I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning trailer UPDATED

Can John Hyams live up to our expectations with his sequel to the greatest DTV movie of all time? Well, it sure looks like he came up with something interesting and different. He’s go Van Damme looking like Captain Spaulding, Dolph making a speech and Scott Adkins kicking ass. Looks good to me.

But something tells me I won’t get a chance to see this in a theater. (Something = that narrator.) Hopefully Magnet Releasing will prove me wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USxQDDPwJ8Q

UPDATE: John Hyams contacted me (namedrop) to assure me that it will play in theaters. It will lay at Fantastic Fest in September, then will be on the video-on-demand October 26th and in theaters in the US November 30th. (Don’t worry, they’ve done that with other movies too.)

This trailer was cut when they thought it would be DTV, before Magnolia/Magnet picked it up. There will be another one cut by Hyams himself. I’ll try to contact the narrator to see if he’s working on his own cut.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

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87 Responses to “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning trailer UPDATED”

  1. Is JCVD the villain in this one?

  2. Looks like Dolph’s in a playful mood again.

  3. The Original... Paul

    August 15th, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Here’s hoping this one lives up to “Regeneration”.

  4. It’s a shame that Peter Hyams isn’t the DP again as this does not look quite as visually impressive from the trailer. US:R was superbly shot. Also not too great a fan of speed ramping but still pumped for this, absolutely loved US:R!

  5. To be perfectly honest, I’ve found Peter Hyams’ work with the Red One camera (UniSol and the lifeless Fritz Lang remake Peter Hyams directed) to be pretty underwhelming. To me, this does not look less visually impressive at all. Also, there is this still, which I’m really digging:

  6. Uhhh, I guess I can’t post images here after all. Anyway, the link will take you to the picture you might have seen of Dolph with a prostitute (?) in some neon-lit, colorful hotel room, a picture that looks really intriguing visually (to my eyes at least).

  7. My initial response to the trailer was literally “WHAT?” This doesnt feel like a direct sequal to Regeneration at all. Looks really weird. What happened to the main guy in Regeneration that they turned into all those Universal Soldiers at the end?

  8. You can link to images Forrest, you just have to use HTML rather than BBcode. So you have to use <img src=”url”> although I need to fix the CSS so it doesn’t resize your images to the size of the Gravatras (D’oh!)

  9. The voice over threw me off too. It’s like the younger uncooler nephew of the old movie trailer guy. I’m still pumped for this one though; the implications that are in the trailer of where this could go narratively are pretty fucking appealing.

  10. The Rotten Tomatoes exit polls are actually looking pretty decent for Expendables 2 (at least, compared to pt 1).

    I have been pre-trashing this movie for a while now, but (other than world peace, etc.) there is nothing I would like more than to have to eat a big bowl of crow with egg on my face as we toast the awesomeness of this pt 2.

    Here’s hopin’

  11. Diggin JCVD’s voodoo camo face paint in this trailer. Ridiculous in the best sense of the word.

  12. Gonna see this in the thatre in a few days..Fantasy Filmfest in Germany… somehow certain films don`t make it anymore to the cinema in wide releases…too bad. I´m not sure if its gonna kick real ass, but it does look interesting.

  13. This is running at FFF? Fuck! And I’m gonna miss it. (Together with my only chance to see DETENTION on the big screen.)

  14. Thanks for fixing the image, webmaster Clubside! Is this picture using the same release strategy as GET THE GRINGO? Didn’t work out too well for Gibson… Wonder when we get to see it internationally?

  15. Dolph looks like a creepy, aging U.S. Senator in Forrest’s pic.

  16. That’s a good still Forrest, but the trailer as a whole still doesn’t seem as impressive to me when watched with the US:R trailer. Like I said, still pumped for this though.

  17. I am obviously very excited for this movie, as I admire the level of commitment and imagination that Hyams brings to DTV action. But count me as another guy who’s bummed that his dad isn’t shooting it. DRAGON EYES looked decent for a DTV movie, but its look was clearly achieved in post. It was so color-corrected and tweaked and retweaked that it was kind of distracting, whereas REGENERATION had the look and feel of old school in-camera photography. (Whether this is actually true or not, I do not know. It was no doubt heavily massaged in post as well, but the fingerprints didn’t show as much.)Yeah, it had that gray look that must just come at least in part from the quality of light in Bulgaria, but it felt full and rich and cinematic. This one, at least from the trailer, just looks like your standard hi-def videography, clear as a bell but stuttery and flat, no contrasts or deep blacks.

    But it’s a small thing, and hopefully this will give Hyams enough buzz that his budgets will increase, thus improving the look of his movies. Looks aren’t everything, of course, so I’m excited to see just where the hell he plans to take this story. The Captain Spaulding comparison is appropriate, because this looks like it has the chance to be the DEVIL REJECTS of the series, breaking it out of its usual format into something new and unpredictable.

