Watch Universal Soldier: The Return

"Prepare to become obsolete"
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Universal Soldier: The Return is low point of the Universal Soldier series, financially speaking. A belly flop of a film at the box office, later films in the series don't regard it as canon, ignoring the events portrayed and never actually mentioning them. It was a very rough return to the big screen, but one that the series appears to have mostly weathered since.

The film, which is meant to be a sequel to the first Universal Soldier, follows former Unisol Luc Devereaux in his reawakened life. He's working with a partner to try and make the universal soldiers, dead soldiers reanimated and turned into little more than automatons, stronger, faster and better able to handle any threats. The logic is that, the betters the unisols are, the less likely still living, flesh and blood soldiers will have to go into the field. In this film the unisols are linked together by an artificial intelligence system named S.E.T.H. When S.E.T.H. goes rogue and awakens, it takes control of the unisols and downloads itself into a specially prepared form. So it's up to Luc to stop it, as the foremost expert on the program and one of the former, first generation unisols.

This film has several plot holes that aren't explained which make it an awkward sequel at best. It doesn't explain how Luc can have a daughter, as that would require a full and complete resurrection of all natural bodily functions over and above a unisol regaining its memories. And if such a thing were possible, then the implications of using the other unisols as they are would be akin to slavery since they could be brought back fully to who they used to be. As long as the film is watched as a straight up action movie, rather than a dystopian horror film about an aggressive police state gone haywire, Universal Soldier: The Return does have some high points.

| 1999 | 1 hr 22 min | 4.2/10 | 24/100
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Jai White, Heidi Schanz, Xander Berkeley
Mic Rodgers
Produced By
Daniel Melnick, Michael I. Rachmil, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Allen Shapiro

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