Action Movie Fanatix Review: Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms

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No Memory.  No Emotion.  No Mercy…
Until One Of Them Decides To Become Human Again.

Starring: Matt Battaglia, Chandra West, Jeff Wincott, Gary Busey, Burt Reynolds

Director: Jeff Wollnough

1998  |  92 Minutes  |  Rated R

“My name’s Annie.” – Annie
“GR44.” – Luc Deveraux
“Cool!  Are you a rap singer?” – Annie

I remembered seeing Universal Soldier 2 and 3 on the shelves at my local Blockbuster Video way back in the day and never actually picked them up to rent them.  I loved the original Universal Soldier so it really is odd that I never rented them but here I am FINALLY seeing them for the first time.

Following the events of Universal Soldier Luc Deveraux (Matt Battaglia) and Veronica Roberts as they try to recover and revive Luc’s long lost older brother, Eric (Jeff Wincott), who has been suspended in a cryo-sleep for decades.  Together, they attempt to expose the Universal Soldier program led by Mazur (Gary Busey).

The opening scene of Universal Soldier 2 actually reenacts the final events of Universal Soldier with Matt Battaglia playing the role of Luc Deveraux and Andrew Jackson playing the role of Andrew Scott.  It’s a weird choice.  To say that these two men are no Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren pairing would be a severe understatement.  The worst part is when it comes time for Deveraux’s awesome series of spin kicks that sends Sarge stumbling backwards onto the harvester.  Battaglia, being nowhere near the martial artist that Van Damme is, simply does a single jumping front kick.  Weak!

Luc Deveraux has devolved a bit since the events in Universal Soldier, which seemingly only happened a short time before this movie began.  He essentially needs someone to tell him how to sleep, how to eat and probably how to poop.  He’s barely above the early Romero zombie level.

Stupidity aside I actually enjoyed some of the comedic moments playing off of Luc’s cluelessness.  The stuff with the little girl on train teaching him how to chew gum and snuggle a teddy bear got a smile out of me.  I must be losing my edge.

The spelling Nazi in me feels the need to point out the misspelling of Eric Deveraux’s last name.  When Veronica finds his cryo-chamber it is labeled Eric Devreaux.  Great research guys.

The pacing of Universal Soldier 2 is a much more labored affair than its predecessor.  I don’t know why they wouldn’t have just gone full on, guns a-blazing action with this one.  There isn’t a single person here that has the acting chops to actually carry this as a drama.

I bought this two pack of pseudo Universal Soldier sequels and I’m glad I did.  I’ll hold on to it for my OCD completionist’s sake but I don’t see it getting a whole lot of re-watches.  Universal Soldier 2: Brothers In Arms is pretty dang bad… even by my low standards.

2 thoughts on “Action Movie Fanatix Review: Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms

  1. LOL, I completely forgot about these sequels. I’ve never actually seen the non – Van Damme ones. I would check it out if it had more action, and fun to them. Also the fact that you say they re-enact the last scene from the first film and change his kick? That is lazy filmmaking! It would be better to just start the film with a “two years later” logo.

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