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''Universal Soldier'' is an action franchise starring Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme and Creator/DolphLundgren. It encompasses six films ([[CanonDiscontinuity some of which are not canon]]).

The first film (made in 1992, and directed by Creator/RolandEmmerich) begins in 1969, during TheVietnamWar. Private Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) is finishing when he finds out that his sergeant, Andrew Scott (Lundgren), has killed his entire platoon and taken hostages. Deveraux confronts Scott and attempts to talk him down, only to fail, resulting in the deaths of the hostages. Deveraux then attacks the Sergeant, and the two men kill each other. Their deaths are covered up, and they are entered into the "[=UniSol=]" program. Twenty-three years later, Deveraux and Scott are "universal soldiers"–cybernetic SuperSoldiers. After a successful mission and an encounter with a reporter named Veronica Roberts (Ally Walker), Deveraux begins to have flashbacks to Vietnam and remembers fragments of his past life ... but so does Scott. While the film did not garner critical praise at the time of its release, it was later recognized as a cult classic.

The film was followed by two direct-to-video sequels in 1998: ''Universal Soldier II: Brothers In Arms'' and ''Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business''. ''Brothers In Arms'' has the [=UniSol=] program being used by mercenaries to smuggle diamonds, while ''Unfinished Business'' has Deveraux helping Veronica Roberts clear her name, while Deveraux's brother is cloned and turned into a new [=UniSol=]. These sequels featured none of the original cast or crew, and are largely considered to be inferior to the original.

''Brothers In Arms'' and ''Unfinished Business'' were [[RetCon retconned]] out of [[CanonDiscontinuity continuity]] in 1999 with the theatrical release of ''Film/UniversalSoldierTheReturn''. ''The Return'' features ... [[TitleDrop the return]] of Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme in the lead role.

''The Return'' was then dropped from [[CanonDiscontinuity continuity]] when the DirectToDVD film ''Film/UniversalSoldierRegeneration'' was released in 2010. ''Regeneration'' received a direct sequel, ''Film/UniversalSoldierDayOfReckoning'', which was released to video-on-demand services in October 2012, followed by a theatrical release one month later.

The original film received a video game adaptation on the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis and UsefulNotes/GameBoy - although it was just a DolledUpInstallment of ''VideoGame/{{Turrican}} 2'' with a few levels taken out and the ''Universal Soldier'' license added on.

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!!This series provides examples of:

