Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, director John Hyams’ follow up to his successful 2009 film, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, is available tomorrow, Tuesday January 22nd, on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check it out yet, you’ve done yourself a massive disservice because the movie is fantastic. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Andrei Arlovski, and burgeoning action star Scott Adkins, Day of Reckoning is a movie that isn’t easy to define; it’s an ultraviolent mood piece that skillfully blends multiple genre influences into something familiar yet wholly its own. The movie consistently zags when you expect it to zig and it was easily one of my Top Ten movies of 2012.
Last week we had an opportunity to sit down with star Dolph Lundgren (check out the video here) and director John Hyams to discuss the ever evolving Universal Soldier series.
When Hyams set out to make Day of Reckoning, he knew he didn’t want to simply rehash Regeneration. “The first thing you say is “well, I just don’t want to repeat what I did before,” not even just for myself, but for the audience. What’s the point?” said Hyams. “There’s no reason to just do the same movie again, and there’s really no way to succeed that way. It’s kind of like junk food, you can give them exactly what they want, but in the end it’s gonna go right through you and you’re really not going to appreciate it in the long run. So, the first thought was, “Look, we have to do something different here. Not just for the sake of being different, but also for the sake of honoring the direction that this story is going.” Regeneration ended with essentially posing a couple of questions. And one of the questions was, “What has become of the character of Luc Deveraux (Van Damme’s character)?” He’s taken off, he’s decided to not go back to the government, probably because he knows their intentions aren’t good, they’ll destroy him, enslave him, put him on ice, who knows what they’re gonna do? So, he’s taken off.”
“First question is, “Where is he? We need to find him.” Well, the next movie should be about going and finding him. That, by that very notion, means that he really shouldn’t be the protagonist, you know? This movie should be about someone’s journey to find this guy. So, what is gonna inform that journey? Well, we also know that that movie posed the idea that now this is all moving in the direction of genetic engineering, it’s no longer about reanimating the dead soldiers; now it’s about cloning. Once you go down that direction you can’t really go back to reanimating dead soldiers, there’s no point. So, now we’re in this place where the government can kind of create their own weapons from scratch.”
Check out an exclusive clip from the movie after the jump.
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