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IMDb needs to implement negative scores...
shaidar-218 August 2007
... 1 out of 10 is way to much for this film.

Where to begin, of where to begin! The acting is the worst I've ever seen, I remember my friends and myself acting better when we played "war" when we were like 5 years old. The image is really really bad. Special effects can hardly be called effects at all. But the most horrifying must be the sound. When the actors are outdoors, every 16 seconds you hear the same bird - ALL throughout the film! If they are inside, it's the same "mainframe" sound over and over again.

Seriously, if you ever get the chance to watch this movie, you should. This is by far the worst movie I ever saw, and that is an experience like no other.

ps: maybe I missed some, but I think the F*** word is said about a gazillion times in this film!
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Very Low Budget!
raypdaley1825 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In a half hearted attempt to continue the Universal Soldier franchise but move away from the well established role for Jean Claude Van Damme, this film has been made.

The director uses the old cliché of "don't show the monsters" a great deal during this film. We are presented with a group of human soldiers, Scientists and a Special Agent, they are low on ammo and up against an unknown enemy. One of the scientists who helped create them is killed and for soldiers low on ammo they blast away merrily at a target they can hardly see with no regard to ammo levels.

The group are gradually killed one by one (another old cliché in this kind of film). We are told these soldiers are Marines (so why are some of them women and how come their Lt has NO idea how to carry a rifle? Oh, and Marines NEVER leave their dead behind, it's a very long standing tradition in the Corps.) In a later scene the Lt is on the radio to another squad of "Marines" (I say it in inverted comma's because they have THE worst radio Com's procedures I've ever heard, swearing every 3rd or 4th word).

You can tell this is a really low budget production from the no-name cast and the really cheap mainly outdoor near no-where locations. None of the "Marines" wear anything that identifies them as Marines or any rank insignias. They are just in cheap camouflage gear.

Most of the group are in constant hysterics or on the verge of an anger breakdown. Pretty bad discipline for "Marines".

The really bad continuity when they are having firefights against the (unseen) enemies, watching the rifles suddenly have BFA's (Blank Firing Attachments) appearing then disappearing as quickly when the firing stops. ( I noticed this in every scene rifles were fired, regardless of who was firing them, it shows no armorer was employed to teach weapon safety or handling).

Eventually after about the 300th row between the Marines and the Scientists (or it just felt like that many to me) the group splits, another scientist is killed (his injury should have been MUCH worse if it were from a shotgun at such close range, another sign of low budget - no money for gore).

We are then told one of the Universal Soldiers is a shape-shifter. As for the Lt giving the order "Fall out, Fall out"? I think he meant stand-to. Didn't he even know THAT basic bit of terminology? Now these Universal Soldiers are pretty much nothing like the previous films. They seem to be cyborgs or genetically created people to be Super Soldiers. Not reanimated corpses of previously dead soldiers.

We are constantly shown an electronic HUD style view (a bit like Predator but not as pretty) which I assume is how the Universal Soldiers are supposed to see, this is another way for the director to allow his bad guys to not be seen. When they are seen, they are seen to move very quickly or are partially obscured by other objects, we never get a good long look at one of them.

In any good look at them you see their costumes are cheap and nasty looking, real B movie stuff. Ed Wood would have been proud of them. Really awful white face make-up and metallic style facial plates to add to the cyborg impression. Oh, and a question? For a man with no bullets about 2 minutes earlier, how did Joe fire his pistol at the rock? When we do finally get our 1st good long look at one of the Universal Soldiers he looks like a very cheap bad rip-off of a Borg from Star Trek. Joe manages to get into the computer bunker, kills the one Universal Solider that hadn't been finished (yes, his empty gun fired even more shots!)

The final sequences of this movie where they are defending a door (obviously with NO glass in it!) to reboot the system to shutdown the Universal Soldiers is so bad it's funny! Having called for help and going to meet a chopper with 14 minutes left of the film you know there is still at least 1 big scare left to come.

Obviously it turned out to be they weren't all shutdown and the one you thought Joe had killed wasn't dead. The script kept re-using lines from Predator (including the infamous "one ugly mother" line).

