For many, 1999’s “Universal Soldier: The Return” left a lot of unanswered questions. For example: why was this movie made? Who funded it? Why was the film stock not used for other, more valuable purposes, like compost additive?
We continue to wait for answers and studio-funded counseling. In the meantime, Tri-Star and Sony have completed work on “Universal Soldier: Regeneration,” a straight-to-DVD sequel featuring returning stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and new mope-faced recruit Andrei Arlovski. After back-to-back losses, it must be nice to return to being the toughest man in the room again.
“Soldier” scholars will recall that the Van Damme films, of which this is the third, refuse to recognize the canonical contributions of the Jean-Claude-deprived “Universal Soldier II” and “Universal Soldier III.” If you are under the assumption this is “Universal Soldier V,” you can expect to be the running joke of your social circle.
Lundgren fans should be advised that he allegedly has only a small part in the film; Arlovski receives top billing, at least in the trailer, which may chafe Mr. Van Damme considerably. The disc is slated for a January 5 release: a bit of a bummer for Christmas, until you realize that anyone you gave this film to would hold a grudge.