The trailer for the fourth film in the dormant “Universal Soldier” franchise gives us an “Expendables 2” reunion for anyone who didn’t get enough of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins or Dolph Lundgren the first time around.
Synopsis: John (Adkins) wakes up from a coma to discover hiswife and daughter were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Haunted byimages of the attack, he vows to kill the man responsible, Luc Deveraux (Van Damme). While John tries to piece his reality back together,things get more complicated when he is pursued by a relentless UniSol . As John gets closer to Deveraux and the rouge army ofgenetically enhanced warriors led by back-from-the-dead leader AndrewScott (Lundgren), John discovers more about himself and begins to callinto question everything he believed to be true.
Thoughts: Is there anyone still actually interested in this franchise? Some may remember Van Damme saying a few years ago that he was going to focus on more character-driven work after his heart-breaking turn in “JCVD.” He now offers us this: a sequel to a franchise already dead in the water (the last film went straight to DVD and had nothing too enthralling to offer).
Lundgren, at least, looks like he’s a having a good time. He’s proven he’s well suited for both darker character elements and lighter ones in the “Expendables” films. Van Damme and Adkins appear capable as far as the action goes, and the film looks to even offer some cool action scenes (albeit way below the standards of what we just saw in, say, “The Expendables 2”).
Those few positive notes still can’t save this sad trailer. The narration feels like it belongs to an action film parody, and most of what we see looks cheap and recycled. All these actors deserve better. And the three “Universal Soldier” fans left deserve better, too.
“Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” will be available through VOD services on Oct. 25 and have a limited run in theaters on Nov. 30.