Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning</strong> (2012)

(On Cable TV, June 2013) I have only seen two films directed by John Hyams (Dragon Eyes being the first one), and I’m already developing a bit of a dislike for his work.  While I can appreciate his eye for good cinematography and strong action sequences, his obvious inability to deliver a coherent narrative is far more irritating than the amount of eye-candy he can deliver.  Crucial narrative moments are missing, intriguing ideas are abandoned as soon as they’re raised, and nothing seems to matter as much as the camera angles that he use.  While action movies (and direct-to-DVD action movies in particular) have never been too strong on story, there are basic mandatory requirements than Hyams isn’t even meeting.  The plot is a muddle of enhanced-soldier stuff overlaid with rogue agents, military conspiracies, fake memories and who know what else; it’s handled so badly that it’s hard to care about any of it.  While Jean-Claude van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are hyped as being “back” in the series and the film, viewers should temper their expectations and expect merely a few unconnected quasi-cameo appearances. Scott Adkins handles protagonist duties, and the best one can say is that he does not embarrass himself.  The same can’t be said about Hyams, who seriously needs some adult supervision before he’s allowed to mangle another script again.

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