Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009) Poster

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MR_Heraclius24 February 2020
Terminator, Robocop, Universal Soldier? OK, so not really in the same league as the first two, but with USR you know what to expect. Although I thought you could only be in Chernobyl city for limited hours before the lethal doses of radiation hit you? Oddly, some soldiers just stroll around whilst others are suited up with radiation suits, all very confusing.
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Punch, smash, bam, scrunch, pow, bang, slam, boom! A B-Grade action movie with A-Grade direction.
dvc51596 February 2010
After a decade-long hiatus since the abysmal "The Return", this third outing in the "Universal Soldier" cult franchise sees original stars Van Damme and Lundgren, returning to arguably their most memorable roles. Joining them are fighters Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski and Mike Pyle.

Now obviously the "Universal Soldier" series inevitably became dead as soon as "The Return" was released. That film was so cheesy it was unbearably bad, and it put Van Damme's career straight to the direct-to- video business (at least until "JCVD" two years ago). So should you have hopes for this movie? It was released in the United States of America, direct-to-video. That's a sign for a bad movie, no? But I live in Malaysia, and this movie (renamed "Universal Soldier: A New Beginning") was released theatrically here, giving me the chance to see one of the action heroes I grew up with, on the big screen. This is my first JCVD movie in the cinema, so I walked in expecting a cheese-fest.

My. God.

Did I really just see that movie? Was that really "Universal Soldier 3"? The film blew me and my expectations away. I mean, sure it's not gonna win any Oscars, but still, hot damn! The action is lean, mean and balls- to-the-wall brutal, prompting some faint-hearted people to look away at many points. The fight scenes were VERY well handled with actors doing 90% of their own fights/stunts. The mood of the film is very dark, brooding and moody (a complete 180 departure from the previous two); the same can be said of its John Carpenter-esquire electronic music score, which is PERFECT throughout the movie. From the moment the movie starts, the action never lets up until the very end.

The story is brief: The Russian Prime Minister's children get kidnapped by terrorists looking to extradite prisoners in exchange, to make things serious they plan to detonate a nuclear plant in Chernobyl. Their ace up their sleeve? an NGU (Next-Generation Unisol). The allies forcibly bring Luc Devereaux back into action to help thwart this threat when all hope is seemingly lost. (It helps to understand that this movie ignores all other Universal Soldier sequels, it directly follows the first one.)

Simple, no? Just like any B-movie would. But nowadays there are D-movies starring Steven Seagal, but this is a definite B-movie. Short, straight to the point, and extremely entertaining from start to finish. THIS is how you make action movies.

Van Damme looks old. And he's moody. And doesn't say a lot. The same can be said for Lundgren. However both of them improved A LOT in their acting range, which is above-average. However, Van Damme appears nearly halfway through the movie and Lundgren's overall appearance is no less than 20 minutes. But when both of them are on screen they dominate it. Before smashing through it, of course. The main villain, the NGU played by The Pitbull, is a lumbering tank on autopilot, not unlike The Terminator. That's a good thing. Pyle plays an American soldier who secretly goes to complete the rescue mission while Van Damme, Lundgren and Arlovski are punching about. He's perhaps the most likable character in the movie.

What I like about this film is its meat-and-bones approach. The actors don't say much, the story is simplistic, but the action is fast and comes at you like a speeding bullet. The main actors don't appear much, because it focuses more on the story and the action. This is good, it shows that you don't really need stars in EVERY action scene. This isn't action in the vein of Jerry Bruckheimer or Die Hard where the characters kill people with glorious music in the background and comic relief. You will find no music and no comic relief throughout the film (although there is a funny scene near the end of the movie). The used of CGI is absent in this movie (thank God for that refreshing trait). There is little shaky-cam in the movie, allowing you to see the mano-e-mano action in all its glory. All the stunts you see in the movie are REAL with a capital R. And who do we have to thank for this? Director John Hyams. He knows what he wants and boy does he delivers. His direction is taut, solid and focused throughout. And the way he directs a low-budget B-movie, imagine if he gets a bigger-budgeted project. His father is Peter Hyams, who worked with Van Damme on "Timecop" and "Sudden Death". Dad Peter works as cinematographer for this one, and he captures the bleakness of the film beautifully. It's much better than that "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt".

In short, I'm really surprised at how well-directed the film is, and I'm also surprised that I ended up really liking the movie. It's sad for it not to be released theatrically in the U.S., because it deserves that. JCVD and Lundgren still got it, but I'll be keeping an eye out for John Hyams. He looks like a very promising director.

Entertainment value: 10/10

Overall: 8/10
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" If you have a fire, the best way to put it out is with a bucket of Gasoline "
thinker169117 March 2010
World wide terrorism is fast becoming the stereotypical plot for new age films. They could be about corrupt inner governments, renegade police or as in this case, rebellious disenchanted rogue soldiers. The film is entitled " Universal Soldier: Regeneration. " This is part three and as with the original premises, dead soldiers who died in armed combat, were stored in cryogenic coffins, revived, repaired and returned to duty. In this third sequel, Russian terrorists have the added help of NGU's or New Generation Universal Soldiers which are improved, re-generated, deadlier soldiers. Dolph Lundgren returns as Andrew Scott and Andrei Arlovski, have kidnapped the children of the Russian Premier. In addition, radical soldiers, have also seized control over the Cernobal nuclear power plant. Together it poses a world wide threat when the rebels promise to detonate a huge bomb there, which will release a massive dangerous radioactive cloud across the world. In response, the governments activate some elite soldiers of their own including their former Universal soldier, Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who has under gone DE-programing, to combat the threat. The film is an improvement over the original in both drama and excellent acting. Ludgren and Van Dammn should be complimented on re-visiting former roles. With sufficient action, excitement and a generous supply of physical confrontation, the movie does a good job of keeping an audience entertained. ****
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Better than a lot of other action movies
cyguration20 March 2010
Amazingly enough I went into this movie thinking it would be complete crap because of JCVD and Dolph "I can't act" Ludgren, but it was much better than a lot of other action movies, including Terminator: Salvation.