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[[folder:First movie]]
* AxCrazy: Andrew Scott. Very, very, ''very'' much so.
* BigBadassRig: The mobile base for the Universal Soldier Strike Force. Expandable compartments, reasonably armoured and came with a trailer in which the Unisols cooling chamber and memory wiping equipment could be kept. It eventually got destroyed by Scott in his pursuit of Devereaux.
* BoomHeadshot: Happens a few times. It's how [[AxCrazy Sgt. Scott]] kills one of the villagers in TheVietnamWar scene, how the Unisols dispose of the first [[{{Mooks}} terrorists]] in the Hoover Dam hostage takeover, and [[spoiler: how Scott [[MoeGreeneSpecial kills]] Col. Perry.]], to name a few instances.
* BondOneLiner: "You're discharged, Sarge." "That's the spirit, Soldier!"
* CreepySouvenir: Andrew Scott wears a necklace of human ears at the start. He wears another necklace (again) of human ears later on.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: GR 13/Sgt. Scott meets his end when he's turned into mincemeat in a wheat thresher.]]
* DangerTakesABackseat: Scott pulls this.
* DinerBrawl: It featured an example in which the hero started the fight, although not intentionally. Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme played a cyborg who just discovered food and orders multiple plates without realizing that he has to pay for it. You can imagine where it goes from there.
* EvilIsHammy: Lundgren, once he regains his memory.
* FastRoping: We get to see some of the unconventional methods of warfare that the [=UniSols=] are trained to perform. They use the Australian variation of fast roping, which involves them running face down a sheer surface.
* HandCannon: The [=UniSols=] use .357 Desert Eagles.
* IntrepidReporter: Veronica Roberts is [[InformedAbility implied to be this]], though we never get to see the big scoops she got.
* MadeOfIron: Deveraux uses this ability to smash through walls, along with ignoring a gunshot wound before cauterizing it with a cigarette lighter. He also ignored having the black box surgically removed from his thigh without flinching. Scott himself used this to survive being ejected head first out of a car during a collison, and to survive the Unisol Mobile Base crashing into a canyon floor and exploding.
* MadScientist: Dr. Gregor, the creator of Operation Black Tower, the original [=UniSol=] program. Becomes TheAtoner, because of what he created. His successors, Dr. Porter and Dr. Colin, who headed Operation White Tower, which was responsible for the next-generation of [=UniSols=].
* MoreDakka: Courtesy of Andrew Scott and his M60.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Justified by mentioning that Deveraux's parents hail from France and spoke mostly french instead of english.
-->'''Veronica:''' [[LampshadeHanging I figured you had to be French or something because of your accent.]]\\
'''Luc:''' [[CaptainOblivious What accent?]]
* PineappleSurprise: [=GR74=] was ordered to hold a live grenade that was handed to him by Woodard, one of the Black Tower handlers. [=GR74=] survived the explosion and underwent subsequent regeneration. Woodard himself wasn't so lucky.
* SuperStrength: With the muscle booster, Scott was able to throw Deveraux around like he was a toy and flatten a barn door. When Deveraux got a hold of it, he was able to dropkick Scott with enough force to throw him through a wall.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films in general]]
* AlternateContinuity: As mentioned above, there are three continuities, all using the original film as a starting point, similar to the ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' franchise, though with fewer installments, so the web is considerably less tangled. We've got:
** Original, ''Brothers in Arms, Unfinished Business.''
** Original, ''The Return.''
** Original, ''Regeneration, Day of Reckoning.''
* BigEater: Most Unisols are this after coming off of the high-concentrate nutritional supplement they subsist on.
* BioAugmentation: Pituitary and Thyroid Augmentations plus deep tissue electrical shocks to reheat a surgically repaired body on ice, along with implied bone, muscle and joint augmentations for added strength, durability and speed, along with other assorted goodies. Later kicked up a notch with gene therapy.
%%* BlondGuysAreEvil
* CanonDiscontinuity: The made-for-TV sequels and ''Return''.
%%* CloneArmy
* CrapsackWorld: In various interviews with [[WordOfGod John Hyams]] and Van Damme, the world in ''Regeneration'' and ''Day of Reckoning'', is not in the best of situations. Financial collapses, economic recessions, rogue states, civil wars breaking out all over the place, etc. Little bits of this pop-up here there, especially with the terrorists from a rogue state taking over Chernobyl with the intentions of blowing the place up if their demands aren't met, and crooked upper-level management for shipping companies hiding deep within their own warehouses, inside of shielded containers, keeping electronic surveillance records on their employees, tracking their movements and keeping an eye on them. Pretty damn grim.
* CurbStompBattle: ANY battle between a human and a [=UniSol=], or a normal [=UniSol=] with an upgraded[=/=]modified [=UniSol=]. These include Luc's fights with SETH and the NGU. [[spoiler:Both are subverted because they end with Luc winning]].
