Death of the Critic

Good Bad Movies

Why did I Watch That? - Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

Written by: Tom Blaich


I watched a bad movie today. It is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Watching bad movies that is. I revel in the terrible plots, paper-thin characters, cheesy effects, and wooden acting. It fuels me. I love them in a way that I can’t quite describe, or feel about bad games or music. To me, bad films deserve to be recognized, talked about, and maybe occasionally ridiculed. This one is no exception.


In the realm of bad movies, occasionally the stars align and a perfect storm can form. A storm that draws me into its eye to endure yet another two hours of terrible writing and acting, with entirely too much CGI blood. Somewhere, a BBC weather reporter wakes from a deep slumber. Yet another
Universal Soldier sequel has formed over the Pacific, and Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren promise to wreak havoc upon our collective minds. To make things all the better, this time around, they decided to add in our old favorite, Scott Adkins into the mix, promising 20% more biceps than normal.

Yet even with all of that going against them, they managed to make a movie that is not only remarkably competent, but also kind of cool at some point. The fourth iteration in the longstanding series (or sixth if you count the two made-for-TV movies),
Day of Reckoning has some complex canon to contend with, clones and super soldier serums and alternate histories to navigate with a cast of actors more suited to drop kicks than dramatic monologues.