A lot of people might be hesitant because of the conflicting reviews, but ignore the whole "This is bad because it has Jean Claude in it..." stigma and you might be as surprised as I was after watching it. In fact, I found myself watching it a few times again because, through and through, it's an extremely engaging film.

What actually shocked me is that it covers an important social issue of terrorism versus political tyranny; using terrorism to maintain (and gain) freedom as well as capitalist control of armies without nations. Yeah, it's a movie that actually covers something important about sociality.

As a lot of other people pointed out, though, Jean Claude and Dolph only lend their faces for brief (in Dolph's case) and extended (in Jean's case) cameos. This film is not really about the aging action heroes but rather, they play a part in the outcome of things, very similar to Snipe's role in Blade 2.

As for quality...the movie is shot to look like the Bourne Identity and even has a cool chase scene like it, too. All the action is depicted with startling realism and all fist-fights result in such because people either run out of ammo or get too close to use weapons. In other words, all the fight scenes in this movie make a heck of a lot of sense and are very realistic and practical. Added to this, the musical score is extremely fitting to the science-fiction overtones.

Overall, this movie is leaps and bounds better than every other Universal Soldier movie made before it and actually takes itself serious enough to deserve better praise than what it's been receiving.
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Deserved Limited Theatrical Release
pattonfever31 December 2009
I really really did not want to see this movie, but boy am I glad I did. It was very well directed, well acted (for the most part), and well shot. I would have gladly paid 10 bucks to see this on the big screen. The problem is I (and most people) didn't know it until after we had seen it. After the god awful sequels I thought this outing would be the same garbage. John Hyams created a much darker bleak Universal Soldier that out shines the first installment. He has a very bright career ahead of him. The world he created in this film has the same look and feel as Terminator Salvation did. In fact this film is as good if not better than T4. Mainly because it had nothing to live up to. All the fight scenes were top notch, and graphically violent (which is a good thing). Even Dolph Lundgren was interesting. And near the end of the film there is a shot, of JVCD standing in front of a doorway looking at the kids that are his mission, that is just amazing. If you do not like action films you won't have any fun, but if you do your in for a real treat. You can give it a rent, or the better option would be to buy it on blu-ray. It's just a shame we can't see it on the big screen. Because after all these years JVCD finally has an action film thats worthy of it.
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Great Action Flick!!
ryan-12372 January 2010
The opening scene blew me away!! Absolutely amazing action at the beginning. Andrei (Pitbull) Arlovski stole the show with a great action performance. JCVD had a smaller role than the previous film and did a solid performance. I was disappointed that Dolph Lundgren's role was so small but he did a great job. The long fight sequence between Dolph and JCVD had some amazing parts as well.

The action at the beginning is by far the best; yet the film continues to deliver till the very end. I especially appreciate the minimal use of dialog. Extensive dialog was not needed for this film and was not included (useless and excessive dialog drives me nuts in action films).

*************SPECIALIZED CRITIQUE TO FILL SPACE!!****************

My only complaint was the tactics, weapons and armor employed by the US Army forces in the film. The weapons used by the Army forces appear to be the fully automatic M16A1 (with after market banana clips) which was used in the Vietnam War. The Army now uses the M16A4 with a 30 round magazine (slightly curved but not banana style) which is not fully automatic (Burst/Semi/Single) and Infantry are trained to rely primarily on well place single shots leaving the fully auto fire to the 240B or the SAW Gunners.

Additionally the US Army relies heavily on night-time operations thus ALL combat troops are equipped with Night Vision Devices. Mid day attacks are rarely ever performed especially against a heavily embedded enemy force. None of the "good guys" had night vision devices.

The US Army ubiquitously uses the Interceptor System of body armor which utilizes heavy ceramic plates in front and back of the soldier to protect from small arms fire and to minimize wounds from explosions. The soldiers in the film appear to wear simple Kevlar.

Furthermore Recon operations are never performed by a single operator but by small silent teams (2 or 4 men) moving slowly, smoothly and silently together. The lone Recon guy's equipment, weapon, and movements were completely wrong and his equipment made way too much noise.

I guess my main complaint would be the Director didn't do his research when it came to a large portion of his film. This is a common complaint for me in most movies which attempt to show modern US Army tactics and weapons. You would think that with all the unemployed Iraq War veterans out there they could find a few to advise them on their films.


Ultimately Universal Soldier: Regeneration was an enjoyable film. I read one snobbish review relegating it to "B" movie oblivion yet I found the movie to be better than most "A" action movies coming out of Hollywood.

Congrats to Dolph and JCVD for a great movie I hope to see more films of this quality from both!
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Above average, Way above.
phoneeko1 January 2010
This was great entertainment, Story:well scripted to avoid the many pitfalls the this kind of movie could have fallen in to. More layering and character development that you could ever expect from a film like this. Acting: no Oscars gonna be won here... but hey it's a JCVD flick and he and the rest of the cast do a good job in it. Action (fights): No Jason Bourne, or Taken, but pretty close!, you can see how much went in to choreography and rehearsal, very well done. Production: Nice cutting, great timing, superb use of location. Maybe the only weakish spot was the score, it sometimes felt out of context and/or under-produced.

