Every two weeks this column will shed light on the underseen, underrated, or misunderstood. Most films will be vastly different from one another, so just consider this a bi-weekly recommendation from me. This week’s film is John Hyams’s Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012).
In all honesty, Universal Soldier was a franchise I was never truly interested in, so the unexpected acclaim (amongst critics I trust) for Day of Reckoning was a shocker. Make no mistake, this was just a small circle of critics, because the overall reception was middling at best. Still, the action genre was something I’d always been a fan of so I thought I’d jump in—no guts no glory—without having seen any film prior in the franchise. This was possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because what I got was probably one of the best action movies I’ve ever seen. Thankfully, Day of Reckoning plays out somewhat like your common revenge flick (narratively), no prior knowledge of the other films feel necessary, and you get to enjoy it solely as an absolute batshit sensory experience. I implore you do the same if you’ve been skeptical or if it’s just been sitting on your watchlist for a long time, this is an action movie that trumps all of that Raid and John Wick nonsense. The hand-to-hand combat especially feels much more barbaric than anything I’ve seen in the past ten years. I don’t want to talk too much about it in hopes that you’ll experience this on your own, so at the end of the day you just have to trust me.
Where to Watch:
Available to rent on VOD platforms ($2.99 SD, $3.99 HD)