The first thing to know about Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is that it’s actually a good movie. Unlike some of the more wink-wink homages to ’70s grindhouse films we’ve seen lately, this really is in the spirit of classic exploitation – take a marketing hook (in this case, a familiar franchise name), juice it up with gratuitous nudity and brutal violence and then, once all the mandatory elements are in place, let the director get as creative as he wants with it, within budgetary means. In this case, that means playing it as a horror-mystery combo, with Van Damme protegee/pal Scott Adkins starring as a man who has seen his family murdered by ostensible series good-guy Deveraux (Van Damme). Along the way, he realizes things are way more fucked-up than he had imagined.
The second thing to know is that the Blu-ray comes out January 22nd and includes a Dolph Lundgren/John Hyams commentary track, but I have one in hand right now that I’m going to give to one of you. Here are the rules:
The contest ends at midnight next Monday, January 14th, 2013. To enter, I want you to imagine, in comments below, your own version of what director John Hyams has done. Take a property from the ’90s that doesn’t have the juice any more for a full-on big theatrical sequel (though, like Universal Soldier, it could have had one prior), and imagine a direct-to-DVD sequel featuring cameos by some of the original actors playing their roles completely differently, and a storyline that’s almost another genre entirely. You don’t have to imagine John Hyams as the director; it can be anybody. Enter as many times as you like.
As Dolph said in the first one, “Are we having fun yet?”