is he? Luc Devereaux, the only remaining Universal Soldier (UNISOL) from the first experiment. He now serves as technical expert to UNISOL 2500, the second generation, which has resulted in a stronger, faster, more deadly warrior.
2. Which family member/friend must be avenged? Not only does Dr. Dylan Cotner (Xander Berkeley) - the lead project scientist - get fried, but his daughter also falls into danger.
3. Does he take his shirt off? No, but Romeo (professional wrestler Bill Goldberg), the alpha male of all the UNISOLs, is constantly shirtless.
4. Does he have sex with a C-List actress? I hoped that there'd be copulation with his partner Maggie (Kiana Tom), but sad disappointment hit me when the credits rolled.
5. Is there a tournament? No structured tournament.
6. Is training needed for this tournament? As a regeneration from the first experiment, JCVD has all the training he needs
7. Does he do the splits in training or in the tournament? The splits are in full force when JCVD delivers a sack-stretching spin kick to SETH (Michael Jai White) - Self-Evolving Thought Helix - the advanced computer system controlling the new genetically enhanced soldiers that implanted its programming and consciousness into human form.
8. Does he punch someone in the balls? Since the UNISOLs don't feel pain, but need to breathe, the throat-shot replaces the groin-shot in this one.
9. Does he do a series of flying or 360 kicks? OMG! I'm dizzy!
10. Is his enemy unbeatable? SETH isn't quite SkyNet, and the UNISOLs aren't quite Terminators; so, JCVD has a manageable, yet difficult foe.
11. Does he overcome an injury or other hindrance?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Tobin on May 4, 2001
Format: DVD
I have seen some Bad Action movies in my time, but nothing could have prepared me for "Universal Soldier - The Return". It makes your average Straight-to-Video Action film look like "Die Hard".
Once Again, Van Damme Surrounds himself with Poor Actors so he looks All the Better. Only Michael Jai White Stands a Cut above the Rest as the Super villain. Goldberg's is one of the most Moronic, Annoying Performances I've Ever Seen in my Entire Life. Every time he Opens his Mouth, a Plethora of Crap Dialogue and Horrendous Acting follows. Some may blame the Dialogue, but many films in this genre have Bad Dialogue, it`s the Actors Job to make it sound good, Sadly, Goldberg is No Actor.
"Universal Soldier 2 - The Return" has, on the surface, Everything a By-the-Book Action Flick Needs, the Obligatory scene at a Strip Joint, (here they have to go there to use their Computer... Try to Stomach That) The Love Interest (an Exact Copy of the Love Interest in the Original, but Far more Aggravating) and Plenty of Action... (one such scene includes a Wrestling match with Goldberg against 2 Hospital Orderlies that are Bigger and more Muscular than Van Damme and Goldberg Combined) It's a Shame that the Action is Poorly Shot, Poorly Edited, Poorly Conceived, Poorly Timed, Poorly Choreographed, and Poorly Performed.
If you've Seen the Film, you know what I'm Talking about, If you Haven't seen it; you haven't the Faintest Idea what I'm Talking About. There is No Reason I can Think of to Recommend this film to Anyone, except maybe people who like to Torture themselves. But Average Joe's like Me, if you are Listening... Run, Run Away from this Movie, Don't Even Look at the Cover... If it's One your TV, Smash your TV, if a Friend Hires it, Get New Friends, If Van Damme Himself Pleads with you to Watch it, Chastise him for me and Every Other fan of the Truly Classic Original "Universal Soldier", a film that will Never be the same Again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mantis on June 26, 2013
Format: DVD
Jean Claude Van Damme returns to one of his most popular roles in his first sequel, a film that ignores two made-for-television sequels, and would itself be completely ignored by the subsequent releases in the series. For the greater good of the entire franchise, I'm totally in favor of that. While the sequels that eventually followed are totally superior (in my opinion) to this and the original, this is still a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. The cast hams it up and the general awesomeness of Michael Jai White (Blood & Bone) shines through as usual.

What is a Universal Soldier or UniSol? UniSols are reanimated dead soldiers who are designed to be stronger, faster, and more obedient than the average trooper. Van Damme plays Luc Deveraux, a former (?) UniSol who now helps the U.S. military control and train the current crop of corpses for general warmongering. They no longer have any fear of the UniSols going ape-scat because they have developed an A.I. computer system called S.E.T.H. (voiced & eventually embodied by Michael Jai White) to keep them all in (and on) line. The viewer doesn't have to be too familiar with the works of Asimov & Crichton to see what's coming. Adding to the chaos is an ambitious/aggravating reporter (Heidi Schanz, Se7en) determined to get her "scoop", no matter what the cost.

This flick raised a few questions that are never really answered, like: How is he a "former" UniSol? Is he no longer (un)dead? How on earth does he now have a daughter? If his daughter was fully grown that would make some sense but she's like 10. I know I should have my head examined for even suggesting a movie like this explain anything but it's hard not to speculate.
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