Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

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Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
Official poster
Directed by John Hyams
Produced by Moshe Diamant
Craig Baumgarten
Written by John Hyams
Doug Magnuson
Jon Greenlagh
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Scott Adkins
Andrei Arlovski
Dolph Lundgren
Mariah Bonner
Music by Michael Krassner
Cinematography Yaron Levy
Edited by John Hyams
Andrew Drazek
Distributed by United States:
Magnet Releasing (theatrical)
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (all media)
Release date(s)
  • October 25, 2012 (2012-10-25) (VOD)
  • November 30, 2012 (2012-11-30)
Running time 114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11.5 million
Box office $1,128,513[1]

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is a 2012 American science fiction action film co-written, co-edited and directed by John Hyams, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, and Dolph Lundgren.[2] A semi-sequel to Regeneration, it is the first in the Universal Soldier series to be filmed in 3-D.[3]


John (Scott Adkins) awakens from a coma to find that his wife and daughter were brutally murdered in a home invasion. Haunted by images of the attack, he vows to kill the man responsible: Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), one of the original Universal Soldiers. While John tries to piece his reality back together, things are complicated by a relentless UniSol named Magnus (Andrei Arlovski), who is determined to kill John. Meanwhile, Deveraux and surviving UniSol Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) are preparing to unleash anarchy and build a new order ruled by Unisols. They are weeding out the weak and constantly testing their strongest warriors in brutal, life-and-death combat. Luc has emerged operating the Unisol Church of Eventualism, taking in wayward Unisols whom the government has been secretly operating as remote-controlled sleeper agents. His mission is to liberate these Unisols from the implanted memories and the lies the government has inserted in them. As John gets closer to Deveraux and the rogue army of genetically enhanced warriors, he discovers more about himself and begins to call into question everything he believed to be true.



In May 2010 it was announced that Van Damme and Lundgren would return for a fourth official installment. Universal Soldier: A New Dimension will be the first in the series to be filmed in 3-D. John Hyams also returned as director.[4] Hyams has cited films like Apocalypse Now, The Manchurian Candidate, Chinatown, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers among others, as inspirations for the film.[5]

In April 2012, it was announced that the film's subtitle was to be re-titled from A New Dimension to Day of Reckoning.

When first submitted to the MPAA, the film received an NC-17 rating due to its violence.[6] An edited R-rated version was released in theaters. The NC-17 director's cut has been released overseas.


Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning premiered on Video on Demand on October 25, 2012 followed by a theatrical run starting November 30, 2012. The film premiered on HDNet Movies on November 28, 2012.

Box office[edit]

The film was released in Russia and Malaysia on October 4 and grossed $624,724. The film opened a week later in Ukraine and ended up grossing $31,349. It was released on November 30, 2012 in the United States in three screens, grossing $3,181 in its opening weekend, and as of the 6th of December, the film has grossed $4,928. It also opened on the same day in Turkey, finishing 8th with $75,919 for the weekend, as of the 9th of December, the film has grossed $138,232 in Turkey. The film was also released in the United Arab Emirates and as of the 9th of December it has grossed $193,274. The worldwide total as of the 12th of December is $992,507.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning received generally mixed reviews from critics and viewers. Some of the main points of contention were that the film deviated greatly from the general idea of a Universal Soldier movie, and that Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren (considered the stars of the franchise) had very little screen time. The level of violence was also considered excessive.

Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 50% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 40 reviews and with a rating average of 5.1 out of 10. The site's consensus is: "The mooted final installment in the long-running series is a hyper-violent, often grim throwback to action movies of yore – which will appeal to some audiences just as emphatically as it deters others".[8] Stephen Whitty of the Star Ledger gave the film no stars and called it a "Colossal waste of time".[9]

On the other hand, Nick Antosca, writing in the Paris Review, argues that Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is "less an action film than a horror film," and concludes that it is his "favorite movie of last year—the best movie of last year, I would argue."[10]


External links[edit]