Universal Soldier/C+,B+

 Live/1992/102m/WS 1.85

       Don't expect intricate story-telling in this action flick created to put together two screen fighting icons, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lungren. They get to take some ferocious kicks at each other in a relentless chase that serves as satisfactory platform to effectively stage the fights. Former Army veterans, both fighters have been preserved on ice as part of a government program that transforms mere men of flesh into invincible "fighting" machines. There's a simplistic prelude set in a jungle a long time ago and far away that effectively defines motivation and character for both stars and then it's off and running, with only a brief stop for some diner food.
      Most of the scenes are shot in dim light with a bluish cast. There are explosions galore and mucho fire power. Van Damme hooks up with a gal reporter who stumbles into the hush-hush project and together they flee the long arm of corrupt government. Their relationship plays mostly for laughs, thankfully. Van Damme maintains a mantle of innocence about his character while Dolph Lungren is straight ahead killing machine

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Van Damme in actionİLive

    The DVD transfer handles much of the difficult lighting with a sure touch. Shadow detail is excellent and contrast range is tightly controlled for the best picture. Offering  widescreen 1.85 only, the   image is perhaps a mite too sharp resulting in edge enhancement artifacts. The 5:1 soundtrack  powerfully accompanies the action set pieces.


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