STARRING: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg, Michael Jai White, Kiana Tom, Heidi Schanz, Karis Paige Bryant, Daniel von Bargen

1999, 88 Minutes, Directed by: Mic Rodgers

How to make a sci-fi exploitation flick in a few easy steps: (a.) make a superfluous sequel to a movie that proved to be an unexpected hit a few years back (Universal Soldier); (b.) get the lead actor to reprise his role, but none of the other stars; (c.) save on production costs by making the sets, costumes and special effects as cheaply as possible; (d.) get a first-time director, preferably someone with a handle on the technical side of things - in this case Mic Rodgers who used to be a stuntman; (e.) cast a few minor "celebrities" such as a well-known WWF wrestler, besides, no-one expects any acting from this sort of thing.

How to write a sci-fi exploitation flick screenplay in a few easy steps: (a.) no point in paying too much for a good screenplay, after all, the fans expect kicking, shooting and fighting so that's what they'll get; (b.) kick off with an action sequence, preferably a chase (in this case, with jet skis) that really serves no purpose; (c.) have a bad guy at some stage tie the heroine to a tree and tear her blouse; (d.) ignore all plot logic, such as why the military-industrial complex would persist in a project that proved to be disastrous in the previous movie; (e.) ignore ALL plot logic - if you throw in enough whup ass sequences then the audiences won't try to figure out what is happening and why;

"Ten-year-olds who will rent this movie won't mind the really lame one-liners . . ."

(f.) more whup ass; (g.) ignore what happened in the previous movie - for example why the so-called "unisols" were lifeless and personality-less zombies the first time around, but this time around want to tie women to trees and rip their blouses off; (h.) rip off the plots of better movies: in this case a computer going rampant when possibly threatened (2001: A Space Odyssey), unstoppable human killing machines that just keep going (Terminator), and a finale that rips off Demolition Man in which the chief baddie is dispatched by being frozen and then disintegrated; (i.) show some gratuitous tits & ass in the form of silicone enhanced strippers at a strip club; (j.) throw in something trendy for the geeks, like the Internet, better yet, have the hero access the Web at a strip club instead of an Internet café and throw in some skop, skiet en donner while you're at it, (k.) make really big men fight each other for no reason other than to fill in some screen time; (l.) make sure everything gets blown up real good at the end.

Last notes regarding a sci-fi exploitation flick: (a.) so with all the whup ass there's really no hint of tension or excitement whatsoever? Oh, well . . .; (b.) ten-year-olds will rent this movie one day so don't be afraid to throw in some really lame one-liners (like "I hate that guy."); (c.) remember the marketing tie-ins and possibilities so make sure that almost every action sequence must have an aggro thrash metal track to accompany it so we can put it on the movie soundtrack; (d.) release the thing on the big screen to give it a hint of respectability instead of shoving it right unto the video shelves where it (and its lead actor) really belongs - collecting dust . . .



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