Kate's battle with Skylar (the best and most sophisticated of the Universal Soldiers) is laughable. The great goof is that the "wooden" stake she's stabbing him to death with manages to bend, showing to be made of anything but solid wood. While Kate is cleaning herself up in a nearby stream some Terminator style looking robot is coming online somewhere on the island. It's hard to tell the scale of the robot but from how it picks up and throws a telegraph pole I assume it's a giant robot!

Clearly it's entirely CGI (and is what we were watching during the opening titles I finally realized!) and all the budget was spent on it. It's chasing her towards some electrical generating station in what seemed to be a predictable death to come. Which it was!

Of course the lone female escapes alive to debrief her commanders and the records of her dead friends are erased from the Marines computers. The film even plays out on the old Predator end title music!
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I actually felt obliged to register on IMDb so that I could warn people not to even consider watching this movie
drewbo2313 August 2007
I actually felt obliged to register on IMDb so that I could warn people not to even consider watching this movie.

When something is incredibly bad it can sometimes be funny, but this was well beyond that. I therefore have to admit that I did not watch the entire movie, but skipped forward and compressed the whole thing to some of the worst 10 minutes of my life.

I occasionally had the thought that someone was laughing at me for actually watching the movie, like I was a sucker in some sort of trick!

You can understand why it was a straight to video movie, though the thought of buying it makes me cringe. Having said that, this would make the perfect gift for someone you really hate.
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It doesn't get much worse than this
dgci-net6 August 2007
I was unlucky enough to run across a screener for Universal Soldiers.

IMDb doesn't offer a low enough rating for this direct-to-video turkey, and even Kristen Quintrall's frequent near-display of her rather ample charms in a tank top doesn't help it out.

In a done-before scenario of a mixed group of military, CIA and civilians trying to overcome impossible odds and live through the story, we get a trite little tale that's all too predictable. We're presented with a cast of characters who between them can't come up with a single likable entity, bad acting, horrendous dialog that's poorly delivered (mostly at a screeching shout), mediocre special effects and an overall waste of time. And talk about exotic location...the entire (mostly outdoor) flick was probably shot on less than six acres of semi-arid, hilly land.

In fact, the one thing this painfully bad "movie" has going for it is that it's blessedly short at an hour and 24 minutes including ego screens at the beginning and credits at the end. Do yourself a favor.

Go watch paint dry, or grass grow.

You'll get more pleasure out of it.
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I advise you to watch this movie so you will appreciate a good movie when you will see it
alkaly6 August 2007
This movies has them all: story line, drama, action, love, sex, special effects. No, I didn't lost my mind, I was just jocking it's a COMPLETE GARBAGE.

It goes around a failed experiment and that's about it with the story line. The characters are weak, but why do you need strong characters when everything is about shooting aimlessly and getting killed. Most of the actors I think were hired on "the cheapest we can get" premises.

You can watch this as an alternative to a Comedy or a Documentary. It is actually funny how bad the roles and the actors are, and you can consider it a case study about bad movies.

Well done Griff Furst, keep trying, by mistake you will eventually make something good.
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the Asylum strikes again
movieman_kev7 September 2007
For those that think that the Asylum only puts out crappy Z-rated excruciatingly bad horror films, like such stinkers as "Halloween Night", "Massacre at Cutter's Cove", and "Snakes on a Train", you'd be dead wrong as they also put out crappy Z-rated excruciatingly bad sci-fi films like this one. Despite the title, this has absolutely NO relation to the Universal Soldier films, and owes much much to Predator and terminator (not to tarnish either of those two classics by comparison trust me). Anyways in this putrid little number, a group of the most highly ineffectual members of the military since "Hills have Eyes 2" are stalked by the lamest looking Borg-wanna be cyborgs that I've ever seen. Most of the film the enemy is off-screen, substituted by lame-ass predator-vision so it relies on the characters whom are all cliché boring cardboard cutouts that you truly don't care if they live or die. The ending in particular is so laughably atrocious that one can't help but feel their brain liquefying just by viewing it.

