Action Movie Fanatix Review: Universal Soldiers

Universal Soldiers banner

The Military Has Designed The Perfect Fighter…
Not Even It Can Destroy.

Starring: Kristen Quintrall, Dario Deak, Jason S. Gray, Rick Malambri, Angela Vitale

Director: Griff Furst

2007  |  85 Minutes  |  Not Rated

“Why won’t you die, mother fucker!?!” – Pfc. Kate Riley

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity.  Asylum movies intentionally walk that line like a drunk bearded Joaquin Phoenix.  Universal Soldiers is yet another example of their attempts at cash grabs in which they spoof the name of a popular movie, take a little of the idea behind the blockbuster and then butcher it until it is almost completely unwatchable.  The craziest thing is that Asylum somehow saw into the future and released Universal Soldiers a full two years before Universal Soldier: Regeneration sparked a new interest in the series.

A Marine unit is sent to an island research facility to save a professor and find themselves on the run from the very killing machines they were sent to protect him from.

In typical Asylum fashion we are thrown into the middle of a story with absolutely no idea what is going on.  There’s never much additional info to get us caught up either.  It’s like walking into a movie 20 minutes late and spending the entire remainder of the movie playing catch up.

So, the movie pretty much plays out like this: a group of soldiers are hunted through open fields, forests and dirt roads, being picked off one by one by (mostly) unseen assailants always leaving enough of them alive to allow for clashing personalities.  That means we end up watching a bunch of guys trying to act tough while shooting at empty trees.

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The dialogue sounds like it is being spoken directly into the boom mic at the bottom of a well.  It’s really bizarre sounding.  There’s a really tinny sound to the entire movie.  How does this even happen?  Asylum has made enough bad movies to at least make the voices sounds halfways decent.

The Universal Soldiers themselves look pretty miserable with their black and silver get-ups and silver spray painted hair.  And their weapons?  The highest of high tech laser rifles, right?  Nope.  Sticks.  I kid you not.  Sticks.  Oh, but they throw them really hard.

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The end comes when a giant CGI robot is unleashed and chases the final survivor.  We soon find out that CGI robots are impervious to stock footage jet fighters so our heroine is forced to take matters into her own hands.

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Universal Soldiers is a pretty dismal affair, as I expected it would be.  I’m always amazed at just how bad Asylum movies can get.  Universal Soldiers scrapes the bottom of the barrel like many other Asylum releases.  Universal Soldiers is many, many times worse than even the worst Universal Soldier sequel.

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