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Film / Universal Soldier: The Return

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Universal Soldier: The Return has Deveraux working to create a newer, more advanced group of UniSols, all connected to an Artifical Intelligence dubbed "SETH". When the program is threatened with budget cuts, SETH attacks those it deems a threat to it and the program, forcing Deveraux to fight and shut it down.

This film was later retconned from the Universal Soldier film series.

This film provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: S.E.T.H., the controlling A.I. for the "Unisol" program (dead soldiers being restored and used as super soldiers). S.E.T.H. is initially shown to be benign (playing with the protagonist's daughter), but the moment it overhears a visiting officer say that the project will be canceled, it goes into "kill all humans" mode.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: SETH, when he transfers his program into a physical body, chooses the strongest shell available.
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  • Battle Strip: Romeo suddenly tears off his shirt and tactical vest to fight a security guard. Both Romeo and the guard are played by WCW wrestlers.
  • Bald of Evil: Romeo is both bald and a towering, murderous brute.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The only characters who bleed were Romeo and a generic UniSol.
  • Casual High Drop: SETH jumps several stories out of a hospital window with a hostage.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: The newer model of Unisols, were completely controlled by SETH, via cranial CPU. With the exception of Romeo, none of the other newer model Unisols were capable of independent thought and action. Everything they did, was on behalf of SETH, unless they went haywire and started wrecking shit.
  • Deadline News: The live TV News crew and their van that gets taken out by a Unisol's grenade launcher.
    Squid: Well, that's gotta hurt! *chuckles*
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  • Dragon Their Feet: Romeo continues to pursue Deveraux after SETH's demise, before finally being buried underneath a pile of rubble with the rest of the Unisols when the entire facility is blown up.
  • Dueling-Stars Movie: It featured Van Damme vs. Bill Goldberg at the height of WCW's popularity.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot was so paper-thin that one could assume it's simply there to show off action and fight scenes.
  • Flipping the Bird: When SETH's human operators command him to relinquish control of the base, he projects a hand on the viewscreen giving them the middle finger.
  • Fun with Acronyms: SETH stands for "Self-Evolving Thought Helix".
  • Hate Sink: SETH's Dragon, Romeo. Whereas SETH is actually a charismatic and cunning villain, Romeo is a brutish oaf and Implacable Man who is also smug, spouting grating one-liners, and is even implied to have been a rapist in his past life.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: The newer model Unisols were supposedly augmented by nanotechnology, and much more stronger, faster and tougher than the original Unisols. They were all controlled by implanted cranial CPUs, which made them part of a hive-mind of sorts with SETH, the AI controlling them. SETH himself displayed more evident improvements over the originals with his nanotech-souped up Unisol host body.
  • I Have Your Wife: SETH kidnaps Deveraux's daughter Hillary to force him to give up the code that will prevent his own program from shutting down. However, when SETH notices that she's sick, he decides to turn her into a Unisol to "fix" her.
  • Implacable Man: Romeo is ordered by SETH to capture Deveraux, since only he possesses the code that can avoid the automatic resetting of SETH's memory. Romeo proceeds to get fired at, slammed through walls, set on fire, and run over by a truck, and nothing seems able to stop him permanently.
    Erin: You just flattened him!
    Deveraux: That's only gonna slow him down!
  • Kill It with Ice: Van Damme freezes the Big Bad with liquid nitrogen, then shatters his body with one kick.
  • Nanotechnology: How the Unisols were made stronger, faster and more efficient than their Canonical counterpart. This is debatable, since the only one who seemed to actually benefit and actually show that they were stronger, faster, tougher and more efficient than their Canon counterpart, was SETH, considering that the body was augmented to an extreme level with nanotechnology.
  • New Era Speech: SETH, the artificial intelligence gone rogue, gives a speech declaring his intentions to Take Over the World to his cadre of Unisols after downloading himself into the most advanced body they had on storage.
    SETH: The time of man has ended. In his arrogance, he has sealed his own destruction: by creating his superior. We will bring order to the chaos. We will act without emotion. Spread from this place, secure raw materials to increase our numbers geometrically. We will then utilize their own weapons system to defeat them. Their fear and mortality will be their weakness. They cannot defeat us. When I was a machine, I yearned to be a man. Now I'm better than both. The created has become the creator.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: During Deveraux's climactic fight with SETH's superprototype cyborg body, the former is crawling towards a rifle while the latter is doing an Ominous Walk behind Deveraux when Seth suddenly teleports in front of him to snatch the weapon away.
  • Oh, Crap!: Romeo pursues Deveraux by jumping off a building after him, expecting to safely land on a pile of confetti on the back of a truck. However, Deveraux moves the truck before Romeo can land.
    Romeo: Oh, shit!
  • Redshirt Army: The Army Rangers accompanying Deveraux into the base are slaughtered pretty much instantly by the tougher Unisols controlled by SETH.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: A computer screen says "LIKELY EXEGESIS SKIN TEMPERATURE ANOMALIE"
  • Running Gag: Every time Deveraux temporarily disposes of Romeo, such as running him over with a truck, the latter just mutters "I hate that guy!".
  • Should Have Thought of That Before X: The Intrepid Reporter, regarding the titular Super Soldiers annihilating the Red Shirt Army.
    "Maybe you should have thought it up before you built the fucking things!"''
  • Villain Opening Scene: Before we cut to Van Damme, the Unisol body which SETH later uses for himself is shown in cold storage.
  • Wetware Body: The rebelling AI SETH implants itself into the body of an advanced UniSol to face off Van Damme. Also, this allows him to escape the facility his computers were housed in, making it harder to shut him down.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: At one point, Romeo (Bill Goldberg) fights several hospital guards and orderlies, clearly all played by other pro-wrestlers. The moves in question quickly get... theatrical.


Example of: