Notable Cast: Scott Adkins, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Andrei Arlovski
The "Universal Soldier" franchise is perhaps one of the most fucked up franchises out there. Although it seemingly looks to be cohesive on paper (outside of having two made for TV films that no one remembers or acknowledges), the consistency between films is utter insanity. That goes for this latest entry "Day Of Reckoning". Whether you consider it the sixth entry or the fourth, it really doesn't matter because at this point you might as well just throw everything you know, outside of the first film, out the window. However, that doesn't stop this entry from being the franchise's best sequel, even if it's a mind fuck entry into the series.
John (Adkins) has been through hell. The last thing he remembers is his wife and young daughter being ruthlessly slaughtered by a group of men invading his home. When he awakes from his coma (with memory loss in tow), he is told that his family was killed by Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) a rogue militant man. What John discovers upon returning home is a series of clues that seem to be leading him towards a final confrontation with this man...and a mystery that keeps getting stranger and stranger.
|Seems like Adkins and Van Damme sure are in a lot of films together...|
On its own, the film is grating. Hyams uses some odd techniques to give the film a disorienting feeling like a ton of strobe light effects, minimal dialogue, and a ton of twists where the film does little to indicate to the audience where it's going. To this end, it's damn effective. I was completely engrossed with John's journey (played to rather impressive effect by a subtle Scott Adkins) and found myself verbally stating "what the fuck" at some of its more ridiculous turn of events. "Day Of Reckoning" does little to build back story for the series or why Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott (both reoccuring roles) are where they are now since the last film and in ways it was frustrating. That frustration however only came after I finished the film since I was so intent on seeing this mystery unfold on screen.
|Dolph's role might be small, but it's quite memorable.|
|The "who's got the machete" game at the end...we've all played that.|
Written By Matt Reifschneider
This is the kind of film that really needs to be seen to be judged. So you might as well pick up your copy at the links below.