PictureUniversal Soldier comes blazing to Blu-ray with a superb 1080p high definition video presentation in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. Detail is pretty consistently good, particularly on facial shots, with only a few of the stunt sequences and longer shots looking slightly softer, and very little noticeable grain over the entire proceedings. There are simply no defects and no apparent damage and this quality next gen rendition shows no signs of looking dated, bringing you this fifteen year-old movie like you have never seen it before. The colour scheme similarly looks superb, with no fading whatsoever, the desert scenery simply coming to life, and even the darker sequences holding up to scrutiny. Considering the age, and perhaps the budget, it is surprising perhaps that this kind of actioner could make the transition to Blu-ray so smoothly and adeptly, coming across as one of the better efforts made for this kind of movie.
SoundTo accompany this 1992 movie we get a punchy 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio track that pushes all the right buttons. The soundtrack is suitably dramatic - almost entirely instrumental and quite thematic at times, actually perfectly suited to the material. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, although perhaps that is not quite as much as an issue for this kind of affair - the scoring and effects are much more important. And in respect of the sound effects, the track gives significant value to the explosions, powerful gunfights and exaggerated hand-to-hand combat noises, again working well for such a visceral actioner. This isn't exactly the kind of track you would use to show off your Home Entertainment system, but it promotes the movie in the best possible way.
VerdictUniversal Soldier is good for what it is, a no-nonsense no-brainer with an involving enough narrative to string together some extended gun and fist-fights between two classic action heroes - Van Damme and Lundgren. On Blu-ray the 1992 movie does extremely well, not breaking any records, but far surpassing its DVD special edition predecessor and having a nice few extras for fans to delve into. Visceral entertainment, violent to the extreme, if you like this kind of movie then you'll want to add this disc to your collection.
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