Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Sequel of Critics

First of all, Jean-Claude Van Damme is a star, and a lot better of an actor than Steven Seagull. Fortunately he has not made politically motivated movies filled with a social consciousness agenda as the mentioned Seagull, or Sylvester Stallone, or Arnold Schwarzenegger. I still usually enjoy Van Damme's movies. Yesterday when I saw Universal Soldier: The Return, I was not missing words, I had a hard time figuring out how to put them on paper.

The first of the movies, the original Universal Soldier, included Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren (guy who played also the infamous The He-Man, and The Punisher). They both play soldiers who die in the line of duty, and are resurrected with this amazing technology which puts them back on the playing field. They are enhanced in many ways, but it comes with a trait that they have to be cooled down all the time, or they will malfunction. The original movie had a storyline which took a while to play out.

These dead soldiers are like game pawns in the great game of generals, and instead of building bigger bombs they want to build this perfect soldier which costs like millions of dollars, and are hard to deploy, and maintain. Almost like Hornets except they cannot fly, and they are not equipped with anything good, except a great speed, strength, and other superhuman abilities like eating lots of food.

There was something wrong with this sequel, and it might affect every other sequel in the fransiche, franciche, franscheer, whatever fransische (looking for the term of describing some continuum of products based on a brand [self note: correct this when you get the word, or publish it, nobody cares]).

I'll start with the title. Say it out loud, say Universal Soldier: The Return. I think the only reason why the came out with that title, is because it's cool. It's better than Universal Soldier: The Sequel. When searching through IMDB I can find 7 titles of Universal Soldier, and six of them are probably a part of this continuum.

The Return was made 1999. There are also two movies starring Jean-Claude Van Damme after that. And one movie didn't star Van Damme, but that one got made during the same year starring Burt Reynolds. The movies starring Mr. Van Damme are named Regeneration (2009), and The Day of Reckoning (2012). All of them are rated bad by the baseline of IMDB.

Why do they make these movies? I think Van Damme and Universal Soldier are like a bad pizza. Even when it's horrible, it's still kind of good. I will not give you any spoilers. Return's main plot is a Skynet kind of a computer which becomes self conscious, and this is bad because it is a part of a thing called "Matrix" which interlocks with every Universal Soldier. It's called Seth. Not like Hal, in the Space Odyssey 2001, but it has a rounded ball as a face, and it has a picture of unchanging Rubik's cube inside the ball. Maybe somebody unconsciousnessly thought about Stanley Kubrick.

Movie is cut abruptly. Everytime somebody says something dramatic, and there is supposed to happen something even more dramatic, the film keeps rolling just like it's trying to be an hour plus something movie in length. Sometimes the action happening around of actors, and actors saying their lines seem to be from other movies. In Jean-Claude Van Damme's case I don't know what is happening. In the story he is shown to have a daughter, and when everything goes wrong, his motivation seems to be that of her daughter, but for some reason it seems like he keeps forgetting his daughter.

"Isn't your daughter in there?" comes out in one scene. Then Van Damme is smiling to the person asking the question. Then he looks out in the soul of human kind (which is one Van Damme's right side, which is probably the reason why it took so long for him to react), and after a pause which feels like a minute, he says "I hope she is alright". And then nothingness. Sometimes it seems like nobody really cares if the movie comes out wrong or right.

The movie sucked, and I probably have to see those newer sequels.

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