Anyway: Director sure knew what he was doing here, and i liked it a lot.

Please Mr Hymas (Sr and Jr?) find a big budget, a great script and go do a Jason Bourne movie!
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Luc Deveraux and Andres Scott are back in business! It's all good!
freddy_at_home30 December 2009
In the third and by now the last Universal Soldier series, both Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are back for one last showdown together.

This time they are both in a different place a different time for a different reason. But with the same anger and history.

So, is it any good? Well, being a STV and the fact that i's filmed in Bulgaria, it's pretty good actually.

I would say that it's not by far the same as the first Universal Soldier, but still good old action fun with two old action stars.

Anyways, good action, so so on the story and some cool violence and effects. The movie were kinda fun.

I'll rate it 7 out of 10 stars, cause I like Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. :)
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Exhale Hollywood, inhale realism.
caIeidos19 September 2010
This is my 43rd movie of the year, and my god what a surprise it was.

This movie takes off the Hollywood gloves and sticks the hands to the dirt. It totally lacks any goofiness or over the top action scenes (like in the previous movies). The realism level and style a par with Black Hawk down and Jason Bourne. There is nothing funny in this movie. None of the scenes have slow motion or dramatic background music. Fist fights are straight from UFC, and gunfire makes the subwoofer move across the floor. Even the two most scary things in this movie, Van Damme and Lundgren, are there only to be part of the story and not to stand in the spotlight. What an earth has happened? Van Damme even gives us one of the best infiltration scenes I have ever seen, really.

It is so sad that the utterly stupid Unisol 2, which resembles more c-movies like the Street Fighter, has ever been done. Even the first movie casts a dark shadow over this movie, converting possible movie watchers away. Well, some say there couldn't be the good if there wouldn't be the evil.

I wish they had called this movie simply "Universal Soldier", like they have with many movies that have gone back to the beginning, cleaned the slate and re-visualized the original idea with a great success. Few such movies that come to my mind are Rambo, James Bond and the latest Star Trek. Add few dollars to the marketing campaign and you could have had a very successful movie. It is a true shame so many will miss this movie.

The contrast between the two other movies of the series is so big that it is difficult to say how good movie this is after all compared to others in the genre. You have to make the judgment yourself. I recommend you give it a fare chance. The movie carries a heavy burden of the past sins, but I for one, have forgiven them.
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Good old action!
wormtheace2 January 2010
After the disappointment of Universal 2 I was afraid this would be just as bad or maybe worse. To my surprise it ended up being a pretty good action movie. The story is straight forward. A situation arises and requires the return of Luck (Van Damme). The fighting scenes are pretty well crafted and the return of Lundgren was quite enjoyable. I suppose I need to remind people again that these types of movies are not intended to change the world! They are action movies and should be reviewed as such. As far as the bad, the story is really basic and the movie is a little short. I was pleasantly surprised by the acting overall. Yeah there is almost no dialogue, but Lundgren and Van Damme seemed to have learned a little bit about their craft. I hope Van Damme continues to make these types of movies and I look forward to one of them getting a serious theatrical release. It's been a long times since one of these movies has hit the big screen. I for one would love to support this type of movie.
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Better than expected
jacob-noergaard30 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Did the world really need yet another Universal Soldier movie? Well, no. But at least this one is "official", in the way that it's got the original ensemble, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. This time we get Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski as well.

The story is simple. Terrorists have placed bombs at the abandoned Chernobyl Nuclear reactor and threatens to blow the place up (thus exposing the core) if their terms aren't met.

This wouldn't normally be such a problem, but unfortunately they have a scientist from the Universal Soldier program on board, and he brought along some of his "experiments": The Next Generation Universal Soldier (NGU). And so the original, Luc (Van Damme) is found and brought into action again. But he will not face only one, but two Universal adversaries.

Sure, the movie is predictable and clichéd to oblivion, but somehow I found it to be pretty entertaining. There is also a long cut with Van Damme kicking ass which I first believed would be done in one long take. Unfortunately it wasn't. It was still a relatively long take, and kudos to the directors for that.

In the end we have a fairly polished B-movie. Effects are reasonably well done, acting is mostly pretty pathetic, but it's all quite entertaining in its own way. I give the movie 7 out of 10 which is based on the fact that it's a b-movie (straight to video) and the fact that I didn't really expect much from it. Solid effort.
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Thoroughly enjoyed it.
mikesblast30 December 2009
15 minutes into this, I noticed something strange. I didn't want to turn it off which is pretty rare when talking about most of Van Damme's movies over the past decade. The thing that might kill this movie with some fans is that it is so different from the great original...tons better then the turd of a 2nd one though. It is not a polished Terminator type action flick like the original was. It is much grittier and with some of the locations and fights, it almost has more of a Bourne style feeling to it (not as good of course) with Unisols. The action is well directed...very quick with no dopey slow motion. Even the acting is decent. The main reason for that probably is that the film makers wisely let those actors with accents actually keep them. Too often, they try and hide them horribly and it comes off as a terrible performance. Another thing is that they used subtitles for the terrorists which adds a little authenticity...sounds silly I know but little things like that matter in movies. Mike Pyle is the only one who sometimes comes of as unconvincing but it doesn't really hurt the movie. It is true that Van Damme is only sprinkled throughout, but the film is so fast moving, before you know it, you are already at the final 40 minutes ...and Van Damme owns the *beep* out of it!! It's a blast to see Lundgren too even if it is pretty brief. I didn't really care for how they ended it but it's no big deal. All in all, it is a solid little action flick. It doesn't compare to the original but is still a lot of fun and I look forward to owning the bluray. I thought the music was well done too. Think along the lines of something John Carpenter might have used in a movie. ***out of ****
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Brooding, Bloody & Brutal.
airlight-europe2 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was surprisingly good. It mostly takes place in and around the Chernobyl reactor area. Some people are taken hostage, and they are in need of rescue.

