Universal Soldier (1992)

universal soldiers poster 1992
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun action-adventure movie

Movie feels like it should have ended earlier, Ally Walker

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Universal Soldier

Studio:  Centropolis Entertainment

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 10, 1992

MPAA Rating: Movie Rating


Just call me Patchy!

Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is killed at the end of his tour in Vietnam but is killed while killing Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) who has gone mad.  Put on ice, Luc and Andrew are resurrected as part of a secret government plan to create super-soldiers, but both Luc and Andrew find their past memories are resurfacing.  Luc is freed from his control by an investigative reporter named Veronica Roberts (Ally Walker) and finds himself on the run with a desire to get home.  Unfortunately, Andrew has also broken free of his programming and sees Luc as a traitor that must be killed at any cost.


Can you hear what I’m sayin’?

Directed by Roland Emmerich, Universal Soldier was a sci-fi film often compared to the Terminator franchise.  The film did well in the theater but received moderate reviews from the critics.  The film was the final film to have CDS audio which was an early digital audio format.

I kind of enjoy Universal Soldier despite its obvious copycat style of script.  It is one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s better films and Dolph Lundgren also makes a great villain in the film.  With a decent plot and some good fight scenes, Universal Soldier delivers as an action film.


I have to cool off after a long day of Universal Soldiering

I like the basic plot of Universal Soldier though the script makes mistakes.  The idea of a super-soldier program is something that has been around for years (just look at Captain America), and I do like the whole set-up.  The original plot was much darker, and I wish that it had stuck to it.  In the script, the government was behind things like the Hoover Dam hostage situation to back the program.  I like this darkness, but instead we get a watered down version.

The second part of the script is that the writers ended the movie then dragged it out.  I felt that though it was pretty anticlimactic, that the truck crashing into the Grand Canyon was the end.  The secondary ending of him going home and the good fight with Dolph Lundgren needed to be better tied in and less stand-alone.  I like how the fight ends, but I wish that either the fake ending at the Grand Canyon hadn’t happened or the writers made the story flow better.


I can’t quit you, Luc!!

This is one of Van Damme’s better movies.  It is a shame that the guy never had better scripts.  He isn’t a great actor, but with the right scripts, he is ok.  The same is true of Dolph Lundgren and both actors work well in the film.  The abilities of the super-soldiers are a bit unexplained, so sometimes the characters seem to have more powers than other times.  Ally Walker help as the intrepid reporter is pretty poor.  She’s just not a good actress and there is no chemistry between her and Van Damme.

Universal Soldier is a pretty solid sci-fi action film that is work seeking out.  It doesn’t have the best plot, the best acting, but it does have some decent moments that places it above other action-adventure fodder.  The film was followed by two TV movies (Universal Soldier II:  Brother in Arms and Universal Soldier III:  Unfinished Business) with new actors portraying the characters but the TV sequels were ignored with the release of Universal Soldier:  The Return in 1999.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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