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Universal Soldier is straight out of the hallmark of 90s action films. It is well remembered for pitting Jean Claude Van Damme against lethal giant Dolph Lundgren in a battle for survival beyond the grave. "Regeneration" is an attempt at putting the defibrillator on the franchise in an attempt to score points with fans of the original while accessing a host of new viewers. It may succeed in the latter, but it will be hard pressed on the former.
"Regeneration" ignores the events of the 2nd Universal Soldier film "The Return," and picks up years after the events of the first film. Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) has been trying to ingratiate himself back into society with the help of a Swiss doctor working for the military. Though not explicitly stated, Deveraux's memory has begun to fragment over the years as a possible result of his UniSol treatments. When he attacks a restaurant patron without provocation, it becomes clear that Deveraux may not be able to rejoin society despite his best efforts. Meanwhile, a rogue Russian commander kidnaps the children of the Russian prime minister and takes control of the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant with a threat to detonate the unstable reactor with explosives if hundreds of political prisoners are not freed. Aiding him in the takeover is a doctor with a background in UniSol technology who has also gone rogue and sold his services to the highest bidder. His weapon of choice is the NGU, a Next-Generation UniSol (Andrei Arlovski) who single-handedly wipes out an entire battalion of U.S. soldiers accompanied by four original Universal Soldiers from Deveraux's era.Read more ›
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Universal Soldier-Regeneration(released Jan/10) is the newest incarnation of the long running franchise which started way back in 1992.It's hard to believe it's been that long and harder still to believe Van Damme,Lundgren et al can still make with the action sequences as good as they do here 18 years later.Van Damme seems to look the older of the two but both are still in great physical shape.Screenwriter,director,cinematographer Peter Hyams comes on board as camera head while his son John directs.Peter of course has worked with Van Damme in Timecop and Sudden Death, so along with Lundgren it was old home week on the set in Bulgaria. The story involves a group of rogue terrorists looking to free some political prisoners in the Soviet Union.To facilitate this the terrorists seize control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant and threaten to blow one of the reactors within 72 hours while also kidnapping the Russian Presidents teenage children for good measure.In order to accomplish his agenda the head of the terrorists General Boris(Akni Avni)has hired a now rogue scientist from the States who worked on the original Uni-Sol project to provide an NGU(new generation Uni-Sol).The NGU has been improved on a genetic level and is faster and stronger than the original Uni-Sols.And this has proven quite effective as he single handedly repels attack after attack of the joint US/Russian force assigned the job of retaking the plant and rescuing the children. In the meantime ex-Uni-Sol Luc Devreaux(Van Damme),who has been in rehabilitation to get him off the project drugs in order to reintegrate him back into society,has again been recruited to rescue the children.As the clock ticks down the Russian president finally capitulates to the terrorists demands ending the tense stand off.Read more ›
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