In a half hearted attempt to continue the Universal Soldier franchise but move away from the well established role for Jean Claude Van Damme, this film has been made.
The director uses the old cliché of "don't show the monsters" a great deal during this film. We are presented with a group of human soldiers, Scientists and a Special Agent, they are low on ammo and up against an unknown enemy. One of the scientists who helped create them is killed and for soldiers low on ammo they blast away merrily at a target they can hardly see with no regard to ammo levels.
The group are gradually killed one by one (another old cliché in this kind of film). We are told these soldiers are Marines (so why are some of them women and how come their Lt has NO idea how to carry a rifle? Oh, and Marines NEVER leave their dead behind, it's a very long standing tradition in the Corps.) In a later scene the Lt is on the radio to another squad of "Marines" (I say it in inverted comma's because they have THE worst radio Com's procedures I've ever heard, swearing every 3rd or 4th word).
You can tell this is a really low budget production from the no-name cast and the really cheap mainly outdoor near no-where locations. None of the "Marines" wear anything that identifies them as Marines or any rank insignias. They are just in cheap camouflage gear.
Most of the group are in constant hysterics or on the verge of an anger breakdown. Pretty bad discipline for "Marines".
The really bad continuity when they are having firefights against the (unseen) enemies, watching the rifles suddenly have BFA's (Blank Firing Attachments) appearing then disappearing as quickly when the firing stops. ( I noticed this in every scene rifles were fired, regardless of who was firing them, it shows no armorer was employed to teach weapon safety or handling).
Eventually after about the 300th row between the Marines and the Scientists (or it just felt like that many to me) the group splits, another scientist is killed (his injury should have been MUCH worse if it were from a shotgun at such close range, another sign of low budget - no money for gore).
We are then told one of the Universal Soldiers is a shape-shifter. As for the Lt giving the order "Fall out, Fall out"? I think he meant stand-to. Didn't he even know THAT basic bit of terminology? Now these Universal Soldiers are pretty much nothing like the previous films. They seem to be cyborgs or genetically created people to be Super Soldiers. Not reanimated corpses of previously dead soldiers.
We are constantly shown an electronic HUD style view (a bit like Predator but not as pretty) which I assume is how the Universal Soldiers are supposed to see, this is another way for the director to allow his bad guys to not be seen. When they are seen, they are seen to move very quickly or are partially obscured by other objects, we never get a good long look at one of them.
In any good look at them you see their costumes are cheap and nasty looking, real B movie stuff. Ed Wood would have been proud of them. Really awful white face make-up and metallic style facial plates to add to the cyborg impression. Oh, and a question? For a man with no bullets about 2 minutes earlier, how did Joe fire his pistol at the rock? When we do finally get our 1st good long look at one of the Universal Soldiers he looks like a very cheap bad rip-off of a Borg from Star Trek. Joe manages to get into the computer bunker, kills the one Universal Solider that hadn't been finished (yes, his empty gun fired even more shots!)
The final sequences of this movie where they are defending a door (obviously with NO glass in it!) to reboot the system to shutdown the Universal Soldiers is so bad it's funny! Having called for help and going to meet a chopper with 14 minutes left of the film you know there is still at least 1 big scare left to come.
Obviously it turned out to be they weren't all shutdown and the one you thought Joe had killed wasn't dead. The script kept re-using lines from Predator (including the infamous "one ugly mother" line).
Kate's battle with Skylar (the best and most sophisticated of the Universal Soldiers) is laughable. The great goof is that the "wooden" stake she's stabbing him to death with manages to bend, showing to be made of anything but solid wood. While Kate is cleaning herself up in a nearby stream some Terminator style looking robot is coming online somewhere on the island. It's hard to tell the scale of the robot but from how it picks up and throws a telegraph pole I assume it's a giant robot!
Clearly it's entirely CGI (and is what we were watching during the opening titles I finally realized!) and all the budget was spent on it. It's chasing her towards some electrical generating station in what seemed to be a predictable death to come. Which it was!
Of course the lone female escapes alive to debrief her commanders and the records of her dead friends are erased from the Marines computers. The film even plays out on the old Predator end title music!
Review by raypdaley182 from the Internet Movie Database.