My Grade: F
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Just because you can make a movie, doesn't mean you should
david-beukes10 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Picture this: You're having the most horrible, vivid nightmare possible, made doubly worse by the fact that you don't know it's a nightmare. You wake screaming, dripping with sweat.

Relief floods your body as you realise it was all just a dream. Only something isn't right. You're still in the nightmare - and it gets a whole lot worse.

Again, you wake screaming. Again relief floods you. Only something isn't right ... etc etc

Universal Soldiers is just like this, only boring.

The choice between blinding myself with a table fork and watching this again is a difficult one. I'll have to get back to you on that.
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All I can say is the Alkaly was too kind
Soluchan19 August 2007
I am glad it was a free rental. I was half tempted to scratch the disc to spare the next poor sap 86 mins of his life. I mean seriously, this was crap. I have seen better film student films and much better (ok not MUCH better) films from indie filmmakers in Florida.

So I guess this film is Universal in one thing...it sucks!

I could just repeat most of what Alkaly from the UK said, but it was all so true. To rehash, the fairly average chicks in the movie didn't even get naked.

Oh and the second (the first would be the movie was filmed) most annoying thing was the soundtrack. It sounded like they used a digital answering machine to record the voices.

I shouldn't even waste more time writing a review of this movie, but it was that bad I had to clear my conscience and let people know.
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Hopelessy Hilarious
bob_v_19 August 2007
This film is terrible. Truly awful. However, watched with friends whilst drinking it becomes one of the funniest films I have ever seen.

The acting is stupendously bad. The Storyline is non-existent. The Marines are the most incompetent people in the world. The special effects are laughable. The music is bad..very bad. I could go on and on...

BUT WAIT! This film is terribly (empahsis on terribly) amazing for the following:

The black guy - He is unintentionally hilarious! From his screaming down the radio, to his "fall-out" line when their not even falling out. But for me, the greatest piece of cinema I have ever seen in my life was when he did his super marine roll through the air for no reason whatsoever. It has to be seen to be believed.

All in all, don't watch this film is you expect some kind of masterpiece. Only watch it when intoxicated and with friends.
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Bad Bad Bad Bad Movie. WARNING: DO NOT WATCH IT!!!!
Mayflower7330 March 2008
If a negative vote would be possible, I surely would give one to this film. It's bad dialogue, bad acting and NO story at all. I'm not a big fan of Jean Claude Van Damme but I liked the first 'Universal Soldier' film. The second was OK. But this one is just horrible. It's not even useful as background noise while doing chores. I was waiting for nearly 15 Minutes for the story to begin. Then another Charakter showed up and the badness began. My first thought was 'who wrote this garbage?'. My second thought was 'I have to warn people not to watch this cr...p'. When I came to IMDb I saw that other people already did that, but I'm writing a commend anyway. Do yourself a favor and don't watch it (many other comments here already said that - listen to them). You would have more fun pulling your teeth.
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A film you will be putting down all the way through
djdea20039 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Well blimey, when i seen this film was out i thought "hmmm, is this related to Universal Soldier", the first one was great in my opinion, the other 2 that followed i thought was poor but this one just takes the mick.

Straight away at the beginning i had a feeling i was going to dislike this film due to the actors in the way they acted. From there it met my expectations all the way. Crap, crap, crap! Over acting is the word i'd describe the actors, done VERY poorly at that,but, i don't think the actors can take the blame here. I put it all down to the director - this truly is bad directing at its best.

The way the Uni's just appear and vanish was just stupid, the normal soldiers once being attacked would just fire shots across a field at nothing where they could see there wasn't an enemy around, the arguments the soldiers would have with each other was just pathetic, especially when they would hit each other - you could tell they feared hitting the actor and also the punch/slap/kick was nowhere near. Usually your meant to develop a bond with the actors so when they die you feel gutted, this was not the case, every single one that died i was glad they removed from the film.

The special effects were extremely poor!!! I've seen much better effects in T.V shows like Smallville, the robot at the end you could tell was CGI. The Uni's were pathetic as they looked exactly like Star Trek's Borg except they ran around like apes. When in first person view of a Uni the person would be looking to the right of them when there meant to be staring straight at them.