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Downplayed. The only thing that keeps the [=UniSols=] under control is a memory clearance drug, which (once it wears off) causes the [=UniSol=] to revert back to their former personalities. [[spoiler: A lack of temperature regulation outside of the memory clearance drug, causes the Unisols to go berserk.]] It is shown that the muscle booster that they take to augment their performance even further makes it harder and harder for the memory clearance drug to be effective.
* TheDeterminator: Unisols in general. Even automatic gunfire at close-range doesn't do anything for them, except temporarily incapacitate them. The NGU takes the cake, surviving heavy automatic gunfire that would of killed an older series Unisol, and walking off a grenade going off at close-range. Getting impaled through the throat and out the back of the neck did nothing but inconvenience him. It took being blown up by a detonator for high-level explosives to shred him into pieces.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: With the exception of John, all of the Unisols originate from elite infantry and special operations backgrounds. Devereaux and Scott were both US Army Special Forces before their death, and according to the original script for the first movie, The Universal Soldier Strike Force was a black ops unit operating in Special Forces.
* EmpoweredBadassNormal:
** Before someone is made into a Unisol, with the exception of the later Clone Series Unisols like Magnus and John, many of the Unisols are either elite infantry, like Airborne, Rangers, or Special Forces, meaning they already have an incredible advantage before they are augmented. Even without the muscle booster or gene therapy, Unisols are terrifying combatants. Those we see benefit from the muscle booster & gene therapy are a magnitude more dangerous than their fellow Unisols.
** When we get to the Clone Sleepers, they're more improved than their counterparts. Magnus himself outperforms all of his fellow Unisols save for Scott and Devereaux, along with having the ability to regenerate lost limbs and appendages. John himself even more so than everyone else.
* GogglesDoSomethingUnusual: With the exception of the NGU, the first generation of [=UniSols=] in both the original film and ''Regeneration'' wear head-mounted eyepieces. The [=UniSols=] in the original had removable versions, with a boom mike and an earpiece, that allowed for their handlers to monitor their activities, see things from their point of view, and instruct the [=UniSols=] to do things.
* HealingFactor: Because of their augmented thyroid, [=UniSols=] have an increased metabolism, which in turn, fuels their bodies accelerated rate of recovery. The augmented metabolism, coupled with the nutritional supplement, allows for their bodies to produce newer cells at an accelerated rate, letting them heal and recover from injuries quicker. However, due to their augmented metabolisms, their bodies overheat rather quickly.
* HollywoodCyborg: With the exception of the headset and the blackbox, installed in the thighs of the [=UniSols=], there really aren't many cybernetics in a [=UniSol=]'s body. It's implied that there are additional bone and muscle augmentations for the [=UniSols=], to add to their MadeOfIron and SuperStrength capabilities.
* HumanPopsicle: When they are not being used, Unisols are kept in cold-storage, with the temperature regulated to prevent them from overheating. Two things will happen when they overheat: They become uncontrollable, and prone to going berserk, or they overheat and shut down until they are cooled off.
* LaserSight: Attached to most of the [=UniSols'=] weapons.
* LightningBruiser: Despite their size and their mass, the [=UniSols=] are surprisingly quick on their feet, able to move fast and deliver powerful blows to their enemies. Coupled with their increased pain tolerance and stamina, they're capable of outlasting most combatants in a fistfight. The NGU, Deveraux, Scott and John are prime examples of this.
* MadeOfIron: Because of their increased pain tolerance, due to their augmented pituitary gland, which increases and improves the production of substances created by the endocrine system, such as endorphins, and their increased rate of recovery and healing, coupled with additional systems in place, [=UniSols=] are incredibly tough. They are able to shrug off injuries that would kill regular humans, such as sustaining multiple gunshot wounds to vital areas without dying, and aren't affected by high falls and harsh impacts. Coupled with the body armour systems they wear, the average [=UniSol=] is incredibly hard to kill. Examples seen are:
* MonogenderMonsters: Averted in the non-Canon movies, where there are female Unisols. Played Straight in the Canon movies. As to why there are no female Unisols, no one knows. It is a possibility, that the process of augmenting a female combatant would be much more time-consuming, as they would have to add more bone and muscle mass to make them as physically strong as their male counterparts without the muscle booster.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Again, the John Hyams-directed films.
* NightOfTheLivingMooks: the UniSols are pretty much Bioaugmented Cyborg Zombie Super Soldiers.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Bioaugmented Cyborg Reanimated Military Servicemen that are used for black ops missions, and are given a memory clearance drug to control them, while they are kept in cold storage to keep them from overheating and going berserk. They make use of advanced body armour to increase their MadeOfIron status, and a powerful super steroid to improve their superhuman strength, speed and toughness, at the cost of making it harder to control them.
