blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009, John Hyams)

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren star in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION, directed by John Hyams for Foresight Unlimited.

Wow, Peter Hyams made the only sequel to a Stanley Kubrick film and now he’s the director of photography on garbage like Universal Soldier: Regeneration. What’s so exceptionally lame about this movie is Hyams–the director–and the screenwriter’s disinterest is making an interesting story for original stars Jean-Claude Van Damme (though he comes a little closer) and Dolph Lundgren (but Lundgren’s apparently finally learned to act, from his thirty-some lines) and instead want to make a franchise for Mike Pyle, who plays a moronic U.S. soldier.

Interesting, though I’m sure unintentional is the film’s politics–basically, the U.S. is filled with war junkies who put their noses in places don’t belong.

Pyle’s performance is exceptionally bad and the movie doesn’t even give him a fun death scene. I’d been waiting like an hour to watch him get decapitated but it’s really just a bunch of nonsense to set up a sequel.

Given Van Damme’s absurdly small part–I hate feeling like I want to see more Van Damme–I wonder if the filmmakers added he and Lundgren as an afterthought, instead of just doing the adventures of Pyle the redneck Universal Soldier.

Peter Hyams always shot his own films poorly and he doesn’t do his son any favors. Regeneration looks like someone did a contrast filter in Photoshop (maybe Hyams did, it’s probably easier). The DV is bad looking, especially with the lighting.

Laughable performances from Corey Johnson and Garry Cooper, but Emily Joyce does fine.



Directed by John Hyams; screenplay by Victor Ostrovsky, based on characters created by Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch and Dean Devlin; director of photography, Peter Hyams; edited by Jason Gallagher and John Hyams; music by Kris Hill and Michael Krassner; production designer, Philip Harrison; produced by Craig Baumgarten and Moshe Diamant; released by Foresight Unlimited.

Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme (Luc Deveraux), Dolph Lundgren (Andrew Scott), Andrei Arlovski (NGU), Mike Pyle (Captain Kevin Burke), Corey Johnson (Col. John Coby), Garry Cooper (Dr. Porter), Emily Joyce (Dr. Sandra Flemming), Zahary Baharov (Commander Topov), Aki Avni (General Boris) and Kerry Shale (Dr. Colin).


Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: