Universal Soldier: The Return

Year: 1999
Director: Mic Rodgers
Cast: Jean Claude Van Damme
With the usual charisma to rival any block of old mouldy cheese, Van Damme struggles through a few lines before he can kick the crap out of something or someone as usual.

This time, he's fully human again, and there's a new Universal Soldier project, overseen by AI supercomputer S.E.T.H. (voiced, then played, by Michael Jai White). Of course, they go haywire and take over their top secret compound, and it's up to the heroic Luc (Van Damme) to save the day.

You can outline the whole plot yourself before the opening credits have hardly finished, guess every character's motivations and actions before they can, and recognise the typical B movie action script in plenty of time. What makes it fun is its sense of humour, especially in Rock and Roll wrestler Goldberg as the head UniSol. If it had taken itself seriously, it would have just been another disastrous waste of some studio's money on a bad action project.

The production is slick enough, the script tight enough, and the mean metal rock soundtrack gives it an edge over generic video action. Corny but no really rough edges (apart from Van Damme's acting).

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