Universal Soldier Regeneration PosterSince the first Universal Soldier, many movies have been made – some direct to TV (I have no plans on watching and reviewing these), some to DVD (The Return) and now Regeneration (just before the latest – Day or Reckoning) which puts together the original stars Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren!

But this movie, apart from the Universal Soldier program, doesn’t seem to relate directly to the first like the last movie, but tends to find Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott facing off a little by chance.

Two children a kidnapped and are being held at the abandoned  Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.  These two kids have a powerful father – the Prime Minister or Ukraine.

Like all powerful men the Prime Minister pulls whatever resources he can to rescue his kids.  But the team that kidnapped these children are a breakaway group which have stolen and upgraded the Universal Soldier (aka Unisols) technology and created some bad ass Unisols which are almost unbeatable.

Sending in Unisols of their own, they attempt to rescue the children but fail.  That is when the reactivate the most successful Universal Soldier of them all – Luc Deveraux (Van Damme).

Luc has been decommissioned and isn’t his old self.  He’s as docile as most Unisols come, but there’s still that glimmer of the past within him.  But when one of the men behind the kidnapping activates another soldier to kill his boss and take control – the unexpected happens – he doesn’t take to the program and goes awol.

The reason this happened is because of the deranged nature behind the man this soldier used to be – Vietnam vet Sgt. Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren).  With another highly powerful Soldier (NGU played by Andre Arlovski) running around killing people, Luc has his work cut out for him as he runs into Chernobyl to rescue the children.

Van Damme vs Dolph again?

You’ve got the same two guys against each other again only they don’t seem to remember a hell of a lot.  There is a hint of the original movie though – as Andrew is lining up the two children to kill – it’s very reminiscent of his introduction in the original Universal Soldier.

But ultimately the fight is like one working soldier (Van Damme) and one malfunctioning one (Dolph Lungren)  smashing and trying to kill each other.

Van Damme vs Dolph Lundgren

While they don’t have that ‘personal score’ obviously between them, it’s still an awesome match up as their psychological behavior is very similar.

Some names!

As mentioned above you’ve got Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph back at it.  But there’s some new talent in the movie which is quite notable also.

You’ve got a character named Capt. Kevin Burke, who is played by MMA fighter Mike Pyle who has fought in the UFC on multiple occassions.  Although I didn’t personally recognize him (I don’t follow the UFC as closely as I used to), the first thing I saw was cauliflower ears – a condition that you see on the ears of wrestlers and other MMA fighters – so naturally I looked him up!

Mike does an excellent job with his action and acts quite well as Capt. Burke.

There’s also a short appearance by Jon Foo who was Jin in Tekken and the Wushu fighter in Tony Jaa’s the Protector (Tom Yum Goong).  He played a Unisol who puts up a quick but cool fight against NGU.

Andrei Orlovski

NGU is a major character played by former UFC heavy weight champ Andrei ‘The Pit Bull’ Arlovski.  Andrei does a superb job selling his automated and emotionless soldier persona, and performs quite well on screen.  Since a lot of real fighters don’t look as impressive in movie fight scenes, I was pretty impressed by ‘The Pit Bull’.

The Action and Martial Arts

It’s no the greatest you’ve seen and it’s not as flashy – but it’s miles above the action of the previous movies, and showcases some fantastic Jiu Jitsu as well as good old fashion ‘smashing’ style push and shove – the kind you’d expect from a soldier with super strength!

You see some awesome striking coming from Jon Foo, some technical BJJ groundwork coming from Mike Pyle, all balanced well with Andrei Arlovski’s slow, powerful and MMA style of fighting.  It’s an extremely balanced blend which makes for some very entertaining action.

Van Damme and Dolph are doing some awesome work too – gone are the pauses and stiff nature of some of their fights and a wide range of kicks and throws create fantastic action as they tear apart their surroundings.

The Verdict?

The action is good – better than expected. When I first saw this movie it had me very pumped for the 4th with Scott Adkins.  I recommend it as it’s a big step up for the Universal Soldier series.

On Blu Ray –

Region A (US & Canada)
Universal Soldier: Regeneration [Blu-ray]

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

On DVD –

Region 1 (US & Canada)
Universal Soldier: Regeneration

Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Universal Soldier 3: Regeneration [DVD]

Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Universal Soldier: Regeneration 

More info on Movie Regions here.

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