The UniSol Program is back and this time a band of Russian freedom fighters strike a deal with a rogue U.S. scientist to provide a highly sophisticated next generation UniSol to aid them in their efforts to free political prisoners by kidnapping a high ranking official’s children. Positioning themselves within Chernobyl, the rebels threaten to detonate the remaining reactor, forcing America to send in their own UniSols. When things go south for both sides, the scientist resurrects the most dangerous UniSol to come from the program, GR13 Andrew Scott. In response the military reactivates their best, now in a rehabilitation program, GR44 Luc Deveraux.
Are GR13 and GR44 prepared for the next generation of soldier?
While being labeled Universal Soldier 3, Universal Soldier: Regeneration is technically the fifth in the series being preceded by one big budget sequel (starring Michael Jai White & pro-wrestler Goldberg) and two low budget made-for-TV sequels (starring Burt Reynolds & Gary Busey). As you can imagine this is much more fun than the TV films but pretty much on par with what we got with the official big budget sequel. The only real draw here is the return of series originals Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren and the possibility of a showdown between the two.
Considering this probably had the budget of the average Sci-Fi Channel original film, I found the action to be quite cool, especially Andrei Arlovski’s MMA, and the story easy enough to follow. There’s no major complications here, this exists solely to set up a re-match between Van Damme and Lundgren and the last man standing against Arlovski, throw in a few explosions and some nasty kills and you’ve got yourself a tasty, entertaining treat.
Universal Soldier: Regeneration isn’t a great film but it’s still an entertaining low budget action flick with old school action stars we still love to see. Sure most of the muzzle flashes and grenade explosions were CG, sure the entire thing had a cheap Euro-tint…and? It’s action! Kick back and watch the fits and blood fly!
If you’re a fan of the Universal Soldier series, this’ll be a must just for the ass-kicking quota alone. If you can take it or leave it, you could probably watch much better or worse. It’s adequately entertaining and Van Damme and Lundgren are still top-notch action stars (despite Van Damme looking a bit bloated). I doubt we’ll be seeing any more of these after this release but if they decide to continue the series with more MMA athletes, so be it. I can’t say no to a good throat-slashing or groin-kick.
By the way, while you’re watching this, be sure to look for the rogue scientist’s lackey, played by Van Damme’s eldest son Kristopher Van Varenberg.