Review: Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009)


Director: John Hyams | 97 minutes | action, drama, thriller, science fiction | Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Andrei Arlovski, Mike Pyle, Corey Johnson, Garry Cooper, Emily Joyce, Zahary Baharov, Aki Avni, Kerry Shale, Yonko Dimitrov, Violeta Markovska, Stanislav Pishtalov, Marianne Stanicheva, John Laskowski

When the first six minutes of ‘Universal Soldier: Regeneration’ have passed silently before the viewer, about twenty people have been shot, six cars destroyed and at least as many liters of blood have spilled. And that is also the tone of the film. A tone that will also be continued in the rest of this spectacle. A solid start to a sequel to Roland Emmerich’s ‘Universal Soldier’.

Universal Soldier: Regeneration is a chilly, dark shooting film that involves little human emotions. The film is therefore a bit harder than the average action film. Even for Jean-Claude van Damme (in the role of Luc Deveraux), little room has been left this time for a spark of interpersonal communication. But what do we want differently? In this scenario, it is precisely the ‘fighting machine of Damme’ that has been removed from the stable. And that is what the real enthusiast wants to see. Director John Hyams emphasizes a cold and icy atmosphere in ‘Universal Soldier: Regeneration’ by dipping the image in many gray and black and white tones. Colors don’t exist in this almost surreal world of the Universal Soldiers, a world that feels like that of a computer game. The decor also seems to have been diverted from this. Like Hyams, game producers have also been making grateful use of an abandoned nuclear reactor as a lurid setting for their scenario for years. And then there is the splash of blood against the camera lens. Hyams seems to have found his gimmick in this.

After the first minutes of ‘Universal Soldier: Regeneration’, the sequel of the film can actually already be drawn. Not a problem in a movie like this. After all, the scenario is often secondary to the action and the spectacular stunts. But in this case this means that it will take a long time for Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) to appear on the scene. Obviously, this name of the character is somewhat secondary. Because in the end it is just hero Jean-Claude van Damme who we follow in his umpteenth job to save the world. An exciting and nerve-racking story fails to materialize in ‘Universal Soldier: Regeneration’. The film mainly relies on the hard fight and shooting scenes and stunts in which a lot of blood flows. And of course from the typical ‘action heroes’, as you only find them in these types of films. The entertainment level is high,