  18. Universal Soldier is probably the franchise with the most “alternate timeline” sequels I’ve ever seen. I can’t really keep track of it anymore. Those earlier two DTV (or was it TV) sequels take place in their own little universe. Then Universal Soldier: The Return ignores those and does its own thing. And then, Regeneration ignores that one and also does its own thing, am I right?

    So the original Universal Soldier film has 3 alternate follow-up storylines. I think. Someone correct me here.

    Anyway, Day of Reckoning looks like a sequel that, again, ignores what came before, although I’m pretty sure it’s a direct sequel to Regeneration. They’ll probably explain what the hell’s going on with Luc Deveraux.

    P.S. Wait, so why is generation called Universal Soldier 3? I’m confused.

  19. generation = Regeneration.

  20. Know – Since THE RETURN also featured JCVD a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that REGENERATION is related to it in any canonical way.

  21. That’s why they incorrectly call it UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 3.

  22. The trailer actually reminds me of the ORIGINAL Universal Soldier, as it seems be a more colourfull “carnage in public” sort of story than the previous sequels were, as they fall under a “crisis situation involving UNISOLs” type plot.

  23. Also, let me get this straight…Scott Adkins is british, playing an american, fighting a former living weapon of the US Government, who’s actually French-Canadian, played by a Belgian?

  24. Yep and they both get to take on a swede.

  25. For what it’s worth, John Hyams has said in interviews that he wanted Regeneration to be called part 3. I don’t really get it either since it (wisely) completely ignores the events of THE RETURN, where Devereaux was a normal living human again with a daughter. I never really thought about this before, but Regeneration regenerates the series.

  26. I recently bought “The Universal Soldier Trilogy” as a birthday present for someone and it only includes the Van Damme movies, if that clears things up a bit.

  27. After seeing all released US movies, it seems best to ignore The Return and the two non JCVD ones. Looking at US:R as a direct (albeit belated) sequel to the original works really well. Which technically makes this one part 3 for me.

  28. Didn’t they shot this one on 3D?

  29. I loved loved loved loved LOVED Universal Sodier: Regeneration! And I never would have watched it if not for your glowing review, Vern! I really hope this lives up to the previous one, but this trailer doesn’t give me much hope. The look and feel is more generic. But as long as the action is as good as the last one, I’m in.

  30. This one definitely seems a little more bonkers and high-risk. It will either be fantastic, a train wreck or a fantastic train wreck, but I don’t expect it to be “solid” or “serviceable.” Regeneration maximized its production values and overall storytelling by keeping things tightly confined to a particular location. It didn’t try to be this vast panoramic adventure (compare to all the different locations and sets in the original), but it had a definite aesthetic and vision and actually told a story that the budget could support. I’m very curious to see how this one shakes out.

  31. I’m seriously amazed that any of you guys are voicing reservations about this one. I don’t know when the last time was that I saw a crazier looking trailer. The guy took a dead (ha) series and made something fresh and arresting out of it — now he’s doing something *else* different with it. At the very least, this looks like something we’ve never really seen before and I’m always for that. It represents the best we have always hoped for with DTV productions — artists taking genuine risks and trying things they couldn’t do with 100 million bucks on the line.

  32. I got more of a Colonel Kurtz vibe from JC in that trailer….

  33. Ah shit. It’s all over.

    Vern has famous friends now. He’s best buds with John Hyams. They have Sunday barbeques and share wives. Hyams is gonna introduce him to JCVD and all the famousness is gonna go to his head. He’ll start doing them favours and next thing we know we’re reading a glowing review of Boondock Saints 3.

    I knew this utopia couldn’t last.

  34. Vern actually is John Hyams and has been slowly gathering support as he prepares to attain hegemony in the DTV market. One step closer…And he wheres that voodoo camo everywhere.

  35. >>>wears

    …wares

    were(wolves)

    ?

  36. Since John Hyams is reading this, I’m going to recommend shortening the title to “Universal Soldier: Reckoning.” Or, if that’s too similar to the last one, “Universal Soldier: Clown College Sorority Massacre”

  37. According to Mubi this is 114 minutes long, but according to the Fantastic Fest program it runs for 93 minutes. Anyone here knows which lenght is the correct one? Normally I’d want it lean and mean at 93, but with Scott Adkins travelling up river to kill Colonel Van Spaulding Kurtz it might be preferable with a longer running time.

  38. Now I feel bad about criticizing his cinematography, like I know a damn thing about it. Don’t listen to me, Mr. Hyams. Keep doing your thing and I’ll keep watching.

