Universal Soldier 2: “Brothers in Arms” began with something I’d never seen in a movie before: A recreation of the previous film’s ending with entirely new actors. Likewise, Universal Soldier 3: “Unfinished Business” starts with another cinematic first. This one begins with a title card that reads: Scenes from Universal Soldier 2: “Brothers in Arms” before showing us a brief recap of that film. Now, I’ve seen plenty of sequels that begin with a brief recap of the previous movie but I’ve never seen any that actually have to state “Scenes from…” before.
Unfortunately that’s about the only unintentionally hilarious thing about Universal Soldier 3: “Unfinished Business”. Oh sure, the Eric Clapton and Michael Stipe look-alikes are back as the evil scientists, and so is Burt Reynolds, but that’s about it. Sadly, Gary Busey doesn’t return. I know he died in the last flick, but I really wish we could’ve seen him brought back to life as a Universal Soldier. Can you imagine the hilarity that would ensue if we saw Busey running around with one of those camera doohickeys on his eyeball? Sigh…
Anyway, the plot of this one has Clapton and Stipe resorting to using the bodies of criminals for a new batch of Universal Soldiers. They also achieve a new breakthrough that allows them to clone previously dead recruits, like Eric Deveraux (Jeff Wincott), the brother of Luc (Matt Battaglia). When Luc finds out his brother’s been cloned, he tries to reunite with him. It does not go well (which is my cute way of saying that Eric Clapton planted a bomb in him that makes him go boom).
You know, I think Luc should really let his brother go. This is the third time his brother has died on him in two movies. I don’t think it was meant to be.
Universal Soldier 2 had some great cheesy moments sprinkled in with the bad stuff that made it sorta fun, but this one just plain sucks. And whereas Part 2 looked like a Made for TV Movie but felt like a Straight to Video Cheese Fest, this one actually looks and FEELS like a Made for TV Movie. It’s sorely lacking in the unintentional laughs department too. (Say what you will about the next installment, Universal Soldier: The Return, at least it had some pretty funny shit in it.)
Although Burt gets more screen time here than he did in the last one, he curiously has even less to do. I will say he does a better job at maintaining his Irish accent this time around. He also gets the best line of the movie when he tells an underling: “I need a favor from you… I need you to die!”