Projections - Movie Reviews

Universal Soldier: The Return

Universal Soldier: The Return starts with the assumption that we will see some great fight scenes, a meager story line and scantily clad women like all of the rest of Jean-Claude Van Dammes' movies.  This is a case where 1 out of 3 is bad as the only one you get is a meager story line.

The premise of artificial intelligence becoming self aware and in that awareness initiating self preservation protocols is reminiscent of Terminator and War Games with little new in the way of special effects or even drama to offer.

The story begins with a good chase scene leading to a fight scene that looks as fake as it is and culminates with the expected showdown between good and evil we have come to expect .  There was the possibility of great scenes between Van Damme's character and S.E.T.H. (Michael Jai White), but the years have not been kind to Van Damme.  His graying hair and drawn face look almost fatherly rather then the menacing look of the past.  Even his eyes have longer piercing in nature.  Without the trademark fight scenes and Van Dame's classic splits
(they were painful to even watch!) there is really nothing to watch here.  Van Damme has never been known for his acting ability and this is no exception.  The supporting cast is nothing to write home about with the exception of Michael Jai White as the villain.  White's six black belts in various martial arts are evident not only in his build, but in his comfortable and almost cocky movement.  The screen presence of White is the cause his character of S.E.T.H. to be the only memorable piece of the movie.

If you want to see good Van Damme, rent his earlier films like Time Cop or the original Universal Soldier.  If you are craving popcorn from the theater, go see another film.

Universal Soldier: The Return


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