Over the years there have been some, let’s call them “missteps” in the Universal Soldier franchise. The last movie, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, surprised many people, and is one of the better direct-to-video action vehicles produced in recent memory. It falls into that ’80s style of action, with practical effects and actual fighting rather than relying on massive set pieces, CGI, and frantic editing. It’s the kind of thing The Expendables movies are shooting for. The newest Universal Soldier movie, Day of Reckoning, has a new trailer that promises to continue the badass line from the last film.
Capitalizing on the hype surrounding The Expendables, Day of Reckoning will actually see a theatrical release. In 3D no less. While I don’t really care for that part, the action in this trailer looks strong. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren reprise their roles from previous chapters, as does former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. That’s not a bad mix, but adding Scott Adkins (Undisputed 3, The Expendables 2) ups the ante even more. Sure, the acting is going to be laughable at times, and Van Damme looks like a Juggalo, but the rest has definite potential. Director John Hyams clearly knows what his audience wants: sci-fi themed action sequences.
Genetically enhanced, resurrected soldiers Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) and Andrew Scott (Lundgren) set out to establish a new world order, one ruled by rogue Unisols. Their fascist regime seeks to create a survival-of-the-fittest civilization based on strength and power. Only it looks like they messed with the wrong guy’s family, and Adkins has to step in, kick some ass, and set things right.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning will see a theatrical release on November 30th. We’ll see how wide that release actually is. Magnolia is distributing the film, and their strategy often involves a limited theatrical run, along with a simultaneous stint on video on demand, followed shortly by the Blu-ray/DVD. No matter the strategy, I’m weirdly excited for this.