It's place in the Universal Soldier series is not an easy one to pinpoint. I've only seen the first one from 1992 and "Universal Soldier: The Return" from 1999. It doesn't compare to either in terms of tone or feel. Some original characters are in the film, but that is about it. The best thing to do when viewing this movie would probably be to forget any UniSol film other than the first one, and from that one only bring the knowledge of the basic events and characters, and the concept of the UniSol program. "Regeneration" is very different in style, tone and execution to the original 1992 film, so if you expect any continuity in these areas, you might be disappointed. Luc Deveraux is portrayed as a broken man, if he can even be called that anymore. Not much is shown of his everyday life, other than the fact that he sees a psychiatrist and has problems with his memory. If you ever are going to accept the premise of people who are killed being brought back to life and used as brainwashed genetically enhanced soldiers who can even be "programmed" like computers before being sent into a war zone, this movie portraying them as semi-zombie hunks of meat is probably as realistic and thematically cohesive as you are going to get (again, forget any previous UniSol movie where Van Damme cracks smiles, or has kids, or jokes around with other UniSols).

It has a very dark tone throughout, and the plot and events are very straightforward. The movie is more in the area of horror/action than the original films action with mild comedic moments. There are basically no humorous elements in the script at all, no romance and even no fairly light moments.

The acting is quite passable, and but for a few examples no one stands out as either good or bad. Since the movie is not very "Hollywood" in being overly dramatized or containing witty comments etc, actors get by well by just keeping it simple.

The action and combat sequences are very nicely filmed and choreographed and are the highlight of the film. The musical score is very bare-bones and atmospheric with mostly moody underscore and percussive elements, and contains no string elements to evoke emotion or brass to punctuate moments of action.

See if it you like "realistic" and unforgiving action (think the recent Rambo film) and consistency in tone and execution, and if you like the original film, or the general concept. Also if you are drawn to films with a quite hopeless, empty or apocalyptic atmosphere.

Avoid it if you want a more conventional "Van Damme-film", or expect any humor or easily digested entertainment.
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Jean-Claude van Damme still up
reprisecompilation30 December 2009
After JCVD movie I was pretty curious the next step. Actually, I can not deny the fact I became disappointed having seen action production for Mr Van Damme, rather than art films. But, one for the art, some others for the money... So, liking also Mr Lundgren I was sad not to have new Universal Soldier movie in cinemas. After watching this part, I must say, this is far better than the most was screened this year.

What is the secret?

Good directing, good photographer, good stunts, good timing, good atmosphere. And most of all, Mr Van Damme is great, and acts, and Mr Lundgren, well, just listen how he starts to speak, and his short monologue...

It is a really good thing in the plot that... well, just see it...:)

To sum up, matured actors can make good movies with good director, good script, good editing, good cameramen, and so on. And this happens here.

And the supporting cast? I haven't even recognized it was filmed in Bulgaria, and honestly, you watch a Van Damme film for Him, and this is also a great point of the directing that... :)

So watch it, and you will like it mainly because of Van Damme and Lundgren. :)
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Excellent Action Film With Extreme Violence.
Vivekmaru4528 November 2010
Not for the faint of heart as this movie showcases some killer moves which are pretty disturbing to those who are unfamiliar with the ACTION-GORE genre.

The pace of the movie is excellent and makes for a good viewing. Finally, it is good to see Jean-Claude Van Damme at his iconic role as the regenerated soldier Luc Deveraux. Also Dolph Lundgren makes a welcome special appearance as Luc's ex-captain Andrew Scott, who we last saw way back in the first movie Universal Soldier.

A new talent is seen in this film: MMA fighter Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski and this guy has some really awesome moves which we see early on in the film and this also showcases the level of action we are going be seeing.

Plot: A group of terrorists led by General Boris (Aki Avni) kidnap the Russian prime minister's son and daughter and hold them hostage, demanding the release of their comrades within 72 hours. In addition, they have taken over the crippled Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and threaten to detonate it if their demands are not met. It is revealed that among the ranks of the terrorists is a Next-Generation UniSol (NGU) (Andrei Arlovski), who was smuggled in by rogue scientist Dr. Colin (Kerry Shale). U.S. forces bring in troops at the plant, but quickly retreat when the four UniSols revived for this mission are systematically eliminated by the NGU.

Meanwhile, former UniSol Luc Devereaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who is being rehabilitated in Switzerland by Dr. Sandra Fleming (Emily Joyce) to rejoin society, is taken back by the military to participate in the mission. As the deadline nears its expiration, the prime minister announces the release of 110 prisoners. The terrorists rejoice and shut off their bomb. Dr. Colin, however, is not pleased with the outcome, as he feels his side of the business is not done. As the NGU is programmed not to harm the terrorists, Dr. Colin unleashes his second UniSol: a cloned and upgraded version of Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) - Devereaux's former nemesis, who quickly kills General Boris. Unfortunately, Dr. Colin never considered the mental instability of Scott, and he is immediately killed by his own creation. Scott then reactivates the bomb before heading out to hunt the children.

In the midst of the chaos, Capt. Kevin Burke (Mike Pyle) is sent in to infiltrate the plant and rescue the prime minister's children. He is successful in locating them and decides to lead them out of the building. On their way out, they encounter NGU. The children flee for safety as Burke fends off NGU in vain, finally being stabbed to death after a long fight.

