Universal Soldier - Day of ReckoningThe latest serving from the Universal Soldier movies has had a surprising response in the action movie community.    People everywhere are saying it’s miles above the other films in quality, with some people calling it quite possibly the action movie of the year – so naturally I was excited to watch it!

It wasn’t what I expected – but it didn’t disappoint!

Universal Soldier: Day or Reckoning may have the same Unisol characters as the other films but the atmosphere, pace, and story of the film are so different from the others that it’s almost a movie that stands aside from the franchise on it’s own merit – maybe that’s what they were going for?

The lead character John is played by Scott Adkins – the guy who should be the world’s next big action star in my, and thousand’s of other people’s opinions.

John wakes up form a coma with his only memory being his last – his wife and daughter being mercilessly slaughtered by a guy who resembles a bald Luc Devereax, played by Van Damme.

Once he gets better and leaves hospital, he starts asking questions, trying to figure out what happened when one thing after another thing unfolds, leaving more questions.  Before long  he is finally attacked by Magnus (Andrei Arolvski), a Unisol who wants him dead after being set free by Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren).  To which he must start fighting for his own survival.

As everything escalates so does the action and we see John fighting off Unisol after Unisol in true Scott Adkins style before seeking out Devereax and attempting to exact his revenge.

Luc Devereax

Another Twist Around Every Corner!

One thing that separates this movie from the others would have to be the story telling.  In each of the other Universal Soldier movies everything is pretty standard and you have a good idea of what’s coming next.

Not in this movie!

You spend so much of this film, right up until the last minute asking questions and trying to figure out what’s going on.  You truly see it from the main characters perspective as he has no idea what’s happening.  But aside from the questions, the twists and the answers that present themselves – everything just leads to more questions!  Very strange events take place and the whole film just unfolds nicely at a smooth pace.

Everything is put into question including the people around him and in particular – his memories! Is what he remembers real?  As nothing seems to add up you’re left wondering until it becomes revealed.  It’s really intriguing to watch.

The atmosphere of the movie has changed a fair bit to compliment these twists.  Everything has a very eery sense to it, and is almost like a thriller/horror movie combined with science fiction and action.

The Action & Martial Arts

This movie has some decent enough action until – the moment of awakening!  That’s when things get freakin’ cool.

There is a moment when Scott Adkins character John is fighting Magnus and he realises that he has some top moves, this is when we see the Scott Adkins brand of martial arts and action come to life in a different way than I’ve seen before.

The fights following ‘the awakening’ aren’t displayed at a frantic and super intense pace, but are slowed down in areas to show just how perfectly timed and choreographed every single strike and movement is.  This combination of speed and slowed down movements is reminiscent of Undisputed 2 and 3, but taken to a different and whole new level (not necessarily better though).  There wasn’t much room for error in this movie and Adkins really made it his own.  It works really well.

Naturally each fight got more interesting as Scott Adkins worked his way through Andrei Arlovski, Dolph Lundgren and Van Damme.  Each fight with a different environment using different tools in the combat arsenal.

What takes the action of this movie to another level from the others is the distinct difference in gore and blood.  This movie has a dark nature, nudity and very bloody action scenes that  that separates itself even further from the previous Universal Soldier movies.

Expect to see guys getting half of their head blown off, limbs and bit and pieces chopped off among other things as the movie pulls no punches – offering pure, raw action that hasn’t been watered down to achieve a a more friendly rating.  It’s a movie filled with mess, blood and gore combined with the precise movements of Scott Adkins and his Co stars.  A fantastic balance of new age violence 🙂

The Verdict?

Supposedly the last of the Universal Soldier films and quite possibly the best!  It’s a bit hard to place it somewhere on the ladder as it just so different to the other films.  Regardless it is a top movie with an intriguing plot and some pretty solid action.  Check it out!

On Blu Ray –

Region A (US & Canada)
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning [Blu-ray]

Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe etc)
Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning [Blu-ray]

On DVD –

Region 1 (US & Canada)
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning [DVD]

Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning [DVD]

Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning [DVD] 

More info on Movie Regions here.

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