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December 24, 2013

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning reviewed by the Paris Review

The Paris Review reviews Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. Favourably. That’s the sixth movie in the Universal Soldier franchise, if you’re keeping score. And the Paris Review, possibly the premier literary magazine of the last sixty years. So now we all probably need to watch that movie. I guess.

At the same time, John’s search for his family’s killers folds back on itself to become an investigation into his own identity and then a radical recalibration of his moral code; in addition to being a political parable, the story is a subtle and elegant portrait of a consciousness maturing from psychological childhood to adulthood. When he realizes his memories are untrustworthy, he faces a climactic choice (much like the one faced by the hero of Park Chan-wook’s revenge classic Oldboy, with which Day of Reckoning shares certain themes and directorial fetishes) about the most fundamental of human questions: Who am I? How should I live? Which fiction should I embrace, and how much truth can I tolerate?