23 January 2013 6:18 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Despite my lifelong affinity for the action genre, I'd never encountered the Universal Soldier franchise. Somewhere in the back of my head I knew of its reputation as a Terminator rip-off, but it wasn't until I read Vern's “Action Movies Don't Have to Suck” piece for the Village Voice that I was intrigued enough to seek out John Hyams'& Universal Soldier: Regeneration and Day of Reckoning. Hyams' elegant staging and disarming sincerity offer a refreshing alternative to the action adventure comic book slop dished out to teenagers and poked at by indifferent adult audiences that an entire generation of studio execs have chosen to ignore. Despite their relatively tiny budgets, Hyams' Universal Soldier movies, along with his other fictional feature, Dragon Eyes, are exquisite examples of digital cinema and personal storytelling. Rightfully, these movies should be dime store thrill rides, and in the best possible sense they are. They're also equal parts melodrama, »

- Sara Freeman

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