torsdag 30 maj 2013

MY THOUGHTS ON UNIVERSAL SOLDIER : DAY OF RECKONING




If you want your franchise or genre to grow it is important to make people think about the  what makes it work . UNISOL:DAY OF RECKONING is such a movie.Part action, part existentialism, part David Lynch and part Cronenberg .That is one helluva movie. One thing it is not and that is a  singularminded straightup action extravaganze. It´s more than that.

Some people dismiss this movie as just garbage, because it does not fit in within their own perception of what an actionmovie should be. Either they think it is boring or that the movie is "pseudo-intelligent". it has not enough action and it fails being smart. The low rating the movie earned on IMDB just proves the flaws of that website.

It is not a movie for a bunch of friends to watch on friday night,ordering pizza,drinking beer and having a laugh. You need to commit. And actionmovies usually does not require that and perhaps that is why it could be easily dismissed. For real  actionfans the admiration and appreciation of the movie sure enough are genuine. But it seems like it is just the actionsequences that get the praise, it´s little else.

It all began with the previous installment,REGENERATION. At the end of the movie the military injected Deveraux  with  double doage (of whtever it was) since they were desperate to stop the bomb at the nuclear plant. it wassaid they would not be able to control him afterwards  and sure as shit the shortsightedness of the U.S military  comes to fruition. He went rogue and when we get to DAY OF RECKONING Deveraux has built a guerilla resistance consisting of other UniSols he managed to reprogram to fit his own purpose.

The existentialistic motifs were also planted in REGENERATION with Dolphs character going off the rails,breaking programming, because of his identity crisis. By killing his creator who did not give Andrew Scott an answer to his existance, Scott decides to activate the bomb and in that process  trying to end his own cycle of returning as another clone. The "Waiting for Godot" kind of eternal spiral,waiting for someone to give you a sense of purpose. This

The whole identity crisis gets blown up into a fullgrown theme in DAY OF RECKONING.
Adkins character goes on this journey of selfdiscovery and has the opportunity to cleanse himself of the terrible memories of watching his supposed family to be brutally murdered, but he chooses to keep the memories, because even if they are not real, the memories fills him with a  purpose in life. An identity-defining moment not to become a puppet for neither side,not the state or Deveraux.  

Deveraux is a strange antagonist. Why does John (Adkins) want to kill Deveraux?What threat  do Deveraux present to the protagonist? The reason is because Deveraux is an obstacle to the path for our hero to gain an identity or a purpose in life.The moment John accept that the memories are his own and believes them ,even if they are fake, John feel the need to take revenge on Deveraux to make the memories real. By killing Deveraux, he makes the memories legit. He chooses to believe the memories are real, because it defines him as a person. And Deveraux  at the end is allowing John his identity by submitting at the end.  What kind of bad guy in an actionmovie does that?

That is a pretty cool revenge-angle.Who the real enemy to John is vague to say the least. You could also say the REAL enemy is the government who actually brainwash John with these memories for their own purposes to assassinate the rogue UniSols and in particular Deveraux.

It is not a simple question of good vs evil as the protagonist versus antagonist aspect of actionmovies usually are.  That is what is so subversive about the movie. And I love it for that!





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