ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – U – Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms (1998)

Director: Jeff Woolnough

Writer: Peter M Lenkov (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Battaglia, Andrew Jackson, Eric Bryson, Kevin Rushton, Desmond Campbell, Michael Copeman, Gary Busey, Burt Reynolds

 

Plot: The Universal Soldiers are used to smuggle diamonds for a CIA Director, but Luc Deveroux continues to cause him problems.


Tagline – No memory. No emotion. No mercy… Until one of them decides to become human again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ouch!

 

Story: Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms starts as Luc Devreaux (Battaglia) has escaped with reporter Veronica (West) the only known living members of the universal Soldier project run by Otto Mazur (Busey). Wanting Luc back they set out his programming to return to base where Veronica must track him down while avoiding the law.

When Veronica reaches the base, she must sneak in (as you do) and work with Luc’s long lost brother Eric (Wincott) another member of the program to rescue him and stop Otto’s plans.

 

Thoughts on Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms

 

Characters – Luc Devreaux is the universal soldier, one of the last ones standing and now he has been reprogramed, but can his memories be stirred to bring back the human side from inside him. Veronica is the reporter that has found out the secret about the program and now she wants to expose it with Luc, she will do what it takes to save Luc from the base. Eric is the elder brother of Luc’s he has been missing for years, but he is one of the original universal soldiers now he works to save his brother. Otto is the recruiter for the program, he finds the dead soldiers, or he makes his own to keep the program filled for his bosses.

PerformancesDo I want to talk about the acting, well no because most of it is almost painful to watch through the film, Matt Battaglia doesn’t come close to Jean-Claude Van Damme and for the rest they are better but nothing overly convincing.

StoryThe story follows the idea of the universal soldiers being developed and how the government want it kept a secret. The story lacks the punch that the first one had, it does feel like the pilot for a television show which was the point. The story doesn’t have the twists but does want to continue to world build.

Action/Sci-Fi The action is also messy, we get too many cuts with not enough pure fighting which you would have had with Van Damme. The idea of enhanced soldiers works for the story, but we don’t get enough time to see everything going on with the project.

SettingsThe settings do feel almost pointless, we don’t get much happening with knowing as the we have plenty of random roads and no iconic buildings.

Special EffectsThe effects continue to show the weak points off the film which doesn’t connect the way they should.


Scene of the Movie –
Karaoke time

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just the acting in general.

Final ThoughtsThis is a pretty poor to terrible action sequel, the film just doesn’t hit the marks the other films in the franchise have and you will be left disappointed by the end.

 

Overall: Universally Bad.

Rating

 

 

Demolition Man (1993)

logoDirector: Marco Brambilla

Writer: Peter M Lenkov, Robert Reneau Daniel Waters (Screenplay) Peter M Lenkov, Robert Reneau (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Nigel Hawthorne, Benjamin Bratt, Bob Gunton, Glenn Shadix, Denis Leary

 

Plot: Frozen in 1996, Simon Phoenix, a convicted crime lord, is revived for a parole hearing well into the 21st century. Revived into a crime free society, Phoenix resumes his murderous rampage, and no one can stop him. John Spartan, the police officer who captured Phoenix in 1996, has also been cryogenically frozen, this time for a crime he did not commit. In 2032, the former cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara have merged into peaceful, utopian San Angeles. Unable to stop him with their non-violent solutions, the police release Spartan to help recapture Phoenix. Now after 36 years, Spartan has to adapt himself to the future society he has no knowledge about.

 

Verdict: Vintage 90s

 

