6.0/10
73,600
131 user 81 critic

Universal Soldier (1992)

R | | Action, Sci-Fi | 10 July 1992 (USA)
Private Luc Deveraux and his sadistic sergeant, Andrew Scott, got killed in Vietnam. The army uses their bodies for a secret project - reanimating dead soldiers as deadly obedient cyborgs. However, their memories come back too.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,730 ( 297)

Watch Now

From $5.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Double Impact (1991)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Twin brothers are separated when their parents are murdered but 25 years later they re-unite in order to avenge their parents' death.

Director: Sheldon Lettich
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw
Kickboxer (1989)
Action | Sport | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Kurt Sloane must learn the ancient kick boxing art of Muay Thai in order to avenge his brother.

Directors: Mark DiSalle, David Worth
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Alexio, Dennis Chan
Hard Target (1993)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler
Timecop (1994)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Max Walker, an officer for a security agency that regulates time travel, must fend for his life against a shady politician who's intent on changing the past to control the future.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver
Bloodsport (1988)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Follows Frank Dux, an American martial artist serving in the military, who decides to leave the army to compete in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong where fights to the death can occur.

Director: Newt Arnold
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres
Lionheart (1990)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An Ex-French Solider begins participating in underground street fights in order to make money for his brother's family.

Director: Sheldon Lettich
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Harrison Page, Deborah Rennard
Death Warrant (1990)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.

Director: Deran Sarafian
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Escaped convict Sam Gillen single handedly takes on ruthless developers determined to evict Clydie - a widow with two young children. Nobody knows who Sam is.

Director: Robert Harmon
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rosanna Arquette, Kieran Culkin
The Quest (1996)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Chris embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery that spans the globe. Kidnapped and enslaved by gun smugglers, sold by pirates and thrust into the murky underworld of gambling and kickboxing,... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Van Damme
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roger Moore, James Remar
Sudden Death (1995)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J. Barry
Cyborg (1989)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A martial artist hunts a killer in a plague-infested urban dump of the future.

Director: Albert Pyun
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

The "universal soldiers" must fight the whole army. When the military's supercomputer S.E.T.H gets out of control

Director: Mic Rodgers
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg, Heidi Schanz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. Christopher Gregor
...
...
...
GR76 (as Ralph Moeller)
...
Motel Owner
...
Lieutenant
...
Charles
...
GR55 (as 'Tiny' Lister Jr.)
...
...
Michael Winther ...
Technician
Edit

Storyline

An elite team of soldiers has been used against terrorists where they use astounding physical capabilities to overcome them. Victoria, a reporter, follows them and discovers a part of their secret. When one of the team kills her cameraman she tries to escape. Luc, one of the soldiers begins to have flashbacks and turns sides and helps her as the remainder of the team follows to protect their secrets. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Genetically enhanced machines. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crystal Knights  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,057,084, 12 July 1992

Gross USA:

$36,299,898

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$101,999,898
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (TV)

Sound Mix:

(digital 35 mm prints)| (analog 35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralf Moeller and Dolph Lundgren co-starred together in Universal Soldier (1992). Years later, both actors auditioned for the role of Hagen in Gladiator (2000), with Lundgren losing it due to Ridley Scott being unimpressed by his acting and Moeller winning the role. See more »

Goofs

The Colonel commanding the Unisols is wearing a Special Force Green Beret incorrectly. An officer wears their rank on the flash on the front of the beret, the Colonel is displaying the Special Forces branch insignia like an enlisted soldier. See more »

Quotes

Scott: Are we having fun yet?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in So Graham Norton: Episode #5.7 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Worst Always Happens
Written by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent Action Fluff
16 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Universal Soldier might be dumb and derivative but I couldn't care less, it is also one of the most entertaining action films to be released in the 1990s and provided signature roles for two of my favourite trash icons, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. The film also serves as a testament to the last good movie made by Roland Emmerich before selling his soul to the Hollywood machine.

This film has long been a favourite with genre fans. Universal Soldier was a theatrical box office hit but really developed its cult following on video. I watch this film every couple of years and I'm always struck by the quality of the writing, directing and yes, even the acting. This is simply a well crafted movie and an excellent example of a film that is so much more than the sum of its admittedly tawdry parts.

Universal Soldier owes a hell of a lot to "The Terminator". It lifts a whole raft of ideas from Cameron's action classic, including the basic concept of a good guy with superhuman strength protecting a woman from a bad guy with superhuman strength. Actually, it even borrows minor details like the eye-cam, the nude walk and an act of self-mutilation. Nevertheless, the film never feels like a blatant rip off. Roland Emmerich, while never a particularly original mind, injects sufficient change and innovation into the film to ensure it has a distinct energy of its own.

The film recycles old ideas with great skill due to the excellent screenplay. The action comes thick and fast, and the dialogue is first rate for an action film. Furthermore, it provides several memorable characters and successfully introduces an element of black humour without detracting from the action. No matter how well written it is, an action film is only as good its action sequences and Mr Emmerich does not disappoint. The film contains several fantastic set pieces, from the grandeur of the hostage rescue to the phenomenal truck chase through the desert, which even manages to find time for a mid-chase game of "catch" with live grenades and a string of memorably corny one-liners. Emmerich is in his element, filming explosions and stunts from every imaginable angle. Universal Soldier is also far gorier than his later films and is all the better for it.

The film would not be half as enjoyable without its leading men. Jean-Claude and Dolph both give great performances. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. Jean-Claude was at his physical peak and excels during the action scenes. He performs several signature flying kicks in a great fight with Dolph, which is mercifully filmed in a long shot - I wish the John Woo wannabes from the "cut and paste" school of directing who directed Jean-Claude's later films had taken note. Dolph is great fun as the villain, making crazy eyes for all he is worth and relishing every trashy one-liner. They both are more than adequate in their non-action scenes, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that they are essentially playing refined zombies who walk around naked a lot. The supporting cast is also great. Ally Walker showed a lot of promise as the female lead and has gone on to have a good career in television. Jerry Orbach and Tico Wells, also TV regulars, give memorable performances in minor roles.

Universal Soldier is relentless, the film starts with a bang and never lets up. It might be trashy, but it is never less than completely entertaining. In my opinion, this is one of the seminal action films of the 90s. The sequels, however, are only recommended for experienced crap connoisseurs.


61 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 131 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page