There's a scene near the end where an agent is trying to get through a vent, the sound is looped when hes smashing his foot through it and sounds like it was stolen from the game Half life (when Gordon is breaking through a vent).

Towards the end of the film they had a shot where a breast is almost hanging out, i think this was done because they knew that any second now people would just turn off the film and snap the DVD in half so out've desperation, a bit of a sexy shot to keep you watching.

If you despise the 'Shakey cam' well your in for a treat, shaky cam nearly all the way through the film. (Shows that low budget directors revert to shaky cam to try and intensify the scene - why oh why so much usage in Bourne Ultimatum when that film didn't need it)

If your looking for a film you want to watch with a mate simply just to laugh at how stupid it is then this one is for you, for a long time I've never felt so annoyed at a film.

Do not waste any money on this title because believe me when i say, they don't deserve a penny and it would totally be money wasted.
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Entertaining, if you're a fan of the Sci-Fi channel
markwallace557 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie after reading several commentaries posted on IMDb and to my great surprise I was quite entertained. Movies that people get passionate about, weather to praise them or to trash them, usually never fail to entertain.

The movie is quite entertaining if you are not expecting a big budget Hollywood action flick and though the basic story is not very original, it manages to capture the excitement and for whatever reason makes you want to see how it will end. Though the movie is an obvious attempt to capitalize on an already established name of the Universal Soldier franchise, it's a much more of a Predator rip off even hinting on Arnold by one of the characters in the cast.

All in all, it's a Sci-Fi channel movie and if you're a fan of the Sci-Fi channel, you won't be disappointed.
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Awful even for The Asylum
TheLittleSongbird23 September 2012
Maybe I need to re-order my bottom 5 Asylum movies, because Universal Soldiers is deserving of a spot there. You can really tell how low on budget the film was, the editing is the choppiest of any film I've seen in a while, while the scenery is dully lit and the effects are incredibly fake-looking, most of them don't even look like what they were meant to be. Even the props are bad, there was one that looked as though it was made of wood but seeing as the prop broke it could as well have been made of the cheapest plastic anybody could find. The music is repetitive, has no momentum whatsoever and actually feels dated, while the sound effects verge on bizarre, some even are repeated over and over again. The script is stilted and feels too talky often, while the story is so thin in structure and so ponderous in pace that you question whether there is one at all and when there is the all too few signs of one it's predictably done. The characters are annoying and are never developed, while the acting from everybody involved reads of everybody just improvising in a very bored way on screen. Overall, Universal Soldiers is an awful film that has no life to it. 1/10 Bethany Cox
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Makes me wonder what could have been...
piedra70205 September 2007
You know, I wonder what this movie would have been like had I been able to hear what was going on half the time. Really, it sounded awful, absolutely awful. I couldn't hear half the dialog and even if I could it was overpowered by heavy nature sounds (including one particularly annoying seagull) and bad/inappropriate music.

That said, I thought the film looked pretty good. I was impressed by some genuinely cinematic moments. Take away about 80% of the jv "predator vision" and don't artificially speed up shots (especially during fight sequences) and this film could have looked great. I like the "Saving Private Ryan" bland colors and choppy images but dial the latter back especially during the exposition sequences; it's too much at the wrong times.

There was also some promising talent in front of the camera. Rick Malabri was quite photogenic though his character felt a bit one-sided and Kristen Quintrall was quite entertaining to watch though perhaps an errant boob falling free from her loose-fitting uniform whilst hanging from the rope snare would have enhanced the viewing experience. I would watch her work again...

