John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.
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.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
John awakens from a coma to discover his wife and daughter were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Haunted by images of the attack, he vows to kill the man responsible: Luc Deveraux. While John tries to piece his reality back together, things get more complicated when he is pursued by a relentless UniSol named Magnus. Meanwhile, Deveraux and surviving UniSol Andrew Scott are preparing to battle anarchy and build a new order ruled by Unisols without government oversight. They are weeding out the weak and constantly testing their strongest warriors in brutal, life-and-death combat. Luc has emerged operating the Unisol Church of Eventualism, taking in wayward Unisols whom the government has been secretly operating as remote-controlled sleeper agents. His mission is to liberate these Unisols from the implanted memories and the lies the government has inserted in them. As John gets closer to Deveraux and the rogue army of genetically enhanced warriors, he discovers more about himself ... Written by
Universal Soldier oozes ambiguity, blood, gore and action.
Led by Luc Devereaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) a cloned UniSol Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) are now wanted by the government who will do anything to find them a wipe out their UniSol army for good.
Universal Soldier fans maybe left scratching their heads, however, sci- fi action fans looking for slick, stylish direction with hard hitting violence and a Philip K. Dick tone - in the vain of Impostor (2001) maybe impressed by director John Hyams offering.
While not a fun hammy 90s hit like it's original this is smaller personal story adds another angle on UniSol. Reckoning may have benefited from being a stand alone low budget Dredd/Memento/Bourne-like film as it's so far removed to the original's feel.
This is actor/stuntman Scott Adkins film with very limited screen-time for Van Damme or Lundgren which isn't such a bad thing as their characters have become dismembered to those in the first outing. Nevertheless, Adkins as John carries it under Hyams games console shoot 'em up direction. While this film may not be Adkins Jason Statham 'star vehicle' it shows he's a convincing action man with some range of emotion to match as John goes on his hunt for Devereaux in some Apocalypse Now (1979) homage of sorts.
With excellent camera-work, lighting, stunts, ambiguous script, perfect moody atmosphere it's not a normal action film - and with nudity, blood and horror like gore it's not for the faint hearted either.
Don't expect a rehash or even the Universal Soldier you fell in love with and you may be surprised by this basic, dark, testosterone injected ride.
Now somebody needs to remake 1987's cheese-fest Dead Prey with Adkins as the lead.
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