Action Movie Fanatix Review: Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business

Universal Soldier 3 banner

Back In Action And Deadlier Than Ever!

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

Director: Jeff Woolnough

1999  |  94 Minutes  |  Rated R

“What do you call that?  Tae Kwon Don’t?” – GR83

Well, the next logical step after Universal Soldier 2 was to attack Universal Soldier 3.  Lucky for me they were packaged together in the DVD I purchased.  I’m hoping #3 has more action than #2 did.  You’d think it would be a no-brainer to go balls-to-the-wall action in a low budget sequel to an all time classic action movie but Universal Soldier 2 didn’t exactly follow that approach.

Universal Soldier 3 picks up right after the events of Universal Soldier 2.  Luc Devereaux (Matt Battaglia) and Veronica Roberts (Chandra West) travel to Canada to escape the United States authorities.  Together they continue their fight to expose the UniSol program.  Time is tight.  They must accomplish their mission before a genetically engineered UniSol, GR87 (Jeff Wincott), gets to them first.

Universal Soldier 3 follows the tried and true method of recapping the previous movie in the series in a quick montage (just like #2) and then boring the pants off the viewer for the next fifteen minutes (just like #2) before finally getting to a smidgen of action.

The overall story feels as incomplete as the story in Universal Soldier 2.  There are a few ideas but nothing ever comes together into a competent story.

There is a bit of a side plot which was mildly interesting as the crazy Dr. Walker raises his “son” GR87, asking him to call him dad, all the while teaching him about weapons, pumping him with growth hormones and how to kill.

Matt Battaglia adds a little bit more life to Luc Deveraux / GR44 this go around but not a whole lot.  He’s still pretty stoic and monotone but once in a while he almost cracks a smile.

Burt Reynolds is basically here for his name value and nothing more.  I think Burt looked at this as a chance to work on his Irish accent though.  For some reason he felt it necessary in the role of the U.S. Secretary of the CIA and no one fought him on it.  All they cared about was that they could put BURT REYNOLDS on the commercials that likely aired on The Movie Channel before this aired.

If it weren’t for the horrible music the last 15 minutes of Universal Soldier 3 could be the best part of both non-canon sequels.  There’s actually some decent action and for the first time in both movies the movie lets itself have some fun.

Universal Soldier 3 is considerably more entertaining than #2 was but it is still far from the level of action we saw in the original.  They are both far from must see, even for die hard Universal Soldier fans but I imagine fans will enjoy tracking them down to appease their curiosity.

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