All in all I think of this film more in terms of what it could have been rather than what it was. It was butchered by bad sound and what I'm sure must have been too much rush and poor creative decisions by some producer. I could feel the art trying to break through but being stifled by time and business constraints. If nothing else, I hope all involved learned from the experience. If the talent of a select few is ever fully realized, than we might come to expect better, even great, things from an otherwise dismal and confusing film-making model.
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Add this to the list of horrible movies, NOT to watch.
bearishone15 August 2007
Where can I start about how bad this is? Between the bad acting, pathetic special effects, bad sound (was everyone sharing a microphone or maybe the mike was only on the camera?) etc..., it was downright painful to watch this movie. I would watch Elizabeth Berkeley in Showgirl before this turkey. There is one girl in here with ample cleavage that tries to 'sex' up the movie, but too bad her looks are barely average...

The actors have never had any experience with firearms and I find that amusing considering it's a "soldier" movie. They wave their firearms around (and at each other) and keep guns pointed up and backwards etc..

Hammy acting, and cheesy lines galore. The special effects obviously are hamstrung by a non-existent budget.

I echo the review of someone else saying you'd be better off watching grass grow or paint dry. I get to rent movies for pretty much free and I wouldn't finish this one if someone paid me $20...
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I had fun watching this movie
brtnycane8 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is not my kind a movie (my boyfriend rented it), but I thought that it was pretty funny and entertaining. I liked it better the second time I saw it. I couldn't hear some of the dialog in certain sections of the movie. It's definitely not a big budget movie and the robot's/soldiers look a lot like the Borg from Star Trek (which I am also not a fan of but my boyfriend loves it).

I couldn't quite believe that Kate is able to kill the universal soldier but it's only a movie. At least she looks good. Clark is hilarious and I really like Joe. HOT! I had fun watching it and might do it again.
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You'll have a better time if you just go ahead and punch yourself in the face.
johnmckinleyphillips28 April 2017
I came across this movie on Netflix a while back and thought I had found Van Damme's 1992 movie. I was quite disappointed to find this turd instead. The acting was horrible. The video and audio quality was so bad the audio actually crackled at times. Go ahead and drop a brick on your head instead. If I could give it a negative vote I would.
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80 minutes of torture, one of the worst films I have ever seen.
poolandrews14 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Universal Soldiers is set on an isolated island where a US military instillation named Camp Jacob has been used as the site for a research programme to develop the ultimate weapon with enhanced fighting & survival capabilities, several prototype cyborg soldiers have been created. Unfortunately they have run amok killing most of the human soldiers leaving only a handful to try & fight them off as the enhanced soldiers kill the survivors off one-by-one. The only hope is to radio for assistance & an air-strike but getting to the main computer & the equipment needed involves a long trek across open ground with the enhanced cyborg soldiers in pursuit...

Directed by Griff Furst this is yet another rip-off by The Asylum who take a popular Hollywood film, slightly change the title & make the worst low budget film imaginable to maximize profits (they really don't spend anything on the crap they make) & hope innocent people like you will be fooled into thinking it's a sequel, connected to the Hollywood film or is the Hollywood film. Take Universal Soldiers for instance, obviously made to capitalize on the JCVD & Dolph Lundgren sci-fi action film Universal Soldier (1992) the two titles are almost identical with the exception of an 'S'. That's how this company works, at least the makers of the rip-off films from the 70's & 80's were interested in still producing decent entertainment but The Asylum just churn out crap. Universal Soldiers is easily one of the worst films I have ever seen, Universal Soldiers is one of those films that defies any attempt to convey just how awful it is, Universal Soldiers is one of those films where you really need to see it to realise how awful it is but don't take that as a recommendation since it's painful to sit through. At a mere 80 minutes it's still boring & dull, the plot is awful & mainly consists of a few military soldiers running around a few fields for over an hour. Seriously, 90% of Universal Soldiers is set in a field. The character's are awful, the dialogue is awful & the plot makes zero sense anyway. Why, if these enhanced soldiers are so advanced, can they not find a better way to communicate with each other than drawing symbols on rocks? What's wrong with radios? You would have thought they would have one built in or something. Why, if these enhanced soldiers are so advanced, do they kill people with wooden spears? Surely a bullet would be better? What do they do with the weapons they steal from the dead soldiers? At the end one has trouble opening a door while two are taken out by a skinny little woman using nothing more than a branch. Hardly the fearsome state of the killing machines they are constantly described as. There are so many things wrong with Universal Soldiers it's scary, probably the cheapest looking & frankly crappiest film I've seen in ages.

As well as being a conceptual disaster with an appalling script that makes no logical sense Universal Soldiers is also technically awful from the sound mike picking up wind that obscure the dialogue to scenes that go from bright daylight to dark evening within itself to some absolute rank CGI computer effects. The Universal Soldiers themselves are embarrassing, guy's dressed in black with what look like cardboard attachments from silly looking shoulder pads to something on their back to a rubbish looking face mount that seems to do nothing. These cyborgs are meant to have incredible eyesight but every time we get a point-of-view shot it's blurry & all one primary colour like red or green & there are these random numbers that don't seem to indicate this & every cyborg has it's name at the top of it's field of vision, presumably in case it forgets it. The action scenes are awful, guns don't seem to fire at random intervals, there's no excitement & no attempt at making something entertaining has been attempted here. There's a bit when the soldiers reach the armoury & I was thinking 'right there's going to loads of weapons here' but when they open it up there's like five small handguns on the wall.

I would have thought the budget for this was less than a hundred grand, shot entirely in some fields & a few sheds the costumes, music & effects are all poor. Of course Universal Soldiers has absolutely nothing to do with Universal Soldier & feels more like Predator (1987) & The Terminator (1984) rip-offs. The acting is awful with most of the cast just screaming, screeching & shouting.

Universal Soldiers is surely the worst film of 2007, it's got to be a contender for the worst film I have ever seen too & I've sat through some stinkers. There is not one positive aspect about Universal Soldiers, seriously if you think big Hollywood studios make the worst films & think smaller budget indie films are better than I present Universal Soldiers as evidence. I honestly can't see how anyone could gain any entertainment from this atrocious film.
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I can't believe some people actually think this is a legit sequel
rtwheels21 April 2009
This z grade movie is NOT related to the actual Universal Soldier franchise and is a movie made by a group of people whom should refer to themselves as "the inmates" for a company called the Asylum,(as in the old saying "The inmates running the asylum") It is basically a Knockoff of the more famous and better made movie. This same group did a film called War of the Worlds that was aimed at the Tom Cruise version that came out the same year,Only the Asylum version stars C Thomas Howell. They also have their latest release or as I prefer to think of them "escapee" Terminators which is their low budget version of a terminator movie. all of the movies a low Budget exploitation of other franchises of which the worst has to be Transmorphers taken from Transformers.

they have a website at: http://www.theasylum.cc
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I'm sorry but this one isn't awful at all.
caste7822 September 2007
I'm not considered a professional critic but I have to say that this movie wasn't as bad as some people think, OK, may be some people couldn't hear some parts of the conversations, the sound was very bad, the acting and the effects were pathetic, but, I think the plot saved the moment, it was good, if we had a machine where we could put the bad things and the good things at the same time and it got us a score to say if a movie is good or bad, it'd be fantastic, but, we just have our point of view. Some people think that the special effects are the most important think, others think that the acting is, any way, there are many different point of views about what we expect to see in the film, I think that one movie isn't bad if I can have a good time, doesn't matter if it was made whit 5 bucks or 10000000 bucks, about the sound, acting, direction...let the ACADEMY AWARD(S) critics do their job. I don't know if my girlfriend and I were too attentive to the video but throughout the film we were so anxious for knowing what would happen next shot, we had a good time. This is my opinion
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Robots,NO SEX...HUH !
guestar5721 September 2007
UNIVERSAL SOLDIERS Theasylum.cc Starring: Kristen Quintrall, Dario Deak & Noel Thurman. Directed by Griff Furst.

