Universal Soldier (series)

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Luc Deveraux, the main character of the Universal Soldier series.

The Universal Soldier series is a series of science fiction action films. The series began in 1992 with Universal Soldier and as of 2012 comprises six entries, though only three are considered to be canon. The films centered around the character of Luc Deveraux (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme and Matt Battaglia respectively until Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, which focuses on a new protagonist named John (played by Scott Adkins).

Films[edit]

The six entries in the series are:

Overview[edit]

The series most recurring stars are Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. Van Damme plays Luc Deveraux, a soldier killed in the Vietnam War and reanimated in the 1990s as a highly advanced Universal Soldier, or "UniSol" for short. Lundgren plays Andrew Scott, also a Vietnam soldier, who suffers a psychotic break before being killed and is reanimated as Deveraux's sadistic nemesis for the majority of the series.

Scott Adkins was the lead actor in the latest entry of the series.

After Universal Soldier was released, Carolco, the production company that backed the film, went bankrupt. In 1995, Carolco sold the rights of the series to Skyvision Entertainment in Toronto.[1] Two TV films, Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business, were released direct-to-video, starring Matt Battaglia as Luc Deveraux and Jeff Wincott as his brother Eric Deveraux. They were produced for Showtime / The Movie Channel as a miniseries meant as a backdoor pilot for a series. Having almost no input whatsoever from the original filmmakers, their canonical status is questionable.

Van Damme eventually returned for the fourth installment, Universal Soldier: The Return, which has since been removed from the series canon. An overwhelming critical and financial failure, The Return contradicted several elements of the previous film's plot by making Luc Deveraux no longer a Universal Soldier, giving him a daughter, and removing female protagonist Veronica Roberts.[2][3] The subsequent film in the series, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, disregards the events of The Return entirely.[4] Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning featured Van Damme and Lundgren in much smaller roles, introducing a new protagonist named John (Scott Adkins) fighting against both Deveraux and Scott. Although no explanation is given for why Deveraux has become a villain, Scott is assumed to be a clone like the one in the previous film. Cloning was added to the story as part of the UniSol program during the second and third installments.

Future[edit]

John Hyams, director of Regeneration and Day of Reckoning, has said there may be more films to come, depending on the performance of the sixth installment.[5][6]

Characters[edit]

CharacterFilm
Universal Soldier
(1992)
Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms
(1998)
Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business
(1999)
Universal Soldier: The Return
(1999)
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
(2009)
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
(2012)
Luc DeverauxJean-Claude Van DammeMatt BattagliaJean-Claude Van Damme
Andrew ScottDolph LundgrenAndrew Jackson Dolph Lundgren
Eric Deveraux Jeff Wincott 
Veronica RobertsAlly WalkerChandra West 
Romeo Bill Goldberg 
Seth Michael Jai White 
Magnus / NGU Andrei Arlovski
Miles Kristopher Van Varenberg
Dr. Colin Kerry Shale 
Dr. Porter Garry Cooper 
John Scott Adkins

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

FilmRelease dateBox office revenueBox office rankingBudgetReference
United StatesForeignWorldwideAll time domesticAll time worldwide
Universal SoldierJuly 10, 1992$36,299,898$36,299,898#1,835$23 million[7]
Universal Soldier II: Brothers in ArmsSeptember 27, 1998
Universal Soldier III: Unfinished BusinessDecember 1999
Universal Soldier: The ReturnAugust 20, 1999$10,937,893$270,000$10,717,421#3,837$40 million[3]
Universal Soldier: RegenerationOctober 1, 2009$844,447$844,447$14 million[8]
Universal Soldier: Day of ReckoningOctober 25, 2012$5,460$363,719$369,179#11,358$11.5 million[9]
Total$48,087,698$633,719$48,230,945N/AN/A$88.5 millionN/A

Critical reception[edit]

FilmRotten TomatoesMetacritic
Universal Soldier20% (25 reviews)[10]
Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms0% (7 reviews)[11]
Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business20% (5 reviews)[12]
Universal Soldier: The Return6% (52 reviews)[2]24 (14 reviews)[13]
Universal Soldier: Regeneration50% (44 reviews)[14]
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning50% (44 reviews)[14]58 (18 reviews)[15]
Average Ratings24%41

Video game[edit]

A Universal Soldier video game was produced by The Code Monkeys and released by Accolade in 1992.[16] The game was a conversion of Turrican II: The Final Fight for the Sega Genesis and Game Boy. Another version was developed later for the SNES, but it was never released.[17][18]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Benson, Jim (02/05/95). "Carolco Sells ‘Soldier’ Rights To Skyvision". Variety. 
  2. ^ a b "Universal Soldier: The Return". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Universal Soldier: The Return". The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) FAQ". IMDb. 
  5. ^ Daniels, Hunter (December 6, 2012). "Director John Hyams Talks UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING, Plus the Top 11 Things to Know About Hyams and His Film". Collider. 
  6. ^ Kenber, Ben. "Interview With Dolph Lundgren And John Hyams On Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning". We Got This Covered. 
  7. ^ "Universal Soldier Franchise". The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  8. ^ "Universal Soldier: Regeneration". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  9. ^ "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  10. ^ "Universal Soldier". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  11. ^ "Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  12. ^ "Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  13. ^ "Universal Soldier: The Return". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  14. ^ a b "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  15. ^ "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  16. ^ "Universal Soldier". GameFAQs. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Universal Soldier for Genesis (1992)". Moby Games. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Universal Soldier [SNES]". Unseen64. Retrieved March 28, 2013.