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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it weren't for nostalgia, I'd say this was better than the original...
'Universal Soldier: Regeneration' finds an aging Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) struggling through behavioral therapy while a scientist sells the UNISOL technology to a terroist group. Helmed by first time director John Hyams, son of director Peter Hyams (timecop, Sudden Death). In this installment, you really get a sense the level of complication that would arise from the...
Published on February 2, 2010 by Brandon F. Billman

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lundgren brings crazy existentialism to the UniSols; Van Damme brings that weird forehead knot
It's been almost two decades since the hugely entertaining UNIVERSAL SOLDIER came out, and action film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are a bit grayer now and less buff. This latest addition to the franchise reunites the two, and I'm tempted to compare it to GRUMPY OLD MEN but with more vicious knees to the skull. However, this is a humorless movie and Van...
Published on February 6, 2010 by H. Bala


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it weren't for nostalgia, I'd say this was better than the original..., February 2, 2010
This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Universal Soldier: Regeneration' finds an aging Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) struggling through behavioral therapy while a scientist sells the UNISOL technology to a terroist group. Helmed by first time director John Hyams, son of director Peter Hyams (timecop, Sudden Death). In this installment, you really get a sense the level of complication that would arise from the events of the first film, both emotionally and socially. "Soldier gets killed in war, body frozen for twenty years only to be brought back to life as a weapon, etc etc." Apparently because the second sequel was so bad and the direction the writer's took Luc Deveraux's character being ridiculous, this one pretty much ignores it. Which really, really works. Van Damme brought kickboxing to America, or at least to Hollywood and while he's always choreographed his own fight scenes; this one takes the cake(and at nearly 50!) The final battle between Lundgren and Jean-Claude here is one of the most brutal, raw, hands down best in years! If it weren't for nostalgia, I'd say this was better than the original...
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Van Damme's Best, January 28, 2010
This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
15 minutes into this, I noticed something strange. I didn't want to turn it off which is pretty rare when talking about most of Van Damme's movies over the past decade. The thing that might kill this movie with some fans though, is that it is so different from the great original. It is not a polished Terminator type action flick like the original was. Director John Hyams' retelling is much grittier and with some of the locations and fights, it almost has more of a Bourne style feeling to it. The action is furiously directed...very quick with no dopey slow motion. The acting isn't great but it's decent and convincing enough...two qualities that have been lacking in recent Van Damme DTV casts. It is true that Van Damme is only sprinkled throughout, but the film is so fast moving, before you know it, you are already at the final 40 minutes ...and he owns the *beep* out of it!! There is a long tracking shot of him tearing up terrorist ass and it's probably the best action sequence he has ever been a part of. It truly gets the heart pounding, and like me, you will probably re-watch it about 10 times. It's also a refreshing blast to see Lundgren on screen even if it is pretty brief. His and JC's fight is completely different from the one in the original. There is no Hollywood gloss to it at all. This is how the fight would be if these two met up and decided to scrap and it comes of very effective. You can feel the anger and rage. All in all, Unisol: Regeneration is a solid little action flick. Other than JCVD, it's easily his best movie since Sudden Death, which happened to be given to us by another Hyams...John's father, Peter. It may not be a masterpiece and isn`t quite on par with the original but it`s still a lot of fun and it`s definitely a worthy addition to my bluray collection. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on director John Hyams. I'd like to see what he can do with a decent budget and some better filming locations. The subtle synth music score was well done too. Think along the lines of Vangelis, who created the Blade Runner soundtrack, or something John Carpenter might have composed back in the day.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly great, February 3, 2010
This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I honestly don't know what I'm more shocked by, the fact that I gave Universal Soldier: Regeneration a chance, or the fact that it turned out to be as good as it is. When a group of terrorists take over the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and threaten to release a radioactive cloud, and with an uber-advanced UniSol (former UFC champ Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski) at their disposal, former, deactivated UniSol Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) gets called back into action. However, there's a surprise in store for Luc, in the form of his once deceased nemesis Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) who has been cloned and reanimated, and looking to bring some pain of his own. While all this sounds like the recipe of a low budget, direct-to-DVD, schlock fest featuring two action stars way past their primes, Universal Soldier: Regeneration ends up surpassing both of the films to come before it, thanks to the great directing from John Hyams, who not only manages to put together some just plain brutal action sequences, but also manages to coax some great performances from Van Damme and Lundgren, as well as take advantage of Arlovski's cold menace. John's father Peter Hyams, who directed Van Damme in 90s actioners Timecop and Sudden Death, serves as the film's cinematographer, and helps give the film the surprisingly great look that it has: this certainly doesn't look like a low budget, direct-to-DVD film. All in all, Universal Soldier: Regeneration deserves a look at the very least, and if and when you do chcek it out, be prepared to be surprised with what you get here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray], February 3, 2010
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This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
With stolen top-secret technology, terrorists have created a next-generation Universal Soldier, an elite fighter genetically altered into a programmable killing machine. With this "UniSol" Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski leading the way, they seize the crippled Chernobyl nuclear reactor, threatening to unleash a lethal radioactive cloud. The only one who can stop them is Luc Deveraux, a UniSol who's been decommissioned for years. Reactivated and retrained, Deveraux must make a full-out assault on the heavily armed fortress. But inside, he'll discover not one but two of these virtually indestructible warriors. Andrew Scott, Deveraux's vicious UniSol enemy from the original Universal Soldier, has been secretly reanimated and upgraded. Now, these elite fighters are locked, loaded and programmed to kill; and the fate of millions hinges on this high-action showdown. In the third and by now the last Universal Soldier series, both Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are back for one last showdown together. Universal Soldier: Regeneration is an enjoyable movie, and leaves you with a sense that it's not over yet.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The BEST of the Unisol Series and Possibly the BEST film for Van Damme or Lundgren, January 24, 2010
The title really says it all. Granted, both Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme aren't really on screen as much as one of their typical films but it really, really works.

