Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)


Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is a 2012 American science fiction action film o-written, co-edited and directed by John Hyams.

The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, who both reprise their roles from the first film, with Scott Adkins and Andrei Arlovski also star.

It is the fourth and final theatrical instalment in the Universal Soldier series.

The film acts as a semi-sequel to its 2009 predecessor, Universal Soldier: Regeneration and likewise, is unrelated to the two television sequels (Universal Soldier II and Universal Soldier III) and ignores the events of the 1999 theatrical sequel Universal Soldier: The Return.

In the film, a young former military man named John awakens from a coma and finds out that his wife and daughter have been murdered in a home invasion. John goes on a personal vendetta against the man behind the incident who is revealed to be Luc Deveraux, the eponymous Universal Soldier from the first two films who has now become a powerful terrorist military leader.

It is the sixth film in the Universal Soldier Franchise.


John awakens from a coma to find that his wife and daughter were brutally murdered in a home invasion. With the help of FBI Agent Gorman, the still amnesiac John identifies the perpetrator as former Universal Soldier (UniSol) Luc Deveraux, now a wanted man. Gorman activates sleeper agent Magnus, one of the cloned Next Generation UniSols from Regeneration. Magnus reaches a brothel and kills all the women working there and most of the patrons, all men with exceptional physical resistance. His last adversary, a clone of UniSol Andrew Scott and Deveraux’s former nemesis, incapacitates Magnus and injects him with a serum that frees him from government control. Magnus is introduced to a separatist group led by Deveraux and Scott, who are taking in wayward UniSols to turn them against the US government, thus establishing a new order ruled by UniSols.

Determined to find Deveraux, John receives a call from someone claiming to be his friend Isaac, urging the two to meet. At his house, he finds Isaac long dead and evidence of Isaac’s involvement with the UniSol government programme. A matchbox found on the scene leads John to a strip club, where he is recognised by a stripper named Sarah, whom he cannot remember. Magnus injects John with Scott’s serum, whereupon John hallucinates about Deveraux but retains his will. John follows Sarah to her apartment, where they are attacked by Magnus again. Though in the confrontation John loses some phalanges, they escape. Sarah tells John she remembers him working as a truck driver, living in a riverside cabin, and that the two were romantically involved.

Calling his own memories into question, John requests a meeting with Agent Gorman. He learns Deveraux was often seen at the docks from where John used to take shipments. John goes to the docks, inspects the last unshipped cargo and meets with local manager Ron Castellano, who plays hidden camera footage that shows John brutally murder Isaac.

As John and Sarah drive towards the cabin, they are once more intercepted by Magnus. Upon finally eliminating Magnus, John realises he possesses superior strength, resistance and fighting abilities; his severed fingers have regrown in the meantime. John and Sarah reach the cabin to find it inhabited by an exact duplicate of John, who reveals himself as the original who had killed Isaac and been in contact with Sarah and Castellano in the past. The original John had been mind-controlled into hunting down Deveraux, but was turned by him and hired as a transporter and assassin for his organisation, until he met Sarah and deserted Deveraux. He tries to kill Sarah but is shot dead by the other John, now suspecting himself to be a UniSol sleeper agent.

By the river, a rogue UniSol takes John to the separatists’ underground headquarters. There, he is greeted by Dr. Su, a former scientist of the UniSol program, who reveals John had been synthetically created a few weeks earlier, therefore his family never existed. Dr. Su also says the missing shipment contains the hardware that will allow Deveraux to create clones. John accepts Su’s offer to surgically sever his emotional bond with the fake memories of his family, but the pain and attachment to those memories drive John insane. He kills every UniSol in his path, culminating with Andrew Scott in a one-on-one confrontation. John then reaches Deveraux himself; in the ensuing fight, Deveraux eventually gains the upper hand. Realising the cycle of sending clones of John against him is destined to repeat, and seeing John as a worthy successor, Deveraux allows John to kill him.

Later, John meets with Agent Gorman again. Gorman admits to his involvement with the UniSol programme and that he had purposefully put an unaware John on Deveraux’s trail. Gorman ascribes John’s success to his familial attachment, as opposed to the patriotism implanted in his predecessors. John kills Gorman, then a clone of Gorman and three UniSols emerge from John’s van. The clone leaves in Gorman’s car, hinting that John has acquired the cloning equipment and taken over the separatist group, now determined to infiltrate the government which he holds responsible for his pain.


  • Scott Adkins as John.
  • Mariah Bonner as Sarah.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme as Private Luc Deveraux.
  • Dolph Lundgren as Sergeant Andrew Scott.
  • Andrei Arlovski as Magnus.
  • Tony Jarreau as Bouncer.
  • Craig Walker as Earl.
  • Andrew Sikking as Larry.
  • James Dumont as Dr. Brady.
  • David Jensen as Dr. Su.
  • Audrey P. Scott as Emma.
  • Rus Blackwell as Agent Gorman.
  • Dane Rhodes as Ron Castellano.
  • Susan Mansur as Madame.
  • Kristopher Van Varenberg as Miles.
  • Sigal Diamant as Claudia.
  • Juli Erickson as Woman.
  • Michelle Jones as Kathryn.
  • Roy Jones, Jr. as Mess Hall Unisol.
  • Dustin Taylor as Bystander.


  • In May 2010, it was announced that Van Damme and Lundgren would return for a fourth official instalment.
  • Universal Soldier: A New Dimension was to be the first in the series filmed in 3-D.
  • In April 2012, it was announced that the film’s subtitle was to be re-titled from A New Dimension to Day of Reckoning.
  • When first submitted to the MPAA, the film received an NC-17 rating due to its violence.
    • An edited R-rated version was released in theatres.
    • The NC-17 director’s cut has been released overseas.
  • The film grossed $1.4 million against a production budget of $8 million.

Universal Soldier Series

You can find a full index and overview of the Universal Soldier franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): John Hyams.
  • Producer(s): Craig Baumgarten, Moshe Diamant, Courtney Solomon, Allen Shapiro.
  • Writer(s): John Hyams, Doug Magnuson, and Jon Greenlagh.
  • Music: Will Hendricks, Michael Krassner, and Robin Vining.
  • Cinematography: PYaron Levy.
  • Editor(s): Andrew Drazek and John Hyams.
  • Production: BMP Productions and Signature Entertainment.
  • Distributor(s): Foresight Unlimited and Magnet Releasing.
  • Release Date: 23 August 2012 (Hamburg Fantasy Film Festival) and 25 October 2012 (Video on Demand).
  • Running Time: 114 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.


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