Story: What happens when a crazed mad man get frozen only to escape in a new time with a new way of life? That’s right you get the man who caught him first out of his frozen state to capture him because murder is no longer a crime. We get the basic cop chasing bad guy storyline, but more importantly we get the idea of being taken to a world unknown and the struggle to adapt to the new world. In conclusion we get what could be just a comedy that is actually turned into a fun over the top action film that really is designed to switch off your brain and enjoy. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: John Spartan the no nonsense cop who will go against orders to make sure he gets his man, but when his style leads to the deaths of a group of hostages he gets sentenced to be frozen. He gets awakened to stop the very man who left him there and with his still up to date detective skills he helps solve the problems on the new ‘perfect’ world. Good performance from Sly who does what he does best. (8/10)

 sly

Wesley Snipes: Simon Phoenix a mad man criminal who will not stop even when he is against all odds. He escapes from his prison and starts causing chaos in the world that is not used to crime, waiting for one final fight with his old nemesis Spartan. Good performance from Snipes who takes to the villain role well. (8/10)

wesley

Sandra Bullock: Lenina a young cop in the future who longs for something to happen in a world with no crime. When John turns up she turns into his partner who she has studied and learns how to do real police work. Good performance offering a good partner for John Spartan. (8/10)

 sandra

Nigel Hawthorne: Dr Cocteau the leader of the new peaceful world, he is also the man behind helping release Simon Phoenix to get rid of the underground population of the city. Good performance showing how a person in power can do what they want. (7/10)

 nigel

Benjamin Bratt: Alfredo a rookie cop who gets drawn into the investigation working with John and Lenina as they try to uncover the truth, he offers a lot of comic relief through the film. Good supporting performance saying everything wrong. (7/10)

 bratt

Bob Gunton: Chief Earle the man who reluctantly lets Spartan out to stop the mad man but only under strict rules which he fails to follow. Good authority performance. (7/10)

 bob

Director Review: Marco Brambilla – Creates a fun over the top action film that is good fun to watch. (7/10)

 

Action: Plenty of action used throughout the film. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Good look at how the future world might be. (9/10)

Thriller: Not the most thrilling but does up the level when the action starts. (7/10)

Settings: Great vision of a peaceful future with this setting. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Good special effects to create the future look. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for all the action film fans, it fills all the boxes for a relaxaction film, sit back and enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Swear Alarm is funny.

Worst Part: It’s dated a bit like most future looking films.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Funniest Scene: Sex scene is funny.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $58 Million

Budget: $57 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline:  In the 21st Century, the police aren’t equipped to handle this kind of violence. John Spartan isn’t equipped to handle this kind of peace and harmony.

 

Overall: Relaxaction Film At its Best

Rating 74

R.I.P.D (2013)

posterDirector: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi (Screenplay) David Dobkin, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi (Story) Peter M. Lenkov (Comic)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak

 

Story: Nick (Reynolds) a married cop has just taken part in his first piece of corrupt cop by taken some gold along with his partner Hayes (Bacon), but when Nick starts getting second thoughts about what he has done things take an unexpected twist. When on a raid Hayes kills Nick sending him to the RIPD (Rest in Peace Department). Nick now has to work to protect Earth from Deados alongside on old western gunslinger Roy (Bridges). Now the unlikely partnership of reluctant heroes have come across something which can change the world forever, can they stop it happening before it is too late?

 

Verdict:

 

Action: Full of action with most using a lot of CGI but one very good scene with a tumbling car park (7/10)

Comedy: Starts good comedy but turns serious more good to lighten the mood of the film (7/10)

Special Effects: A lot of CGI effects to create different Deados showing how they died in the first place (7/10)

Suggestion: A bit of an alternative for Men in Black with a more horror based different world we are not meant to know about. It is good for a few laughs some steady action and well worth a watch, I would suggest to people who like simpler stories that don’t challenge the audience. (7/10)

 

Star Performance Jeff Bridges – has all the best lines

Favourite Character Roy – again saving the film from just being another wronged cop film

 

Best Part: Car chase with tumbling car park

Worst Part: could have either been funnier or scarier doesn’t choose which one it wants to be.

Trivia: This is Ryan Reynolds fourth comic film, Blade Trinity, Green Lantern and X-Men Origins Wolverine being his other all of which didn’t get the best reviews.

 

Similar Too: Men in Black, Constantine

 

Overall: Fairly enjoyable tries to throw a few twists and turns but all very predictable, judging that it came from a comic it could have been a lot darker but as I haven’t read the comic it might be how it was written first. It also tries to much to copy Men in Black with the new partnership of a younger guy who is more action rather than patience. In the end it is something to sit down relax and enjoy but it is unlikely you will go out and tell people to watch it.

Rating 72%