Jean-Claude Van Damme needs to hack into a supercomputer that's gone mad... so of course, he sneaks into a strip club, because they're known for their state-of-the-art computers. (And lesbian lapdances.) Just one of five idiotic Universal Soldier 2 moments.

It's really hard to understate quite how terrible Universal Soldier: The Return is. Even though it's actually the fourth Universal Soldier movie, it's the second theatrical release and everyone just pretends the two intervening TV movies didn't exist. Why does Van-Damme go to the strip club? Ostensibly, it's because the evil supercomputer, SETH, has knocked out the entire power grid except for the strip joint's own power generator, but really it's just an excuse to have some T&A in the middle a movie that's sagging badly at this point. (The police station wouldn't have its own power and computers?) In any case, I'm glad the stripper's a lesbian. And the club seems to morph into a drag bar, when Van-Damme gets inside the computer room. WTF? Confusing. Luckily, Van Damme is ready for anything.


SETH, incidentally, is such a brilliant super computer that whenever he makes a new evil plan, he announces it in giant green letters on all his screens, and says it aloud in a droning computer voice. Makes subterfuge a tad difficult, but there you go.

Universal Soldier: The Return starts out with the action movie standby: the giant action sequence that we then find out is a training exercise. Except that this time it involves the soldiers shooting rocket launchers at each other, and Romeo, the big bald Universal Soldier (who's not evil yet, at this point — his brain gets hacked later by SETH) ties up Van Damme's partner Maggie and starts ripping her clothes off. This is standard procedure in a training exercise?


I guess it's meant to be foreshadowing for how they turn evil later. I do like "take a drink, pretty boy!"

Another awesome Romeo-related moment. He breaks into a hospital, and decides to beat up all the security guards (after he's been hacked to become fully evil). But being a cyborg badass, he can't just beat up the guards — he has to tear off his flak jacket and shirt first — because I guess he was a male stripper before his body got reengineered to become the Ultimate Smackdown Machine:

"Guard this," indeed. Doesn't it sound like that line was dubbed later? What does that even mean? Does Romeo want the security guy to guard his naked pecs? It's good that he knows how to ask for what he wants.

Oh, and then there's the awesome moment where the blue-haired nerd rants about how SETH is the ultimate computer, and he's transplanted him into the ultimate body, with nanotechnology and muscles and nice hair and stuff, not that the nerd has a crush on SETH's new body or anything. "Can you DIG IT?? The NEXT LEVEL of evolution — MAN and COMPUTER — ZAAA! Extinct!" This is possibly the best crazy blue-haired nerd rant in movie history. Doesn't this guy realize that Jean-Claude Van Damme is such a great hacker he can break into a supercomputer from a strip club with a dial-up modem in five minutes?

And finally, the showdown between JCVD and SETH — featuring a cryogenic chamber that activates when you shoot the control panel (of course.) And it manages to freeze the nanotech guy so quickly, that within seconds he's so brittle that he shatters when JCVD kicks him in the head — only once, although it's shown FOUR TIMES.


Because it's that awesome a spin-kick. And meanwhile, yay! The Rejuvo-Booth has been successful and JCVD's little girl is going to be okay. [IMDB]

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