The plot is simple but effective. The action is outstanding, ultra violent and rarely stops. And it's not old school action either. There's a taste of the Bourne series in some of these shoot-outs. Big marks for Director Hyams. Can't wait to see what he does next!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We've been over this all before" - A Long Review, February 22, 2010
Dang, it's tough to write this review right. How can I accurately express that after eighteen years of struggling through unworthy sequels, one of the coolest action premises of the early-90s is back on track? Well, for now, take my word on it: "Universal Soldier: Regeneration" is good. Damn good, even, considering the apprehension I endured while the film was being made, knowing that it was shot in Bulgaria (favored locale of all cheap direct-to-video fare) by a director with limited accolades to his name (John Hyams, The Smashing Machine - The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr) and wouldn't see a theatrical release in the western world. Well, none of that's changed, but guess what? - sequel number four is officially on top of the heap, from its solid dramatic performances to its no-nonsense action content, therein giving the series a complete, welcome genetic makeover.

The story: when a Russian terrorist faction led by a vengeful commander (Zahary Baharov, Command Performance) take the prime minister's children hostage in a crippled Chernobyl nuclear reactor fortified by the next model of deadly UniSol (UFC star Andrei Arlovski), the only force capable of breaking through their defenses when all else have failed is the recommissioned, reprogrammed Luc Devereaux (Van Damme)...but unbeknownst to him, he'll be meeting more than one killing machine, for his old enemy Andrew Scott (Lundgren) has been genetically recreated and is as unstable and hell-bent on destruction as he ever was.

Right from the start, it's clear that this isn't your regular, overblown DTV movie: the film starts silently with minimalistic titles that take up no extra amount of time or space, but within the few minutes that follow, the new UniSol has established himself by kidnapping the children and plowing through waves of police defense with an armored truck and a powerful machinegun. By now, you're only five minutes into the movie, you haven't heard a beat of music and you don't even know who the inhuman kidnapper is yet, but already you've witnessed an action scene more intense than most else on the DTV market. The remaining action content is sparser than anything I'm used to, but is so very good, timed so intricately, and so handily placed that it's hard to complain. In all, there are about five hand-to-hand fights, a couple shootouts, and a combination of both featuring Van Damme blasting through enemy lines before taking on a houseful of terrorists by knife. The hand-to-hand fights in particular are extremely satisfying: featuring UFC alumnus Mike Pyle and stuntman Dian Hristov (primary double for Dolph Lundgren and Steven Seagal) and choreographed as a blend of mixed martial arts, karate, and pro wrestling moves, they are extremely well-shot, of a good lengths, and remain exciting despite their insistence on relative realism.