With 30 minutes remaining, Devereaux is geared up and sent to the plant, where he kills every terrorist in sight. He searches the buildings further and sees the children cornered by Scott. Before Scott gets a chance to kill the children, Devereaux attacks him, and a grueling fight ensues. In the end, Devereaux impales Scott on the forehead with a lead pipe and fires a shotgun through it, blowing his brains out.

As Devereaux escorts the children to safety, they are attacked by the NGU. Devereaux and the NGU take the fight to the site of the bomb, with less than two minutes remaining. During the melee, Devereaux removes the detonator and jams it in the back of the NGU's uniform as they both jump out the reactor chamber. NGU pulls the detonator off his back, but it is too late, as it explodes, taking him with it. U.S. soldiers quickly arrive on the scene and tend to the children as Devereaux runs away. Meanwhile, Capt. Burke's body is placed in a black bag and taken away, as well as pieces of the NGU being collected.

Back in Langley, Virginia, Burke's body is stored in a cryogenic chamber, along with multiple clones made of him.

This is the 3rd film in the Universal Soldier series and is is directed by John Hyams, the son of the legendary director Peter Hyams [2010 - The Year We Make Contact (1984), Narrow Margin (1990), End Of Days (1999)]. John worked with his dad on the sets of Timecop (1994) and Sudden Death (1995) and he shows what he has learnt from his past experiences.

Overall a superb action film and a solid addition to your DVD collection. 10/10 points, I got what I expected and more.

Expect more good work form you John and best of luck for your future projects.
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More than just a decent rematch
filmnut12 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There have been a lot of positive reviews about UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION (2009) but this made me very cautious. I'd read Van Damme's role was a supporting one, a contractual obligation, and that some MMA fighter called The Pitbull would be the lead, although not in a heroic role. I then learned that this would be a direct sequel, one that ignored the cartoonish UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN (1999) and had an entirely new, raw tone. I just didn't know what to make of it. The experience of the film leaves you feeling the same way, a bit unsure of quite what it was you just experienced but very, very satisfied.

This is a distinctive film, one that follows some conventions and not others. The rules are broken and anything goes. Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski gets top billing because Van Damme, while essentially the key character, only appears in a handful of scenes in the first half of the film. It's an action movie with an absent hero. Until he gets into action in the final act, Van Damme is seen only fleetingly, the main plot moving forward without him. It's peculiar because there are a large number of characters on screen but there isn't a single protagonist for us to identify with. Only "The Pitbull" commands the screen, hence top billing.

You get the impression that the plot was reworked to accommodate the limited amount of time Van Damme was prepared to devote and that's probably the case. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to raise the profile of the film further, they convinced Dolph Lundgren to make a brief return for a rematch. It worked; the film has been successfully marketed on that very promise. But while it's a great selling point, it's not the reason the film is actually very good. That's primarily because of the cinematography and the action sequences.

Obviously working with a very limited budget, director John Hyams has been able to give the film a blockbuster, cinemascope look (just as the 1992 original had) with the help of his father Peter Hyams. An experienced cinematographer and director of films with budgets vastly superior to this one. He also directed two of Van Damme's biggest movies, TIMECOP (1994) and SUDDEN DEATH (1995). There's not a touch of Hollywood glamour in the movie (even Van Damme's not the pretty boy he once was) but the fluid photography takes this way above the quality of other B-movie's with a similarly bleak Eastern European aesthetic. The locations look cheap but the standards are high.

Combining this camera-work with great choreography and editing make this a great action movie. From the very beginning you just never quite know what to expect from the movie and barely a minute passes before an excellent car chase kicks in that the makers of QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) could learn a thing or two from. Then the fight scenes come and get better and better.

Van Damme has made an effort in recent years to grow as an actor and his dramatic scenes early on are no doubt there at his request, but while he's good in those he's great when he gets into action. Perhaps taking a cue from the opening action sequence from JCVD (2008), the final act sees Van Damme setting off on his mission in a series of well planned, long take scenes. He shoots, he stabs and he brawls. He's a force to be reckoned with.

The rematch with Lundgren, he's playing a clone of his character from the first film, only lasts a couple of minutes but you really get your money's worth. With the help of stunt doubles they battle their way through a building, literally. Through walls, windows, ceilings; it's incredible. Then Van Damme and headliner Arlovski have their face-off and it's all over. Approximately 20 minutes of incredible action leaves you stunned. We just don't expect this sort of thing from a direct-to-DVD sequel.
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What the sequel should have been
martinhitchings23 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT OK, I have not read all of the reviews that people have posted but there are a lot that rate this movie just because of JCVD and Dolph Lundgren both being in it and because of their action movie legacy.

I personally rate this movie not for them in particular, but for what I feel the movie represents to me.

First off, yes; when I first heard about the movie, the idea of having JCVD and DL reprising their roles for a sequel to one of my favourite action movies, I was excited but apprehensive. To echo my feelings, when I mentioned it to my best buddy his exact words were "It's a dream come true". What made me apprehensive was the second movie, which featured the likes of Goldberg et al which to be fair, had decent stunts etc but to me missed part of the 'depth' the first movie hinted at. Secondly, sequels to great movies do not always live up to their predecessors and considering that the movie clearly had a lower budget than the previous two (I could be wrong) there was the chance that it would be condemned to B movie hell. However, Regeneration despite some minor issues, hits the nail firmly on the head in my opinion.

I can hear you all asking 'what depth?' and you are right; the first didn't tackle the moral idea of resurrecting dead soldiers or indeed the implementation of mind control on people. However, JVCD's character (a resurrected Vietnam Soldier) began to regain parts of his memory and discover his past as things progressed; whereas the clearly psychotic Lundgren slipped back into a madness fuelled re-enactment of his Vietnam experience. Then along comes the second movie, JCVD is clearly recovered and up to date with life, technology and the world as if nothing had ever happened. Poppycock.