Probably the best Sci-Fi done by Theasylum in months. You know, We could argue naming what it is,But let's move on. The Soldiers© are somewhat SHOCK WAVES and shades of Dolph & Ahnuld. Really liked their individual skills and lack of weapon knowledge, Kind of evened the playing field. A lot of characters that die telling us why they created an ultimate combat tool that's evolving somehow,OMG ! Costumes were Classic Android meets Predator. Kristin Quintrall was drinking Way Too Much Coffee or something, Truly an energized performance. Dario Deak needs to be seen again, Great on screen prescence. Noel Thurman delivers another thankless role,That viewer needs to further plot. We see a sequel, Or a prequel would be nice seemed we picked up in the middle of goings on.
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What on earth...
sherlock-491445 February 2019
Get yourself a pizza, go for a walk, have a drink...do anything but don't watch this
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Just another rip-off
Leofwine_draca9 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
UNIVERSAL SOLDIERS is another rip-off from The Asylum; I need not bother stating which film they're ripping off here, suffice it to say that this came out about 15 years too later. The story seems to have been written in an extremely sketchy way, and there's no script of a fashion - just characters going on and on, swearing and shouting at each other. A bunch of Z-grade actors run around the countryside and are occasionally killed by the titular menace, but this is embarrassingly amateurish rubbish, with no entertainment value whatsoever.
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One of the worst Asylum films ever.
DigitalRevenantX710 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A top-secret government project to create the perfect soldier goes horribly wrong when the unstable cyborgs break out of their containment cells & massacre the scientists & military personnel guarding the project.

Not to be confused with the Roland Emmerich-Jeff Woolnough-Mic Rodgers-John Hyams series starring Jean-Claude Van Damme & Dolph Lundgren, Universal Soldiers is a typical Asylum mockbuster. The Asylum, in case you don't know, is an independent production company in California with a bad history of ripping off other filmmakers' ideas & making their films on the cheap in order to make a quick buck, often having deceptive titles to confuse customers into buying their DVDs. In recent years, they have cleaned up their act somewhat & produced some reasonable genre films, in particular the Sharknado phenomenon of late.

Universal Soldiers is typical of many Asylum mockbusters, made at the height of the company's output in 2007, where they produced numerous mockbusters that ripped off many big-budget mainstream genre films. This example is written by Geoff Meed, a South African actor who also writes his own scripts, & directed by Griff Furst. Meed & Furst had earlier made I AM OMEGA, a cheap I Am Legend adaptation that was one of the better films in the Asylum canon but Universal Soldiers is very different from that.

The film is terrible. Or to put it more delicately, it is astoundingly inept. There is virtually no plot – all it consists is of a group of soldiers standing out in the open bickering amongst themselves in between being picked off by some pale-skinned cyborgs who use CGI spears to kill their victims. The visual effects border on the cheap – some remarkably poor CGI used for the cyborgs' vision – which looks like someone merged a computer desktop screen with a red-tinted filter. The makeup effects are barely passable & continuity goes out the window – characters' guns go empty in one scene yet magically replenish their ammo in the next. Meed's writing is also so slack that you can't take the film seriously – once all the cyborgs are dead (and it is never made particularly clear exactly how many of the cyborgs there are), there is a massive 50-foot robot skeleton thrown in just to keep the film going for another ten minutes or so.

As far as acting goes, the actors do a remarkably poor job of playing a military unit. In real life, soldiers will conduct their business with a lot more efficiency than the losers depicted here. As it stands, none of them make any pretence at being professional. The Asylum's penchant for corner-cutting leaves some of the dialogue to be made unintelligible by wind shear.
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Worth Watching, if Only for the Comedic Value
imdblog-604-71657010 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As the summary indicates, this is one film I urge people to watch for 2 main reasons.

Reason number 1: You will learn to appreciate good movies all the more. Reason number 2: If you can get past the fact that all involved in the making of this film are acting like it's a really serious production, it will be rather funny. Truly, if this was made as a comedy it would have been hysterical!

On the downside, the sound is obscured by the ambient sounds of nature as well as their uniforms, which constantly seem to scrape the microphones, causing an unnecessary amount of painful noises. The acting is way over the top. The story is full of holes, although watching the behind the scenes featurette may fill a few in. Improper weapons handling throughout the entire movie. Obvious finger marks on some of the makeup. The Private yells at her superiors quite a lot with no repercussions, and an assortment of other terrors.

It's a really awful movie, but I do have a good laugh when I watch it.
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