Universal Soldier: The Return
R
Entertainment: +1 1/2
Acceptability: -3

Jean-Claude Van Damme reprises his role as Luc Deveraux in this action-packed adventure film that combines elements of FRANKENSTEIN with Hal the computer in 2001. The original UNIVERSAL SOLDIER introduced the concept of re-animating dead soldiers using muscle-enhancing drugs and electronic stimulants in the brain. Luc, the only survivor of the original batch, somehow re-gained his humanity. Several years later, he tests and trains a new batch of Unisols. These undead steroid-enhanced fighting machines are virtually indestructable, unstoppable and controlled by a computer chip inserted in their brain. When the funding for the program is cut, the master computer control for the Unisols called SETH, decides its under attack. After directing the Unisols to defend the facility, SETH puts his programing chip into a super-enhanced body (Michael Jai White) to go after Luc. Luc knows the code to keep the computer from going into automatic shutdown. To save his kidnapped daughter, Luc has to battle the Unisols, SETH and keep a reporter (Heidi Schanz) from getting killed. The action is non-stop mayhem but guns and explosions get tiresome while the one-demensional acting is stiff even for zombies. Texas fans may recognize a few familiar sites since the film was shot around Caddo Lake and Waxahachie.

Action films usually use lots of fights and explosions and THE RETURN is no exception. However, in this film, the soldiers shot, stabbed and run over get up to do it again, since they are supposedly already dead. Violence becomes excessive and gratuitous to overcome the Unisols indestructable nature. Luc died once and became a Unisol but regained his life and humanity. While this gives a false view of the body/soul relationship, the Bible has several people brought back to life. When his daughter asks Luc why her mother died, he says God had a reason and thats all we need to know. During a search for a computer programmer, Luc invades a topless bar which features not only nude dancers but a phone sex service. Luc leaves the female reporter waiting at the bar and another woman tries to arrange a date with her. After SETH is put into a body, he talks about being the next level of evolution and betraying his god (man). For good measure, the dialogue contains 19 obscenities, including a computer generated hand gesture. Overflowing with gratuitous violence, nudity and foul language, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN, did not need to.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: TriStar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Summary
Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 10, moderate 1
Obscene Language: Many (19) times - F-word 8, s-word 7, other 3, finger gesture 1
Profanity: Few times - Regular 3 (JC 2, J 1), exclamatory 1 (OMG)
Violence: Non-stop (multiple shootings, explosions, stabbing, martial arts fights, falls from buildings, man run over by truck, men thrown through windows/brick walls, laser surgery on brain, electrocutions, man put in clothes dryer, flaming bodies, necks/backs snapped, frozen body shattered)
Sexual Intercourse:
Nudity: Several scenes (breast and female rear nudity in topless bar); Near nudity - few times (Womans bra seen while changing blouse)
Homosexual Conduct: Few times - transvestite answering phone sex calls, woman tries to attract another in bar
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Man opens womans shirt, suggestive dancing in topless bar, phone conversation indicates sexual discussion, women and men in shower room at club, man looks at woman changing blouse
Drug Abuse: Special body-enhancing drugs injected into soldiers, alcohol and smoking in bar
Other: Dead bodies brought back to life, man says God had reason for wifes death, reporter more about story than danger, computer talks about betraying his god (man) and being the next level of evolution
Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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