Runtime of the BBFC 18 DVD: 1:19:27 (1:16:13 without end credits)
Runtime of the German FSK 18 DVD: 1:19:38 (1:16:25 without end credits)
2 Cut scenes= 11,52 seconds
A comparison between the cut BBFC 18 version by Columbia TriStar Home Video and the uncut FSK 18 version by Columbia TriStar Home Video.
With "Universal Soldier: The Return" the legend of action B-movies, Jean-Claude Van Damme, tried to make a comeback on the big screen. In the years before, he had to fight private problems (divorces, drug addiction) and also wasn't able to achieve the desired success in his film carreer. The workmanlike action movies "The Quest" (1996), "Maximum Risk" (1996) and "Double Team" (1997) for example, didn't even gross 50 million US-Dollars altogether. "The Return" presents itself without Dolph Lundgren, but with a big budget of about 40 million US-Dollars and it is tied directly to the original movie, consciously ignoring the events that happend in the previous TV-movies. Unfortunately, "Universal Soldier: The Return" is a fluffy and half-baked sequel, which does feature some nice explosions and fighting sequences, but regarding the script and the general lack of ideas it's a barrel burst. With a total gross of about 10 million US-Dollars, the movie turned out to be a total flop for Van Damme. Luckily, he gained new confidence and has been able to deliver successful action movies like "Wake of Death" (2004), "Until Death" (2007) in recent years and was also able to celebrate his much longed for cinematic success with the lovingly directed "JCVD" (2008). For fans of Van Damme and the genre, who want lots of action and can go without a story, "Universal Soldier: The Return" is a solid action piece, but nothing more!
Although the movie itself isn't all that violent, two short sequences had to be cut for the UK DVD, in order to follow the strict guidelines of the BBFC, but it is barely noticable. But one has to wonder, why the "Double Ear Clap" scene shown in this article was cut, while the "Double Ear Clap" during the finale was spared.
• The role of "Romeo" was originally intended for WWF Wrestler Steve Austin ("Stone Cold").
• The movie got a cinematic release, although the previous sequels were made for the US-television. A rarity for sequels.
Note: Mistakes in the master tape, jumpcuts or other scene extensions/reductions with a duration of less than 1 second are neither counted as a cut nor calculated into the altogether runtime of the cuts, so a remaining runtime difference between the two versions is possible. The runtimes refer to the uncut version.
UniSol out of control:
Luc Deveraux hits the UniSol in the neck with his elbow and then gives him a "Double Ear Clap".
UniSol 2500 "Romeo" punches the security guard in the face. Another security guard tries to stop Romeo, alas, in vain. Romeo gives him a "Backbraker", meaning, he lifts him in the air and then pulls him down, his back hitting his knee. He pushes the unconscious guard away and gets back to the other one.