Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Universal Soldier 3


Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Andrei Arlovski and Mike Pyle
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 05 April 2010

When a separatist group take over the abandoned reactor at Chernobyl and threaten to destroy it, sending vast clouds of radioactive dust into the atmosphere, they have one secret weapon on their side, a Universal Soldier, led by Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren). When the regular army fail to achieve any headway, being slaughtered in the process, the authorities reactivate Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to take on his old adversary...

Universal Soldier 3: Regeneration (2009 - 1 hr, 32 min, 56 sec) is an action adventure film written by Victor Ostrovsky, with direction from John Hyams.

These films are a no nonsense excuse to indulge in a lot of testosterone violence. The tone of the film is set in the first ten minutes, which plunges the audience straight into a violent and fast kidnapping, lots of screeching tires and gun fire, at the end of which if you don’t know what the film is hoping to achieve, you really have missed the point.

It would be pointless to go through the film and pull it apart for its narrative inconsistencies; this is pure entertainment, a visual roller coaster of a ride. So does it achieve what it set out to accomplish?

Certainly it is true that Hyam’s visual flair goes a long way to rescuing what would otherwise be a very flimsy plot. The film does lack the elements of humour found in the first film and the driving soundtrack and bleak blue/grey colour palette are used to drive home the seriousness of the project.

So the answer has to be for the most part yes. True the acting isn’t great, but then again it’s not all that bad, were not talking Shakespeare here. Both Lundgren and Van Damme still cut imposing figures and the effective fight choreography leans more towards to visceral brutality, rather than improbable wire work. The film does make some attempt to make its expendable secondary characters have credible emotions and motivations, but lets face it no one really cares, what we are all waiting for is the next skull crushing moment.

The down side of all of this is that, unless you are a particular fan of fight movies, you may only want to watch this film once as the lack of depth seriously restricts its re-watch value.

For such a budget film the extras are not at all bad. We get a full length commentary from Lundgren and Hyams which like many of these will give you few insights into the art of film making but will add to your list of background information for obscure pub quizzes.

There are only two extras on the disc, the original theatrical trailer (1 min, 16 sec), which is unintentionally funny. Why do these still insist in having voiceovers from blokes who sound like they smoke forty a day? Making of Universal Soldier: Behind the Scenes (17 min, 58 sec) is the usual "what a great time we had" and "everyone was really great to work with", watch once fare only.

The film looks to have a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with options for either a 2.0 stereo or a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

Overall the film is the sort of thing which is best watched with beer and a bunch of mates. The action hardly slows down and the acting isn’t bad enough to distract from the important thing about the film, watching people being killed in cool and interesting ways.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£9.99 (
£9.99 (
£9.99 (
£9.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.