Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
By its own deliriously rock-bottom standards, "Universal" ain't half bad. Of course, you have to be big on bloody slaughter, kickboxing, infrared gunning and impaired acting. But "Universal" executes its subtle-free mission with surprisingly watchable efficiency.
I suppose there is a market for this sort of thing among bubblebrained adolescents of all ages, but it takes a good chase scene indeed to rouse me from the lethargy induced by dozens and dozens of essentially similar sequences.
San Francisco Chronicle
It's the kind of movie that crumbles into trash -- non-recyclable -- if you spend more than 10 minutes thinking about it. It's designed for dumb fun, and delivers some. [10 July 1992, p.D3]
Viewers primed for a postapocalyptic blowout will be disappointed to learn that Universal Soldier is set in the boring old present day, and that until the climactic clash the film is slow-moving and short on firepower.
As the robotic duo, Lundgren and Van Damme have found roles tailored to their acting abilities.
In an equally damning commentary on the acting and Roland Emmerich’s direction, Lundgren and Van Damme are both more realistic as stoic cadavers than they are once their memories start to return.
Miami Herald
Universal Soldier, for all its sound and fury, isn't much fun. [15 July 1992, p.E5]
Portland Oregonian
Universal Soldier is another goony banquet of violence composed almost entirely of leftovers. It's a Frankenstein-monster of a movie with parts of a dozen or more films stitched and stapled together to make one lurching melodrama. [11 July 1992, C10]
Mr. Lundgren, who glowers his way all too convincingly through the role of a rabid bully, may well be the only man in the universe who can make Mr. Van Damme look like an actor.
The Hollywood Reporter
It's a bad memory trip through the wasteland of movies past, swamped with bonehead dialogue, stock parts, cookie-cutter romance and gunked to the gills with generic techno-drool. [8 July 1992]

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