I watched this movie called Universal Soldier: Regeneration, today morning on TV. Watching a simple, formulaic B-movie on a lazy Sunday morning is a pleasure. The expectation was almost nil, as the movie is probably fifth part of Van Damme's original Universal Soldier that released while I was a kid. The starting gave of the movie gave away the cheap budget of Van Damme movies these days. But I stayed on with it and what turned out was a very decent action thriller, with lot of good fights, some decent acting and quite an ok plot, which is more to ask these days from aging action stars like Van Damme, Dolph Lundgran, Seagal and the likes.
Some terrorists kidnap Russian premier's kids, and threaten to blow up Chernobyl reactor unleashing nuclear cloud if their demands are not met. Aiding them is a next generation Universal soldier played by Andrei Arlovski. In order to save the day Luc Deveraux (Van Damme, who is also a universal soldier if you have bothered to watch the former installments) is revived and retrained. Unknowing to all, the terrorists have managed to get hold of another more lethal and mentally unstable Universal Soldier Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren, Luc's arch nemesis in first part) who wreaks havoc within the militants. The rest of the movie is how Luc barges into the camp and manages to avert the nuclear disaster, rescue the children, kill the bad men and save the day.
The movie is pure B grade fun. Lot of kicking, punching, explosions, blood and gore. Fights are gritty and choreographed superbly, overall direction is good, the tension is not too tight, but rather fun to watch. The background music a bit retro and complements the setting. The three Uni Sols- Van Damme, Lundgren and Arlovski has enormous screen presence. The supporting actors are fantastic. Overall this is the best effort from Van Damme and Lundgren in recent times.
About acting of the lead pair- I don't think it is necessary for them to act much. Critics may crib about the wooden acting of action heroes, but they are not here for contesting Oscars. Remember Adrian Brody tried going macho in Predators and failed miserably? So let the qualified men do their jobs. Let us enjoy it..