UNIVERSAL SOLDIER—–among the way too many ‘franchises’ out there, one particular franchism that wreaked havoc and wrecked harmony over a squad of doltish escapades started with this bashathon in 1992. Best-seen not in a theater, or on the couch, but where it—and its myriad kin—really belong: at volume level 100+ on a shorting-out 24-inch Hitachi mounted over the driver’s compartment of a bus going too fast down a jungle-clad mountain road— I’d suggest seat #36, to best enjoy the ambient noises of serial puking, bellowed cell phone conversations and strafing runs from 3-inch hornets.
Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren (am I but worthy to even type their names?) are resurrected from dead-gnarly-dude’d-ness to continue a Fight to the Repeated Death as cyborgs. Awesome: leave it to ‘The Government’ to mess up the very afterlife of a pension-owed Bad-Ass.
Roland Emmerich directed, showing the flair for destruction he would later employ to better effect (with actual ‘actors’), this 102-minute cruncher cost $23,000,000 and regurgitated $36,300,000. Somehow, it spawned sequels. Other players who sought to make a living from showbiz and herein rocked livelihood to their respective bottoms in this dreck were Ally Walker, Ed O’Ross, Leon Rippy and Jerry Orbach (mercifully saved by Law and Order).