"Regeneration" makes no pretense about being a DTV feature: the film quality doesn't feel mainstream at all and there are a couple storyline twists that would have never been cleared in a Hollywood production (for good reason), but nevertheless, the movie mounts critics and beats them about the head with how competent it is despite its flaws and limitations. Take the shooting location, for example: in any other film, the bleakness of the abandoned industrial complex would've looked boring as hell, but through the masterful cinematography of Peter Hyams, the reactor building becomes a myriad of imposing, colossal architectures like something out of Aliens. With the occasional exception (e.g. Kerry Shale as the scheming UniSol engineer), acting performances are strong among the supporting cast. Authentic Russian is spoken throughout the film, which is always nice. Van Damme channels some of the dark energy he expressed in JCVD to show a new, broken side of Luc, and Dolph deserves definite credit for his own "JCVD"-esque existentialist monologue.

The DVD cover bills Andrei Arlovski over both Lundgren and Van Damme, and while this is an accurate accreditation in terms of screentime, it does not diminish the importance of the other two stars. On the other end of the spectrum, Lundgren is seen the least of the three and plays more of a supporting role, but his presence is acknowledged throughout the movie without feeling insufficient. Both he and Van Damme only go into real action mode an hour into the film, but the buildup to the last 25 minutes has been so expertly handled and the payoff so grandiose that you don't feel cheated. Though Luc and Andrew do ultimately engage in the promised rematch, their reunion prior to this unfolds in an unexpected way. Without spoiling anything, a role reversal has taken place: feeling his age and coming off years of anesthetizing therapy, Luc is remade into a soldier at the cost of his barely-regained humanity, whereas Andrew switches between violent confusion and dreamlike contemplation of his existence in a manner not unlike that of Frankenstein's monster, making him slightly sympathetic. Nevertheless, it's unclear whether the events of Universal Soldier - The Return are acknowledged in Luc's condition and it's never laid out why Andrew can override his programming like he does, and this could potentially hurt a few peoples' opinion of the movie. It doesn't help that the Luc vs. Andrew fight, though satisfyingly edited and generally cool, makes frequent use of obvious stunt doubles and stand-ins. The open-ended ending leaves a bit to be desired, too...

While I consider this to be the best of the "Universal Soldier" series despite its DTV-ness, the film misses a perfect rating strictly because of its indulgence of a few unlikeable DTV traits - the ambiguity of the backstory, the stunt doubles in the rematch, etc. With the exception of The Tournament, this is the best recent DTV movie I have seen this year, and fans of everybody involved should take notice. I daresay this film is strong enough even for newcomers to the series to acquaint themselves with the material before checking out the original Universal Soldier if they so wish. Amazingly, this one is beyond being a labeled action vehicle for any specific star: it's an all-around cool action flick for both devotees and casual viewers to enjoy, even if they've never heard of the stars involved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Hyams Delivers a Very Good Movie, February 3, 2010
This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
**SPOILERS**

Well, I went by Best Buy after work and they only had 2 Blu-ray copies and I didn't look to see how many DVD copies. (Hard to tell how many copies they really had sold or had available.) Anyways, they took my coupon after investigating it like it was fraudulent or something. Total came to $22 USD and change.

I opened it and didn't expect Blu-ray disc artwork, but it had some cool artwork of the "coolers" the Unisols are in in the movie. I popped it in the old PS3 and went to Blu-ray live to see what was available and it was just trailers, including the movie's trailer, which you could download in HD or stream in SD. I figured I'd download it later.

The movie came up with a trailer for "Black Dynamite" that was awesome. I skipped the next trailer. The menu screen came up and was nicely done with scenes from the movie. It gave the option to watch with MovieIQ or without and I chose to watch without this time.

The opening is perhaps one of the best parts of the movie and actually this part of it I don't care JC and DL are no where to be found. This is a great car chase and gun fight, expertly directed and filmed and does not look like DTV at all. It could have easily been a scene from a Bourne movie, just plucked out and put into this movie--that's how well done it was.

I like the subtle cues from Arlovski (NGU) (he looks down at his arm after being shot, but isn't bothered by it) that lead the viewer to see something isn't right about these kidnappers. They seem superhuman and they are. From the museum, to the car chase and ultimately the helicopter liftoff, you have a great dramatic action sequence of events that is spectacular.

The movie slows a bit to give everyone a breather, and to establish the overall plot of the movie. You have the main bad guy (Commander Topov) speaking in Russian (subtitles are fairly easy to read, but sometimes you have white on white and you miss something) and telling everyone what he wants and why he kidnapped the Russian premier's two children. During his "voiceover" Hyams plays out scenes of violence and takeover very well. Music is particularly effective in scenes like these to give you the mood of despair.