Regeneration on the other hand, introduces Luc Deveraux as a somewhat broken minded man with various issues (not in the least his weakened physical state); seeing threat to his life in a diner and not really having a fair grip of reality or indeed, his own independence; and this is my point: resurrect a man, mind control him, pump him full of drugs and then let him detox, you really think he will recover like nothing had happened?? So to me that sets the stage perfectly in terms of how his character would truly appear in the future hinted at by the first (hence my use of the word depth) and in my opinion, JCVD acted the part very believably. Naturally, I had little doubt regarding DL's ability to pull off his role, I just wasn't sure (until I saw the movie) how that would play out. The fact is, DL is a great actor who (in my opinion) has been in some mediocre films and not yet had the parts that truly reflect his acting ability, apart from other small parts such as the preacher in Johnny Neumonic, where he his character shines; and Regeneration was another example of this.

Now the movie storyline itself is nothing particularly groundbreaking in terms of storyline, bad guys vs good guys etc etc but the way in which it was filmed ie camera work, the dark and gritty edge that works so well these days and the in your face brutality of the action (rather than the big explosions and glitz of the late 80's early 90's action movies) gave it an edge that sat nicely with the whole broken minded Luc Deveraux. There were also elements early on that reminded me of the 'bourne' movies in terms of the way they were filmed, which I thought was great too.

The movie also introduces to the big screen, the two UFC stars Mike Pyle and Andre Arlovski. Arlovski, the unstoppable killing machine and Pyle; the heroic army dude. Both played very convincing roles in the movie and Pyle stood out more to me because of his ability to act well (which I was not expecting). Arlovski's lack of dialogue (which, given the character, would have perhaps detracted from the role) is the only reason why I rate Pyle slightly higher, its one thing to do action and MMA to choreographed shots but another to act convincingly.

For me, the only things that let the movie down was that DL's part was not as big as I would have liked; granted: he played it brilliantly, I just wish there had been more of it. Secondly, some of the back story covering Unisol 1 to present day was a little lacking and perhaps overly contrived. I would argue that this movie in some respects hinted at tackling the moral issue of resurrecting dead soldiers without actually doing it, which to me, would have added more depth. Finally, some of the acting was wooden at best (excluding the stars and the UFC guys) and perhaps this was a script issue rather than an acting issue? Anyway, those are the reasons why it drops two points, other than that I loved it, have seen it twice and will watch it many more times to come. If you loved the original, you will love this.

PS the end sets up for another sequel or even a franchise reboot; lets hope they build on the success they have had here and take it to the next level.
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The reason you see this movie: Does not happen until the end
elwoodjames1 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this film yesterday, All in all a hell of a lot better than Uni Sol: The Return, But still lacking something, One thing this does still show is that Van-Damm and Lungren still got that magic that made the original film great..

Its just a real shame that in a 1:30 film they are only together for 20mins, and Lungrens Part is actually minimal.. Not allowing him to give depth to the "Andrew Scott" character that made the original great..

But to see these 2 movie veterans go at it.. the majority of the time doing their own stunts was great..

Worth a watch..
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impressive effort
hopla6830 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I can agree with the first 2 reviews. If you are going to see a film like this you expect nearly nothing. And the truth of the matter is there isn't a reason to expect anything. The world has seen by my count around 4 universal soldier movies and basically they are all rubbish. And yes this is also true for part one which is nothing more then a dumb action flick only made to propel JCVD higher into the food chain.

So with that in mind I sat down for this official part...3? with no expectations and got a pleasant surprise. I wont run down the plot, the other reviewers already did that. I will comment however on how old the two action stars of yesterday look, which only means that I have too aged a lot since bloodsport and rocky 4. Both Dolph and JCVD look tired and used up and that was rather a shock seeing the other great actioner of yesterday Sylvester Stallone in good shape for the expendables. But hey, we all get older I guess. The worn look of the main characters ( and Dolph has basically an extended cameo)does fit right in with the background and the grim storyline, Because this film does take itself very serious; the on screen violence is brutal and everybody plays his or her part with a very straight face. And it works, the atmosphere in the movie works, the camera-work is great and the action is gripping. In the first place helped by the main henchman who fights brutal and bloody.

So there is hope for at least JCVD ( which I did find impressive in wake of the dead to name a more recent title), he would fit right in the parts that James Caan used to play when he got older; more serious and grim action movies. Because the guy can act. Dolph just goes through the motions for the couple of days work he got on the shoot.

