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Courtesy of Magnet Releasing Universal Soldier

Kickassualties of War

How the Universal Soldier series became the weirdest, most indestructible film franchise of our time

Sometimes a simple, formulaic genre film breaks free of its format, takes root in the hearts and minds of a generation, and becomes something larger, greater — a modern myth. Movies like these don’t just spawn sequels; they sort of demand them, by building alluring, fully realized worlds to which moviegoers long to return, if only for a few more hours.

The original Universal Soldier, released in July 1992, is not one of those movies.

It was co-written by Dean Devlin and directed by Roland Emmerich. It was Devlin’s first produced screenplay and the German-born Emmerich’s first American film. It starred Euro-import action icons Jean-Claude Van Damme