Dr. Colin is introduced as he barks orders at generic soldiers who are working for Topov. For me he was overacted and I was happy when he met his demise. He was a little over-the-top to me. Ironically, he had more personality and is more memorable than Topov. Kristopher Van Varenberg plays Dr. Colin's assistant in a few scenes and he is actually good for what the scenes were.

With all this mess going on, the US is working with the Russians to resolve this bomb and kidnapping threat. Many of the characters introduced have brief time and are throwaways--including the 4 original Unisols that are sent in and are killed rather easily by Arlvoski's NGU. I like the scene where Dr. Porter briefs the regular soldiers about the history of the Black Tower and White Tower Unisol programs. The clips are well set up and directed and give the series some depth and background, considering it loosely is related to US1and US2, as the time frames just don't match up. As a viewer you have to almost guess how this is related to the others. It could just as well be a standalone film. I think I may have thrown in one flashback scene from US1 just to give homage to it and remind people this is the same universe that the first one was in.

The scene with Luc and Dr. Flemming in a cabin is a rather poignant scene as it shows how vulnerable Luc has become and how he is trying rehabilitation to become completely human again. (Which brings to question, what happened to him after US2? This is where some time frames don't make sense. The doctor mentions Luc is making a lot of progress compared to 2 years earlier when they found him. Found him where? Found him when? 2 years after US1 or 2 years after US2?) The second scene with Dr. Flemming in the restaurant is a missed opportunity for homage to US1. Luc is sitting there listening to the Doc and sees a guy whom he thinks is approaching him. They could have had a flashback scene to the diner from US1 or they could have had him re-enact a similar "diner scene" here in this restaurant. Instead it is a brutal attack against an innocent patron and no real explanation as to why he snapped.

In the meantime, they establish more scenes of Arlovski's NGU stalking first generation Unisols and other soldiers almost like a Predator. His scenes are good, but he has no real presence other than the big brainwashed killing machine--which I guess he is supposed to be--but then again this does nothing for his future unless he is going to play a killing machine in every subsequent movie.

Mike Pyle is the real surprise and is far better than Arlovski in nearly all of his scenes. He isn't going to win any academy award be he gives a great performance as a regular United States soldier who, through skill, is almost a super soldier himself. He is believable in his scenes and he is able to keep the movie from slumping in the non-Arlovski, JC and DL scenes. (And with him being cloned at the end, it's clear that IF there is another US movie, he will be in it.)

When the terrorists demands are met and Topov plans to pack up things and leave, Dr. Colin brings in Andrew Scott, or a clone of him, and just like old times, Scott over-kills Topov and looks like he is enjoying it too much. Dolph shines so much in such a brief time. He gets up from killing Topov and confronts Dr. Colin by asking Colin the same questions that Colin was asking him as part of a reboot process, if you will. Dr. Colin, quirky as ever, tells Scott that Scott isn't the one to be asking questions and to obey him. Well, Scott takes him and gives him a free eye exam with no co-pay. Classic Dolph moment and a big welcome back to the infamous Sgt. Scott.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has broken into Luc's cabin and kidnapped him and are getting ready to initiate him back into the Unisol program as it's clear that they have no other choice. (This is were belief has to be suspended, as why is one first generation Unisol going to have any better luck against the NGU than the other four that met their demise in about 10 minutes? Answer: Because this one is JCVD!)
There is a nice training sequence of Luc, where he trains with small firearms and close-quarters combat. I understand that some of this is not JC and I don't get that as this is easy stuff that an actor should be doing himself. I understand he had limited time, but come on.

The last scene with Dr. Fleming, you have a concerned Luc who knows he is about to lose whatever humanity he regained, but still cares about her safety. She refuses to leave him alone while he completes the transformation back to a Unisol. He grabs her like he is going to kill her but lets her go and he is a full-fledged zombie again, with a single goal, rescue the hostages. JC's acting is good for his limited screen time and his moments with the doctor are some of the best. This scene is especially good as he gets right back to how he was in the US1.

The long shot that everyone is talking about where the camera tracks Luc across the frozen landscape as he heads to the enemy HQ, killing everything in his way, is awesome. No other word. It is the beginning of "JCVD" replayed in this movie. It looks epic due to the way the Hyams captured it. JC looks formidable and he goes from an assault rifle to small arms to knife combat and you get some of the best action sequences in years. The choreography is outstanding and the blood is flowing all over as Luc kills one bad guy after another.