There is one loose end however in this movie that keeps nagging me.. I seem to remember that good old Dolph ran into a combine machine in the first Uni Sol movie and was turned into hamburger meat.. mmh sure patched him up good;-)
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Lean, mean movie that caught this action fan way off guard
mickeyshamrock1 January 2010
Finally, a direct to video action movie that truly delivers. I can't say enough great things about UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION. Director John Hyams, son of director Peter Hyams – who is coincidentally the DP on this movie (and it shows in spades), has given action fans a direct to video action film that outshines most of the glossy, bloated, over edited, over stylized, action films Hollywood cranks out. Unfortunately I feel like most moviegoers will be massively skeptical of renting this movie thinking it's a typical half baked, half assed, cheap-o direct to video offering the likes of Steven Seagal's recent output (and I'm writing that as a huge Seagal fan). But fear not action fans, I promise you REGENERATION delivers: great photography, great action and fight choreography, great performances from everyone involved (even the supporting roles are taking their parts seriously) and a dark and gritty, no frills story. This is a lean, mean movie that caught this action fan way off guard. The inevitable Van Damme vs Lundgren fight is awesome and Van Damme vs Andrei Arlovski (who is great in the movie) is cool too. Post JCVD, Van Damme continues to impress as his tumultuous real life and action persona meld into one. Not to take anything away from director John Hyams, but one has to assume his father's steady and experienced hand behind the camera really helped elevate this film. That said, the real winners here are you and me – average joe action fan. Check this movie out!
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A Nutshell Review: Universal Soldier: A New Beginning
DICK STEEL30 January 2010
I have a confession to make – I have never seen a Universal Soldier film, not in its entirety anyway, nor even the original way back in 1992 when it starred Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren as these programmed super soldiers who are impervious to pain, and a small troupe can take out battalions of a conventional army. For those like me who are not well versed in the mythos, fret not as this film's subtitle – a new beginning – made it a point to do a quick recap of the secret super soldier programme to bring us all up to speed to where the film now takes place.

There were some in the audience who found it rather startling that the film opened in abrupt manner, chiefly because this is meant for the straight to video market overseas. So the distributor's logo doesn't kick in to pre-empt you that this is not a trailer, but the start of the film proper. And boy does it start with a bang, with an ambitious, noisy car chase cum massacre where a small group of freedom fighters kidnap the children of the Russian Prime Minister, and demands the release of their countrymen in lockup, in which failure meant the killing of the kidnapped children, plus the detonation of another reactor in Chernobyl where they are dug in, which has enough radioactive material to cause another fallout.

This of course mobilizes a NATO-Russian alliance of sorts to fight back with 2 mission objectives under 72 hours, with the only snag in the mission being the use of an NGU (Next Generation Uni-Sol) by the opposition, played to mean perfection by Andrei Arlovski as the ultimate killing machine who feels no pain and dishes out his fair share of punishment to maim and kill without remorse. The response of course is for the coalition to send in their own Uni-Sols, which are painfully outdated and obsolete when faced with the NGJ, so all hopes rest on one man, Jean Claude Van Damme, erm, his Luc Deveraux that is.

Director John Hyams keeps it tight and relevant here by creating a film that doesn't try too much fanciful stuff. It's good ol' military and B-action all the way, which at times resembled a violent video game especially in JCVD's first mission outing when unleashed into enemy territory, adopting a third person, behind the character view as he charges and cuts through enemy ranks. Then there's some nifty camera-work as well, the highlight being a continuous take where it's a Counter-strike game-type with JCVD going from primary rifle, to secondary firearm, to default knife, and the fists as he rips through scores of faceless soldiers. I thought that was one of the best action sequences in the film, since the much touted plummeting with Dolph Lundgren, who also returned for this film, was nothing not already seen before, save for the expectation of a rematch here.

For action junkies, there is a bit of a nostalgia in seeing how our old school action heroes still have it in them to carry a movie and give the new wannabes a run for their money. Visibly aged, this film follows the trend of late with our 80s action icons coming out and banding together for one last hurrah. While this may be for the video market in the US, it certainly didn't scrimp on its limited production values to turn in something professional looking, with some impressive gory action compensating for a standard, average plot with room to grow the franchise further. Now bring on The Expendables, and boy, will we action fans just rejoice with that reunion!
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Passable follow-up with two veteran but exceptional action men : Van Damme as Luc Deveraux and Lundgren as Andrew Scott
ma-cortes1 November 2013
-Plot : 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" (Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski) leading the way, they seize the crippled Chernobyl nuclear reactor, threatening to unleash a lethal radioactive cloud . The only one who can stop them is Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a UniSol who's been decommissioned for years . Luc is nowadays protected by Dr. Sandra Flemming (Emily Joyce) . Reactivated and retrained, Deveraux must make a full-out assault on the heavily armed fortress. Luc Deveraux's codename in the UNISOL program is GR44 and is assigned a dangerous mission by the military staff (Corey Johnson as Col. John Coby and Mike Pyle as Captain Kevin Burke). But inside, he'll discover not one but two of these virtually indestructible warriors . Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), Deveraux's vicious UniSol enemy from the original Universal Soldier, has been secretly reanimated and upgraded. Now, these elite fighters are locked, loaded and programmed to kill; and the fate of millions hinges on this high-action showdown .

-Comment : This moving picture contains noisy action , thrills , shootouts and fierce combats . From start to finish the action is unstoppable and frenetic . Thrilling screenplay dispenses absurd excitement as well as violence and lots of fights . Acceptable action movie full of struggles , crossfire and tension , this is a fast-paced, stylized action-suspense film . Screenwriter John Fasano and his son John Cody Fasano designed the special military costumes worn by the old and new model Unisols in US : TNG . The tension of this picture keeps snowballing as the clock ticks ever close for a groundbreaking as well as spectacular final . Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren have some scenes together at an impressive fighting . Dolph Lundgren filmed his parts for the movie in just 5 days, whilst Jean-Claude Van Damme filmed for 20 days. This film marks the first time Peter Hyams has acted as cinematographer without also directing . The director, John Hyams, is his son . However , P.J. Pesce was considered to direct the movie and Simon Fellows was originally signed to direct but he was replaced during pre-production . Released theatrically in a few countries and Direct-To-Video (DVD & Blu-ray) in the rest of the world . Filmmaker John Hyams quickly understood the freedom and malleability that direct to video presents and has gone about creating some incredibly interesting genre fare. Hyams made his feature length film in 1997 when wrote, directed, and produced the critically acclaimed "One Dog Day," , he subsequently filmed this ¨Universal Soldier: Regeneration¨ and ¨Dragon Eyes¨ , in which displayed an acute understanding of the action genre .

