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Universal Soldier

Once were action heroes Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme star in this unpretentious and enjoyable action thriller from director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Stargate).

They both play dead Vietnam veterans whose bodies are re-animated in a top secret super soldier program. But Van Damme's character experiences memory flashbacks and realises he doesn't like killing. He goes awol and tries to seek out his family, so the rest of the team (led by Lundgren) are forced to track him down and kill him. Again.

Universal Soldier was German director Roland Emmerich first decently budgeted film, and was his first collaboration with former actor turned writer/producer Dean Devlin, who worked on the already existing script. Emmerich had met Devlin when the latter had a supporting role Emmerich's previous film, the low-budget sci-fi thriller Moon 44.

Universal Soldier proved enough of a success to get Emmerich and Devlin's next project off the ground, the sci-fi action hit Stargate, which they wrote together and Emmerich directed. But their next collaboration would prove their greatest success - a little film called Independence Day. They went to make Godzilla and The Patriot together aswell.

Emmerich's latest film The Day After Tomorrow, is the first one he has directed since Universal Soldier that didn't involve Dean Devlin in a writing or producing capacity.

Universal Soldier was followed by two made-for-cable sequels in 1999, which featured none of the original actors, though Burt Reynolds appeared in part three. Good ol' Burt. Then in 1999 Van Damme starred in a cinema-released decently-budgeted sequel called Universal Solder: The Return which completely ignored the other two sequels.