  39. Nonsense, Majestyk. Like true talkbackers, I suggest we seize this opportunity to pretend that we know better than the filmakers and wantonly blur the line between fan, critic, and focus group.

    For starters, I’d like to see more transformers in these films and a stronger romantic comedy subplot. I’d also suggest frequent shots of open Apple laptops awkwardly inserted into scenes.

  40. I hope this movie has a funny sidekick. Maybe a nerd, like those guys from THE BIG BANG THEORY. That would totally rule.

  41. I nominate Simon Begg, provided there is a clause the compels him to tell both Dolph and JCVD to “sod off” in separate scenes.

  42. Only if he can make snide, dismissive comments about the plot so that the movie can let us know that it knows that we know that it’s ridiculous, thus relieving the filmmakers of all responsibility to make a quality product that they can stand behind.

  43. Oh, bollocks! Maybe Pegg can wear an ironic human ear necklace.

  44. I’d like him to put Ernie Reyes Jr. in there somewhere. I don’t think we’ve yet to see a Unisol under 5’10.

  45. I will say that there’s no good reason not to cast Michael Jai White. I would say that he has to be a completely different character than the one from Return, but I would permit his being the younger brother of the character from the Return.

  46. JCVD vs. MJW is the only reason to sit through THE RETURN. But nah not even cause the character he played in THE RETURN probably wasn’t related to the one he played in the original UNIVERSAL SOLDIER anyway. Any references to S.E.T.H. should never ever be made in any subsequent US movies unless they decide to one day go multiversal or something. I’d like for him to be in the next one though cause it looks like Adkins might be the new face of the franchise and it’d be an interesting reunion.

  47. I saw Ex2 a few hours ago, and I can say the fears were unfounded.

    Yeah, the film’s more in service to the spectacle of having these guys together than it is to its own story, and that undermines the more serious stuff at times(like with Chuck Norris’ character, who’s intentionally ridiculous and played for laughs), and at 90 minutes, the plot is very simple and leaves me wishing for a bit more time with some of them(especially Van Damme, as his character has some traits that I could have seen Nic Cage embracing), but overall it’s a lot of fun and a significant improvement on the original, and Simon West did good on the filmatism of the action for the most part(the plane crash bit is rendered incomprehensible due to intentional shakeycam and some laughable CG, though). More detailed thoughts in the proper review comments section.

  48. While we’re suggesting ways to improve the new Universal Soldier movie, I insist we rather call it Rise of the Universal Soldier Rising.

    Movies with the word Rise in the title make serious money. It’s a fact. Just ask any Hollywood marketing exec. They’re renowned for their good sense, you know.

  49. Rise of the Universal’s Soldier’s Redemption Requiem.

  50. Rise Of The Universal’s Soldier’S Redemption Requiem: Port Of Ca…ouch, somebody slapped me.

  51. Can we throw a “The Beginning” in there somewhere?

  52. I also think that “Universal” should be written “Uni4ersal” or “Univers4l”.

  53. Stu is right about EX2 aka DOLPH’S CUM FACE. It’s better than the first, but still has problems.

    Thankfully, the action is NOT one of them and on that score it’s pretty fucking fantastic.

    I won’t go into any spoilers so I’ll leave it there but seriously, go see it, guys.

  54. Part 5 will be UNIVERSAL 5OLDIER and at some point if Hyams decides to leave the franchise behind we’ll probably get UNIVERSALSOLDIER.COM and UNIVERSAL SOLDIER IN SPACE.

  55. Actually, part Five would just be “UniVersal Soldier”, surely?

  56. I agree that EX2 is a good time and a better film than the first one. I already posted a few thoughts on it in the Adkins EX2 poster thread but I will wait for Vern’s review and the official thread to go into more detail.

    They just announced that US4 will be playing here in Austin at Fantastic Fest this year, so even if it does not get a theatrical release I am going to try and catch it on the big screen then. Check it out:

    http://badassdigest.com/2012/08/16/fantastic-fest-second-wave-of-programming-announced/

  57. Aren’t all these UniSols getting a little old? Isn’t it about time for a reboot starring Chris Brown and that dog-faced boy from TWILIGHT?

  58. Mr. M, I know you’re kidding, but it seems like they are trying to pass the torch to Adkins to take over as the face of the franchise going forward with this one.

  59. Which one is the dog-faced boy? The one who always looks constipated?

  60. The werewolf guy. The other one looks like a salamander.

  61. Univers4l Soldier: Dia De Los Muertes. Shot on location in Bulgaria.

  62. Does anyone actually believe Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford will appear in Expendables 3?

    Nic Cage, I have trouble believing.

  63. trouble believing. Critical omission. I do have trouble seeing these other guys. Harrison Ford was never that kind of action star. He could use a hit, but I don’t think he really cares at this point.

