This post is the first in a series of reviews of films featuring professional wrestlers, all available on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Jean-Claude Van Damme led sequel in which JCVD once again plays Luc Deveraux, a former Universal Soldier who has been given back his human life. Despite the chaos that reigned in Universal Soldier the UniSol programme continues to grow in strength, the new soldiers are stronger and more sophisticated. In spite of the technological progress being made the department is facing imminent closure due to budget cuts. Upon learning this information the extraordinarily powerful A.I that controls and connects the UniSol units, S.E.T.H (Self – Evolving Thought Helix) , goes rogue in an attempt to save itself and the programme.
The plot plays out using pretty much the full gamut of action movie clichés. A room is dangerous because there are barrels with “Poison Gas” labels. Despite being at a numerical and physical disadvantage old Jean-Claude is going to overcome his enemies. Human ingenuity is going to overcome sterile computer based intelligence. JCVD is going win over the girl after her early cynicism.
Even with its clichéd plot and frankly awful dialogue and characterisation, Universal Soldier: The Return still has some amount of charm. It could be the ham fisted, extremely literal depiction of what happens when artificial intelligence becomes too powerful but it’s more than likely the ludicrous riot scene in an enormous strip club and the mercifully short run time.
- Featured Wrestler:
Filmed around the height of his WCW fame, Goldberg plays Romeo the physical leader of UniSol revolt. Romeo relentlessly hunts down Deveraux throughout the film surviving various attempts on his life including being flattened by a large garbage truck. In a hospital Goldberg delivers the one-liner “Next stop intensive care” and in the same scene performs his signature wrestling move, “The Spear”, this should tell you all you need to know about the performance. Goldberg, however, has just the right amount of obnoxiousness and girth of neck to make a serviceable action movie enemy.
Director: Mic Rodgers
Certificate : 18
Run time: 83 mins