Coming at us riding a wave of surprisingly good reviews and even a small festival run, 'Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning' is the latest entry in the durable head-smashing franchise. This one once again features the blank stares of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, while also showcasing the newest action hero on the block, Scott Adkins. A red-band trailer for the film has just been unveiled and it's certainly worth a look.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
If Scott Adkins isn't the biggest action star in the world in five years, we as a society have failed.
Over the last half decade, Adkins has become a dependable stunt performer (he was Weapon XI at the end of 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine') and supporting baddie (he fought Matt Damon in 'The Bourne Ultimatum' and played Jean-Claude Van Damme's toadie in 'The Expendables 2') in mainstream films. His work harkens back to the action genre's bygone glory days, when special effects and computer imagery took a back seat to raw physicality and brute force. Sadly, his only leading roles to date have been relegated to the direct-to-DVD bin, where he's excelled in lean, low-budget martial arts flicks like 'Undisputed III: Redemption.'
Look, let's not pretend this movie is something it's not. But for what it is -- the sixth film in the 'Universal Soldier' franchise (but only the third in current continuity) -- it's pretty damn good; muscular, atmospheric and surprisingly scary. With 'Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning' and the previous installment, 'Regeneration,' nascent action auteur John Hyams has resuscitated a long-dead franchise and restored it to its former glory, an appropriate fate for a series about soldiers killed in action and then brought back to life as super-powered warriors.
'The Expendables' films give Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme something neither have had in a long time: Films that play in American theaters. That doesn't mean they haven't been working, though with the death of most chain video stores, their wares are harder to find. Both join fellow 'The Expendables 2' alum Scott Adkins for a follow up to their 1992 film 'Universal Soldier' in this 'Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning' trailer.