* PsychologicalHorror: Of the slow burning kind. You don't realize how terrifying the actuality and reality of the Unisols are, and what they're made for and what they do, until Regeneration and Day of Reckoning. Then it kicks in, and you come to realize the horror of it all, and it sinks it.
%%* RatedMForManly
* ResurrectedForAJob: The Unisols are comprised of military special forces operators, who are taken off of the battlefield after they have died or sustained critical injuries, repaired through surgery and augmented before being resurrected.
%%* RevengeOfTheSequel
* RuleOfSymbolism: The movie series as a whole is a take on FrankensteinsMonster, and melding it with men of war, genetic engineering and other things. The Unisols themselves are bred for war and conflict, and they're controlled by the faceless government overseers who created them, to be used for black ops and secret war over the world. The movies deal with what happens when that system of control falls apart, and men bred for war, take their driving lust for war, against their oppressors and creators.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVsSeriousness: The series rests more-or-less in the middle. After ''Regeneration'', it becomes a lot more serious.
* SuperPoweredMooks: An army full of them! Taken to the next level with gene therapy, cloning and sleeper agents.
* SuperSerum:
** Part of the process that makes an reanimated service member into a Unisol, involves an infusion of various chemicals that help start up the implanted muscles and bone mass that they receive during surgery. These are all brought online and to full operation, by one final chemical injection, which causes the augmented muscle and bone mass to swell up, in a rather painful manner; as they come online. For the first few seconds after the injection and the swelling, the Unisol sounds like they're suffocating, before evening out. It doesn't sound remotely pleasant at all.
** Then we have the Muscle Booster, which is used to further push the performance of the chemical cocktail surging through a Unisol's body and their augmented muscle and bone mass. It allows for a Unisol to reaching incredibly superhuman levels of performance, depending on who the Unisol is and all of those tiny little factors. In the hands of the original Andrew Scott, it allowed for him to throw Devereaux with enough force to flatten a barn door. For Devereaux, it made him outperform Scott and allowed for him to drop kick Scott through a barn wall.
* SuperSoldiers: [=UniSols=] are comprised of BioAugmentation and {{Cyborg}}ing. ''Regeneration'' goes further than the original, and describes the process by which the original Unisols(Operation Black Tower) are [[spoiler: created using a combination of freezing the dead soldier, then repairing the body with surgery and then reheating the body with a combination of pituitary and thyroid augmentation, and deep tissue electrical shocks. The BioAugmentation grants them an increased metabolism, recuperative abilities and increased body temperature to match, and increased tolerance towards pain, exhaustion and fatigue. The high-concentrate nutritional supplement they are given, augments their physical performance even further and takes care of their dietary needs.]]
* SuperSpeed: While not on level with other speedsters, the [=UniSols=] are very quick on their feet. They are capable of conducting high-speed military operations much more quickly and efficiently than is humanly possible. Coupled with his SuperStrength, Deveraux was able to get a two-ton jeep on empty up to 35 + MPH while on foot.
* SuperStrength: Without the muscle booster and gene therapy, A [=UniSol=] is strong enough to push a 2-ton jeep on empty and reach speeds of 35+ mph while running, swim a mile and a half upriver in under four minutes, barrel through thick walls like they were made from wet paper, lift incredible weights and manhandle full-grown adults like they were children, and without showing any strain. This is all due to their pituitary and thyroid augmentations, which serves as the basis for the strength and vitality that the Unisols have without the muscle booster and gene therapy.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Shooting a Unisol in the heart and head most of the time isn't the best way to kill them. Even without body armour, Unisols have been shown to survive injuries that would kill a regular Human in a heartbeat. Because of their augmented constitution, the best way to ensure that they stay dead, is to overdo it. Stabbing them multiple times before shooting them in the neck and then impaling them in the head with a machete? Go for it. Giving them an impromptu cranirectomy and then blowing out their brains? Sure, why not? Pummeling the crap out of them, impaling them on a wheat thresher and then shredding them to bits? Most definitely!
%%* TrashLanding
* WeCanRebuildHim: Using a combination of advanced surgery techniques, BioAugmentation, deep tissue electrical shocks, high-performance nutritional supplements, muscle boosters and a memory clearance drug. Later generations of [=UniSols=] benefit from all of those, along with gene therapy for extra measures and cloning, which extends the service life of a [=UniSol=].
%%* WesternTerrorists
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