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Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning 2012

John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.

Starring:
Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren
Runtime:
1 hour, 49 minutes

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Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD
This movie is truly bonkers. I don't really know how Hyams sold the concept of this to the studio execbots: "yeah, Universal Soldier 4 is going to be a pastiche of loads of common sci-fi tropes -- like clones, body regeneration, implanted memories -- that I'm going to mix in with Kubrickian slomo camera shots, Lynchian psychodrama, and loads of Apocalypse Now. We'll have Van Damme ape Brando's Kurtz and have him walk around a lot mumbling and looking miserable, and not fighting, and Scott Adkins driving around a lot looking miserable, and not fighting, and some random big dude with a beard who fights everything. But when it gets violent I'm going to push the violence as far as I can, and try and offend everyone with my opening sequence. It'll be great, I'm telling ya."

In all seriousness, this is not a movie for everyone, but I quite frankly loved it. Hyams really does let his imagination run wild on this one, and cheerfully cribs from loads of other directors and movies, but he never seemed to get the memo that this is the fourth in a series of increasingly minor action roles that no one -- save for the odd action junkie fondly remembering movies from his or her childhood/youth -- cares about any more, and tries hard to make this movie anything but your conventional DTV B-movie with ageing action stars.

Day of reckoning is crass, extremely violent, uneven, and low budget, but it should also be commended for being ambitious, and shot through with passion and creative vision. It is absolutely not a movie for everyone -- if you want a safer trip up action-memory-lane stick with The Expendables 2 -- but if you fancy a detour of the beaten path, and are willing to forgive the flaws the flaws that are a consequence of the directorial ambition, then by all means give this a shot.

Just remember that the film is absolutely bonkers.
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Format: Blu-ray
I've never been a fan of the Universal Soldier Franchise. I saw the first one when I was young, and the only reason I came back to it was because I was expecting a huge turn in Van Damme's career after "JCVD". So I watched "Universal Soldier: Regeneration", and honestly I was kinda disappointed by the actor who seemed not to care anymore about his acting. But the one thing that surprised me was the director John Hyams (son of director Peter Hyams), who did a great job on the movie. It was raw, violent and not dumb (I wouldn't say smart) like the first entry of the series.
So when I heard that he was back for "Day of reckoning", and that the main character would be played by Scott Adkins - a man who's actually interested in building a name for himself - I was quite interested. From the trailers, interviews and early reviews, you could actually see that the movie was gonna be very different from the last ones. But just to make sure I prepare myself for the worst - cause it was still gonna be a B-movie after all !

Now that I watched it, I can easily say that "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning" is very easily the best, most mature, violent and disturbing movie of the franchise. The thing is, it's in fact so disturbing and unexpected that a lot of people (who are only seeking a good old pop-corn action flick) won't stand it.
"Day of Reckoning" is trying very hard to mature the series - maybe too much for its own good; but for someone who wasn't expecting much but a stupid plot and gory fight scenes, I would say that I was pleasantly surprised. For once, there's actually a commited director behind that kind of movies: someone with guts, who's thinking about what is doing, and who wants to make a film that will provoke people. And that my friends, is rare enough to be applaused.
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Format: DVD
John Hyams did a remarkable job with Regeneration. Devoid of cheesiness or jokey one liners he sensibly went the direction of dark, sci-fi horror action. Day Of Reckoning continues this trend.

The difference in this film is that initially things aren't very clear. Many action fans have watched DOR and concluded that it makes no sense, doesn't follow the series as it should and is therefore a waste of time. You can't blame fans for thinking this as Hyams is trying to tell you what happened from Regeneration to DOR by way of visual clues. It's a very daring thing to do when most Hollywood directors like a narration and metaphorically hold you by the hand to fill in the gaps and join the dots. Here Hyams is having some fun by twisting this and letting you work it out.

Regeneration had already set in place the cloning, body part regeneration, and mind control. The nullifying of the nervous system was already stated in the first Universal Soldier.

Spoilers..

So our Andre Arlovski Antagonist from Regeneration is back. Only cloned and controlled by the government, at least until he fights Andrew Scott (Lundgren) who injects him to alter control at the brothel. As a visual indicator before the fight you'll notice the back of the neck scars that represent the detatchment of government control (tracking devices) on the free unisols. Freedom by Luc Devereu.

The much disturbing intro scene. Luc is wearing gloves but the government say his prints were everywhere and John (adkins) gets hit maybe a few too many times by that crowbar across the head to survive. A clue in itself maybe. A motivational memory implant by the government so John will seek to avenge his family's death against Luc.
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