John Hyams Is the Best Action Director Working Today

The Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning helmer is dedicated to the abstract and the ass-kicking

There would be no Day of Reckoning, however, without the intimidating menace of Van Damme (whose "reptilian intensity" Hyams compares to that of Klaus Kinski) or the scary-funny charisma of Lundgren as Deveraux's evangelical right-hand man—who, as always, suffers a gruesome final fate. That recurring gag "has certainly become a great punch line," Hyams says with a laugh, though he admits that, after a while, Day of Reckoning itself plays like the grimmest of comedies. "We were going for a very serious, very grave tone, which at a certain point to me becomes completely hilarious—when you're in the last act of this movie, and our hero is literally covered head to toe in blood like Carrie. By the time you get to the fight with Dolph, it's like the theater of the absurd."

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