The eventual fight with JC and DL is somewhat of a letdown. Of course, it is cool to see the two fight again, but the fight itself, the length of the fight, and the context of the fight all bother me, the two times I've seen it. First of all, when Luc comes across Scott, Luc just stares--some recognition in his face--but nothing else. He says nothing. If he had said "Sarge" I would have fallen off the sofa. After all, Scott was experiencing old memories, why not Luc? Scott mutters stuff and Luc listens. The homage is clearly the two kidnapped children in the corner, like the two Vietnamese ones in US1. It was nice, but it could have been longer and more poignant. Luc attacks Scott in no time and they engage in a who can break down more walls in a row the fastest. There are some kicks and punches, but nothing like the ones in US1. This is more brutal, more close-combat. It's more grappling and wrestling than JC doing a jumping roundhouse to DL's head. The fight lasts 5 min. or so and Luc dispatches Scott with far more ease than in US1. It was way too quick and left me with a glass half empty feeling.

Luc manages to locate the kidnapped children and they follow him as he is attacked by Alovski's NGU. The fight between them in only marginally better than the fight between Luc and Scott. There are some good kicks by JC and the end fight is decent, but nothing as grand as in US1. I understand the location was limiting and there's only so many ways of making the same "warehouse" look exciting for fight setups, but by the last fight I was kind of glad. Don't get me wrong, the last 30 minutes are some of the best in a long time, but still I felt a bit letdown.

Overall, this is a solid movie. I liked it a lot, but throughout, something kept telling me that as much as I was liking it, it had the potential to be so much better had the emphasis not been on Arlovski and had JC and DL had more time. Hyams, Jr.'s direction is excellent. Hyams, Sr.'s cinematography was superb as it always is. The music was almost non-existent, but for the mood of this movie, it fit it. It accented what it was supposed to, but didn't drown out the creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere that was created. In the end it was bittersweet though, to see two iconic action heroes back on screen, but for such a small amount of time. But I'll take what I can get.

Directing: 8/10
Acting: 6/10
Cinematography: 8/10
Music: 7/10
Sound Design: 7/10

Overall: 7/10 (or 4/5 stars on Amazon)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Blu, fun film, January 30, 2010
This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A fun action film with plenty of good stunts and the three main actors getting their varied screen time to satisfy their fans. I had more fun with the supplements but the film handles itself enough to where you get your money's worth on the BD.

The story takes place at a ransomed Chernobyl (Bulgaria subbed) by bad guys supported with a renegade scientist who happens to have his own Universal Soldier cache. They threaten to blow up one of the reactors unless some lame demands get met. Enter the American general played by Corey Johnson (worst performance I have seen for him) to facilitate using the cold storage Universal Soldiers. The story lumbers through the usual predictable fights and shootouts, but they got a UFC guy - Arlovski - to play the main bad soldier and he actually did a good job here. The writers found a way to get both Van Damme's and Lundgren's characters reused to meet again and the fun continues.

The Blu clarity was outstanding with only a few falters scattered throughout. The DTS was amped way up, but it gets used prolifically. The guns were given some serious volume, but the dialogue (the cheese was kept to a minimum) never gets drowned out. The supplements are fun and include:

* Behind the Lines, 20 minutes. A good documentary on the stunts and fights.
* Commentary with Lundgren and Hyams. I enjoyed listening to everything Dolph had to say about the project, working with Van Damme again, the hurdles of filming in Bulgaria, etc.
* MovieIQ. Turned this on while listening to the commentary so I am overloaded with trivia about these guys and the UniSol franchise right now - but it was worth the time.

Region coded A/B/C with English subs only.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lundgren brings crazy existentialism to the UniSols; Van Damme brings that weird forehead knot, February 6, 2010
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H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
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It's been almost two decades since the hugely entertaining UNIVERSAL SOLDIER came out, and action film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are a bit grayer now and less buff. This latest addition to the franchise reunites the two, and I'm tempted to compare it to GRUMPY OLD MEN but with more vicious knees to the skull. However, this is a humorless movie and Van Damme and Lundgren spend more time trading in mean-intentioned bear hugs than in dialogue. In fact, for a lead guy, Van Damme isn't in the film as much as you'd think, and Lundgren even less. And the scene they share is basically this one extended brawl.