-Series : The best film of the series was the original ¨Universal soldier¨ by Roland Emmerich with Jean-Claude Van Damme , Dolph Lundgren , Ally Walker , Ed O'Ross ; it was followed by ¨Universal soldier : the return¨ with Jean-Claude Van Damme , Michael Jai White , Heidi Schanz , Xander Berkeley and Justin Lazard as subsequent Universal Soldier films ignore the events of The Return and outright contradict it in a number of ways ; while still an official entry, it is no longer considered part of the series canon . ¨Universal soldier : day of reckoning¨(2012) by John Hyams with Scott Adkins , Andrei 'The Pit Bull' Arlovski , Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme , but here they have not scenes together . And two TV films : ¨Universal soldier : Brothers in arms¨ (1998) by Jeff Woolnough with Matt Battaglia , Gary Busey , Burt Reynolds , Richard McMillan and Chandra West and ¨Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business¨ (1999) by Jeff Woolnough with Burt Reynolds Juan Chioran , Claudette Roche and Matt Battaglia .
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van damme rules in action arena
ayyappaas3 January 2010
I should say that it was a pleasure to watch unisol- regeneration.Everything needs to be praised about this movie. starting

from the excellent photographic skills of peter Hyam and directional skills of John Hyam. The two movies which i liked like

this of van damme were Kickboxer and bloodsport.In both those films stunts were exclusively choreographed and directed

by the legend van damme himself. I felt the same kind of excitement when i watched this movie too. The environments,the

explosions,the makeup of characters,and violence are done perfectly. The light greenish white color tone given to the film during

compositing gives the audience a feeling that they are sitting in a war zone. The stunts are shot in a thrilling new way,especially the ending shots.And what to say about the legends van damme

and lundgren. They just rock.
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heavy fight show is starting on your screen
farooqnk3 January 2010
for this movie i will say

" John Hyams has made an

Accurate, Raw, Hardocre action, original movie."

Its tempo is magnificent you will never be bored a second. The movie is real action thriller and its a guy thing. I have never seen so much fast paced bloody hand to hand fighting with high free falling jumps specially by Andrei the Pitbull.

When JCVD comes in the show and starts to kill he is awesome more energetic and powerful than ever specially the KNIFE show was extra ordinary. A lot of fights and kicks are being demonstrated by the world's NO 1 action legend.

Dolph(ANDREW SCOT) was the least of all but he gave JCVD(LUC) very tough time and in the end he was killed with some style.

Over all this film is the best it must be in cinema its born to be for BIG Hollywood picture its so far the best movie since "Replicant".

One more thing its real heavy awesome kick ass Action. You will never see such a thing in today's world of computer animation cause its real.

I gave it 10 out of 10 and if you are a true action lover you will give the same.

check my new wallpaper as well


Thank You

must watch it now!
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We enthusiastically support Universal Soldier: Regeneration!
tarbosh2200028 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
When a terrorist group takes over part of Chernobyl and threatens radioactive death if their demands are not met (and they kidnapped the son and daughter of a prominent politician to boot), Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) is called back into active duty. Now in a kind of rehab/therapy where he's learning to live again, he must retrain for combat. He faces his toughest challenge yet, as the terrorists used stolen technology to create the ultimate emotionless, unstoppable killing machine, dubbed "The Freak" by U.S. forces (Orlovsky). But they also open Pandora's box and resurrect Deveraux's old nemesis Andrew Scott (Dolph). Deveraux has his work cut out for him this time around...

It's actually pretty shocking how good Universal Soldier: Regeneration truly is. It doesn't even really HAVE to be this good. Far from your average "dumb" action movie, this seems to be a rejection of that notion, striking an excellent, precise balance between melancholy intelligence and frighteningly brutal violence.

Regeneration appears to be a reaction to The Return. Almost as if the filmmakers were embarrassed by the badness and silliness of that unfortunate outing, the swung the pendulum back the other direction (almost too much), creating a dark, adult, nihilistically violent creation, but it's not without some emotion and humanity as well. Just a great job done all around.

Everything from the production values, to the acting, to the action, and everything else in between is light years beyond The Return, making it truly a travesty that that turkey was released theatrically in the U.S., while this wasn't. Regeneration is well-shot and well-directed by John Hyams, son of director Peter. Hyams treats the material seriously and with respect, and everything that happens plotwise makes perfect sense. It's all idea-based (even retaining the best ideas from the first Universal Soldier film), not throwaway action. In the hands of another director, this could have been half-heartedly slagged off as "just another Universal Soldier movie". But the fact that Hyams does not do that, or even come close, is totally refreshing and comes as a great relief for true action fans.

Hyams hits all the right notes - from utilizing the bleak Bulgarian locations to their fullest potential, to bringing the Universal Soldier franchise into the present day. Using the Navy Seal-like soldiers strongly reminiscent of the U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the uncompromising nature of war, as a background to amplify the audience's fears about our own mortality. After all, even our best soldiers are no match for their SuperSoldiers. We'll definitely be watching to see what Hyams does in the future, as he seems to have a strong grasp of how to do muscular action.

Undoubtedly, many consumers probably thought that this IS just another Universal Soldier installment - it's almost a shame that this movie doesn't have another title. Having been burned on The Return, consumers might not know what they're truly getting here - something much, much different and worthwhile.

Van Damme puts in an excellent performance, Dolph is always awesome, and Orlovsky is perfectly cast as the scary freak. All the actors in the film do a pitch-perfect job. A definite win for everyone involved, we enthusiastically support Universal Soldier: Regeneration.

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