Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Universal Soldier II: Brothers In Arms - 1/5

I know what you're thinking. You were thinking "I thought Universal Soldier: The Return was 'Universal Soldier 2'." HA! It's hard to believe but that theatrical disaster was technically the fourth Universal Soldier film as two TV made movies (this and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business) were filmed back-to-back in 1998. It's okay you didn't know about these films as they deserve to be forgotten. The original negatives should be destroyed, put on a rocket heading towards the sun, and erased from the film history books. Yes, they are that bad!

I knew I was in for a ultra shitty film from the opening title sequence, which is the cheapest looking title sequence I believe I have ever seen this side of late 90's Full Moon productions. The film first says Universal Soldier II, goes to a flashback to the first film, then has our 'subtitle' pop up as "Brother in Arms" with actual quotations around the wording. Quotations?! You know what this reminds me of? A fucking TV Show. Universal Soldier II is the name of the show and Brothers in Arms is the name of the episode. To top it off this film has production values even WORSE than most television series. This movie literally looks like a late night, post eleven o'clock TV show crap. Don't get me wrong as I am not against TV made films...but most TV made films at least show some quality to them. This might as well been made for the Lifetime network!

The film also has the gal to open with a flashback to the first film but completely refilming the damn climax complete with our new shitty actors and production values filling in for Van Damme and Dolf Lundgren. Why refilm the damn thing? Columbia/Tri Star pictures distributed this shit and they also were the co-production company of the original. Oh, I know why they refilmed it. They didn't want the audience going into the film expecting a film with quality by having amazing looking footage turning into shit right afterwards. I guess I will give them credit for that as I knew I was going into shit right from the beginning instead of being fooled into it.

After the "recap" at the beginning, we follow our reporter character and GR 44 (now played by Matt Battaglia) who lay low at his parents farm. He escapes, goes back to the military for help. Our reporter, who is also in love, follows him back to a government lab (run by cut-throat government agents Gary Busy and Burt Reynolds, smiling while they collect their paychecks) where she releases GR 44 older brother and boredom ensues.

Perhaps this films biggest sin is lack of action. The original film had grand action sequences and the action sequences here, if you can call them that, are extremely few in number and over with very quickly. The film is mostly filled with talking, talking, and more talking and this is a detriment to this "action" film since the plot and dialogue are uninteresting.

The plot, acting, lack of action, and poor production values strip this sequel of any entertainment worth. Perhaps with a little more money and tighter writing this could have made an interesting TV movie sequel but as it is it is completely pointless and forgettable. Still people looking to torture themselves some more can catch Universal Soldier III, which is graciously packaged on the same DVD disc!

Written By Eric Reifschneider

1 comment:

  1. eastern standard time... 12:10pm on 8/11/11 encore action network is showing both part 2 and 3 back to back. This should be illegal in third world countries. thank you for posting this blog and for answering the water cooler question for the day. May god bless you for having watched these cinematic abominations.