  64. Clint Eastwood in these films? First time I heard of it it sounded stupid to me. I have way too much respect for Clint to want him to be apart of this ludicruous(yet entertaining) fan-service of a franchise.Leave Clint alone. He makes pretty great movies now and hopefully will for the remainder of his years.
    I

  65. Yeah, I just can’t envision Clint having any interest in being a part of it or any incentive to do so.

  66. If Clint would be in it, it would be of course awesome. Depending on how much he would like to make one last action movie, I could even see him doing it, but not that much, because to be honest I think that if he wanted to do another one, he had already directed one by himself.
    Maybe a cameo? Nah, the last time he did something like that (as far as I know) was in CASPER and since then he even declined offers from friends (Jim Carrey asked him for JOE ALMIGHTY) and acclaimed filmmakers (Alex de la Iglesia wanted him for the final scene in 800 BULLETS).

    Ford? Maybe. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern for what kind of movies he signs on these days. I can’t see him as one of the team. Maybe as a high military or government official. Kinda like Bruce’s role in part 1.

    Cage? All jokes about him being unable to say “no” to any movie that is offered to him aside, I think he is the biggest possibility. And I hope he plays the villain.

  67. Agreed. Cage as villain would be a fantastic gonzo scenery chewing opportunity.

  68. Universal Soldier: Afternoon of Reckoning

  69. In EXPENDABLES 3 they could have the team getting ready to storm Cage’s castle (I expect no less) and out jumps Eastwood mumbling; GET OFF MY LAWN!

  70. Someone wants to do an all-female riff on Expendables:
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118058008

  71. This could be a lot of fun. But if they’re going for 80’s and 90’s female action stars, I think they might have a problem finding a dozen names people actually remember. I highly doubt that Sigourney Weaver, Pam Grier and Linda Hamilton will get onboard, and not many today know Cynthia Rothrock to make it a success.

  72. I do wonder who will end up in the cast. Before you know it, the movie will star Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Garner. All kidding aside, the names pegsman mention seem ideal, maybe with the addition of Michelle Yeoh, but I doubt an action movie with that cast will register at the box office. If they get Kathryn Bigelow to direct, they have my attention.

  73. The only way I can see this happening is if they use action stars from 2000 and up. People like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Garner, Eliza Dushku, Rhona Mitra, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Biel, Ziyi Zhang, Jennifer Lawrence, Rebecca Romijn, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin and Kate Beckinsale.

  74. All dressed in skin tight black leather, of course!

  75. The Original... Paul

    August 19th, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Pegsman – living proof that being horrifically, hilariously sexist, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re wrong all the time.

    What’s making me giggle like a schoolgirl is trying to imagine the gender-reversal of those last two posts. Like “The only way the Expendables could work with an all-male cast would be if it featured Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Matt Damon and David Boreanaz, all of them wearing tight leather pants with no top.” Come to think of it, as the straightest white guy you’ll ever meet, I’d pay to see that movie simply for the hilarious awkwardness factor of it.

  76. Universal Soldier: Mall Cop
    Universal Soldier: Texas Blood Money
    Universal Soldier: First Blood: John Rambo: III: The Beginning: Apocalypse.

  77. A Good Day to Live Free or Die Like a Universal Soldier with a Vengeance

  78. I’ve seen UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING yesterday. Maybe I should say I tried to watch it, but I left the cinema after one hour because therefore I could spend a little bit more time with friends instead wasting more lifetime with this uninspired, terribly made crap.

    After a very interesting start with a POV sequence that movie derails completely into a series of absurd scenes without any momentum or suspense. Maybe they tried to do something different, I’m very interested in Vern’s thoughts.

    I’ve met some people afterwards who told me there were at least some mildly intersting fight scenes at the end.

  79. A friend saw this at a midnight screening on Saturday in Philly (apparently the one and only 3D theater screening planned thus far).

    His take on it was very positive, and synched in with what a lot of reviews have said i.e. there’s a LOT going on and it’s not an easy ride at times but the action is 100% on the money and Adkins is phenomenal. The crowd ate it up, he said.

  80. A lot of my critic friends are hating on it too. Some never saw a Unisol before, but others have seen all the Van Damme ones including Regeneration. One complaint is that where Deveroux is now is far removed from the end of Regeneration. I guess audiences now can’t handle if too much development happens in between sequels. Sure, it’s a risk, but as Franchise Fred I approve.

  81. The TRANSPORTER TV Series Intro is up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56lLjDkHCxg

    Apparently it had its premiere episode in Germany early this month. Ratings have been fine so far.

  82. Fred Topel – People whine that they want something new, but they don’t really.

  83. last one for real this time

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