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Director John Hyams Takes ‘Universal Soldier’ in a Different Direction

7 Jan, 2013 By: Sean Viele

For the fourth installment of the “Universal Soldier” franchise, fans are sure to be in for something new. The blood, gore and action are still present, but the storyline in the new film strays from that of the previous three films. 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning on DVD ($26.99) and Blu-ray ($30.99) Jan. 22.

“The idea when I came upon this was to just try and do something different than what we did last time and take it in a very different direction,” said writer-director John Hyams. “So we just thought, well, let’s tell a story from a different perspective.”

The three previous films were told from the perspective of the government working to solve some outside problem. In the new film, Hyams said he wanted to tell the story from the universal soldier’s perspective with the government acting as a mysterious entity to make the film more of a “paranoid thriller” with elements of horror.

“The thought was let’s only know as much as our main character knows,” Hyams said. “Early on [in the film] you’re going to be very confused and then as it goes on, as [the protagonist] starts to understand what’s going on, [the audience is] going to understand more, and the mystery will start to unfold.”  

The film opens with lead character John (Scott Adkins) witnessing the brutal murder of his wife and young daughter. From there, the audience is pummeled with fistful after fistful of death and carnage. 

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning also brings back Dolph Lundgren as Andrew Scott and Jean-Claude Van Damme as Luc Deveraux, both of whom starred in the first film, which was released in 1992.

“I’m very pleased with the end result,” Hyams said. “This is low-budget filmmaking. These are smaller budgets so you kind of have to make the budget be appropriate to the movie you’re doing. That sort of fed into the idea of making it more of a horror-noir type of thriller.” 

“[The film] seems to be getting a great reaction; people either love it, or some people violently hate it, and I like that too,” he said.

Bonus materials on the Blu-ray and DVD feature commentary with Lundgren and Hyams, plus three behind-the-scenes featurettes.

About the Author: Sean Viele

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