Universal Soldier | Chicago Reader

Universal Soldier

Slugmeisters Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren play two dead American soldiers who are still slugging it out over Vietnam 25 years later: they've been resurrected by a secret Pentagon project that makes them into virtually impregnable killing machines. Although the script of this bashfest (by Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch, and Dean Devlin) can't exactly be accused of intelligence, there's something satirically suggestive about the theme that justifies the dumb-ass expressions that Van Damme and Lundgren come up with. Director Roland Emmerich doesn't always sustain the laughs, but there's a fair amount of action bravura, scenic spectacle, and deadpan humor to go with the obligatory nonsense. With Ally Walker (a TV news reporter who becomes Van Damme's impromptu date on an endless chase), Ed O'Ross, and, looking understandably embarrassed about the lines he's asked to deliver, Jerry Orbach. Incidentally, there's no connection between this film and Cy Endfield's 1971 British melodrama with the same title.

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