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Universal Soldier (1992)

R | | Action, Sci-Fi | 10 July 1992 (USA)
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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:

Roland Emmerich

Writers:

Richard Rothstein (story), Christopher Leitch (story) | 1 more credit »
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3,546 ( 116)

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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"... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Luc Deveraux / GR44
Dolph Lundgren ... Andrew Scott / GR13
Ally Walker ... Veronica Roberts
Ed O'Ross ... Colonel Perry
Jerry Orbach ... Dr. Christopher Gregor
Leon Rippy ... Woodward
Tico Wells Tico Wells ... Garth
Ralf Moeller ... GR76 (as Ralph Moeller)
Robert Trebor ... Motel Owner
Gene Davis ... Lieutenant
Drew Snyder ... Charles
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister ... GR55 (as 'Tiny' Lister Jr.)
Simon Rhee ... GR61
Eric Norris ... GR86
Michael Winther Michael Winther ... Technician
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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:

The future has a bad attitude. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Studio Canal [France]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crystal Knights See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (TV)

Sound Mix:

CDS (digital 35 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (analog 35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tommy 'Tiny' Lister had his eyepiece custom made because the regular eye piece's design was blocking his good eye. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 23 mins) In Deveraux's parents' house, the clock on the mantle reads 8:20 when it is first shown. Several minutes later, the clock still reads 8:20. See more »

Quotes

Scott: God damn it the whole fucking platoon's dropping like flies! What the hell are you staring it? Do you have any idea what it's like out there? Do you? Well I'm fighting this thing man, it's like kick ass, or kiss ass, and I'm busting heads! It's the only way to win this fucking war. And these shitheads, these yellow traitoring motherfuckers. They're everywhere. And I, Sergeant Andrew Scott of the US Army, I'm gonna teach 'em all.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Norwegian VHS omits the part where Sgt Andrew Scott is cut to little pieces and spit into the air. The part where Luc Deveraux answers "Around", when the girl asks him where Scott is, is not cut though; and thus makes no sense. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Emmerdale Farm: Episode #1.1867 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Goin'Out On The Town Tonight
John Lombardo and Harry Shannon
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Action Fluff
16 May 2006 | by Crap_ConnoisseurSee 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.


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