This Universal Soldier epic takes center stage at an abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant site. Terrorists have occupied the facility undertaking horrific plans to detonate explosives rigged in and around the reactor core. If successful, the nuclear fall-out would be 100 times greater than that of Japan. With the aid of stolen secret technology, the terrorists have successfully created two genetically altered “next-generation” Universal Soldiers. These “perfect soldiers” fiercely subjugate anything that gets within their killing radius. With impenetrable and destructive forces, these programmable super soldiers (played by Dolph Lundren and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei “The Pittbull” Arloski) are sworn to protect the terrorist strong hold. Futuristic, born again, Universal Soldier, Luke Deveraux (Jean Claude Van Damme) is reactivated in a last desperate attempt on an all-out assault in the heavily guarded fortress. The fate of millions hang in the balance on this high-action showdown.
In the direction of John Hymn, this well-made action flick has been brought back to life in a throw down, fast paced, jaw breaking combat feature. He takes home a thumbs-up from me. In the movie, in an attempt to gain access to the terrorist controlled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a reactivated and retrained Universal Soldier, Luke Devereaux (Van Damme), takes on two far superior UniSol super soldiers along with an army of heavily-armed goons led by the son of a prominent Russian General. Their demands are simple, “release 227 political prisoners and freedom of Pasalan or explosives will be detonated”, destroying the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant releasing a heavy cloud of radioactive waste into the region resulting in full blown nuclear fall-out.
After the massacre of a military led opposition force, the Russian Prime Minister, whose son and daughter whom had also been kidnapped by the enemy,was desperate for a peaceful solution. He eventually gave in to the terrorist offer. When all hope was lost, the new and improved Luke Devereaux came swift into action and faced off against archenemy, and a disturbed, disobedient soldier, Andrew Scott one more time. The second UniSol named NGU proved fierce and more perfect than Scott and was virtually indestructible. In short, the battles are horrendous.
Presented on Blu-ray 1080p, 2.35: this 1-framed transfer, the picture is not all that bad, but also, not all that impressive. Though it serves it’s purpose. Given the setting, the movie features a predominately dull and sterile appearance. Very little color or life. If director, John Hymns, was attempting to create a frigid cold, dark and dreadful feel, I’d say he hit the mark. Not exactly a feel-good movie, but if you are looking for a different adventure, one that gives you the creeps, then you’ve found it. Aside from the feel of the setting, the picture is fairly decent, especially in slower scenes, and very little grain. When the action heats up and images start flying across the screen, there is a somewhat noticeable drag in the motion. However, to the untrained eye it is not critical. Try not to let this distract you from enjoying it.
Get ready to rock the neighbors! This film features a shake the walls DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. From the first sign of action (and there’s a lot of it), it releases an array of chest pounding non-stop rumble of automatic weapons, destruction, crashing and aggressive explosions that reverberates through the floors and in your bottom seat. Generally, the sound is superior throughout. If anything were in desperate need of improvement, it’s definitely in the theme music. Some of the tones sound straight from out the twilight era. It’s brutally outdated, but on the upside, this matters little when those gut wrenching scenes turn belly up.
The special features include commentary from Dolph Lundgren and director John Hymn. They take you through the entire movie one scene at a time reflecting on the work and creativity involved in the making. In behind the lines, they discuss the lengthy process in molding the original cast of the film. Jean Claude speaks in this section. It doesn’t take long to get the overall scope so no need to watch all the way through (unless you really want to) intriguing none the less. There’s lot of passion revealed in the making of the fight scenes. I think this adds value to the movie in correlation to the work. Not a bad package here.
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The fight scenes are remarkably well played. Good movie. Graphic and raw, it makes for a surprisingly realistic and brutal killing experience. This is not a movie for the kiddos or the faint. For all you gamers out there get ready. This movie is a must see for you Call of Duty folks. I got flashbacks from when I was playing Modern Warfare II! The moments are there, the audio track is awesome and the video quality is appeasing. I recommend for a rental if your still out on the limb, or a blind buy if your an action junkie or Van Damme fan.