The strengths of UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION all have to do with the action sequences, the fighty fights involving Van Damme, Lundgren, and the two mixed martial arts fighters Mike Pyle (as a merely human commando) and especially Andrei "the Pit Bull" Arlovski. Arlovski as the main bad guy, with his menacing size, is an imposing fighting machine. Compared to him, Van Damme and Lundgren look mediocre, if spry for their age.

But the story kills you with its lethargic pace. The plot kicks off with the abduction of the Ukraine Prime Minister's children and the kidnappers-terrorists taking over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The bad guys have gotten hold of an upgraded Universal Soldier (Arlovski), and not even a squad of first generation UniSols can stand up to him. The regular military troops, of course, are like cannon fodder. What's left is ex-UniSol operative Luc Deveraux, long in the tooth and still undergoing rehabilitation thru psychological and medical therapy. Note that this third installment blatantly ignores the events that took place in the first sequel (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN), so I guess Luc never did have a daughter or a normal life beyond his military and UniSol days.

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION shifts back and forth between Luc Deveraux's reluctantly coming back to the fold and the drawn out hostage rescue ops. And then, nearly an hour into it, Dolph enters the picture, and I guess his character Sgt. Andrew Scott is so tough that he can even survive getting his important bits chewed up in a hay harvester (okay, the film does explain it away by pulling the clone card). It's reassuring to know that some things never change, because the good sergeant is as mentally effed up as ever and I'm only surprised that he doesn't right away start chopping ears off his victims for his grossass necklace. Oh, and there's a bomb.

Filmed in Bulgaria and with huge chunks shot in an abandoned industrial plant, there's a bleak, wintry look and feel to the movie. Add in the many slow, momentum-killing moments and also that the stabs at character development are as convincing as the wacky science revolving around the UniSol project, and this Direct-to-DVD film was well on its way to becoming a very shabby sequel. Thankfully, the fighty fights are done well and infuse kinetic energy onto the screen. Weapons are fired, but mostly the UniSols engage in brutal hand-to-hand skirmishes, one of which results in one of the best kills I've seen on film in years.

I wonder, though, how exactly is Arlovski's character an upgrade from the first generation UniSols. Far as I can tell, there's that wrist bayonet, and maybe the scientists now feed their subjects more Wheaties so they can grow as tall as Arlovski. Other than that, it's the same-ol', same-ol' zombie soldier. But what they all seem to have in common is the habit of holding their opponent down with one hand while whaling away with the other. Sounds like an MMA move.

There's talk of possibly doing another sequel, I guess depending on how this one performs in video sales. I may have dissed UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION a bit, but it honestly isn't as bad as I'd initially feared. Based on it, I'm cautiously for another sequel.

The DVD bonus features have the "Behind the Lines," which is the Making Of the film segment (almost 19 minutes long), and audio commentary by Director John Hyams and Dolph Lundgren.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Universal Soldier Regeneration - Best of Bunch, February 3, 2010
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This review is from: Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Andre Arlovski should have played Michael Myers in the Halloween remake. Not only that but the director of Universal Soldier Regenerations, John Hyams, would have made a better director than Rob Zombie. He gets stalking and camera angles and kills in a Myers like way.

Just throwing that out there.

The movie itself is IMO the best of the series and it's the best by a lot not by a little. The action is great in this movie. It's brutal in the right amount and it's over the top just slightly so it never takes you out of the story it's set in. The origins (which go further back then we're shown in the first movie) of the Unisol's is told and it makes you wonder why they would even continue with these experiments (bad things happen). The thing about Van Damme's character is the idea of what does a Unisol do when it doesn't kill. Does it adjust to life? Does it have opinions or feelings. A somber brush stroke is painted over Van Damme's character and even on Dolph Lundgren as well and it's warranted.

A Unisol tries but for your own safety you don't want to be near one at any point. They're dangerous killing machines that shouldn't exist. That simple and when they don't kill well... it's just not who they are. It never hammers in their feelings but only brings them up at the right time as to make them compelling and not come off as an after thought.

Still the big thing here is the action and it's great. Overall as a film it's his most consistent as some of his flicks tend to waver a bit in terms of quality (in one aspect or another) I recommend.

This is probably Van Damme's best action movie.

7/10
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Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray]
Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray] by John Hyams (Blu-ray - 2010)
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