Soldier

Soldier

Sci-fi thriller with Kurt Russell & Jason Scott Lee 1h19m 6.78
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6.7
8

ATTENTION: This review reveals content of the movie.
"Soldier" has some fun action but the characters are flat. The film follows Sgt. Todd 3465 (Kurt Russell), a man raised from birth to be a highly disciplined soldier who knows nothing but war. In 2035, the program that raised Todd is about to be discontinued, as a new group of genetically modified super soldiers, designed to be physically superior and completely devoid of emotion, except for rage are brought in. Thrown away like trash, Todd stumbles upon a colony of scavengers living on the junk planet he has been marooned on. He must learn to become human again… at least until the genetically engineered soldiers show up to use these peaceful people as target practice!

From the beginning, Todd isn't a particularly interesting character. Sure at first you sympathize with him because from infancy he's raised to be a killing machine, devoid of emotions and mercilessly gunning down enemies without asking questions or having any regards for innocents but then what? He's basically a robot, and even then doesn’t hold a candle in terms of depth to C3P0, or even some bumbling battle droids from the Star Wars prequel trilogy. I feel like it was a mistake to make him so bland because when a different type of soldier replaces him, the bioengineered substitutes led by Caine 607 (Jason Scott Lee) are essentially robots as well. You're just replacing one automaton for another. That didn’t generate much interest for me either. Although there are some tiny (very tiny) hints that Todd starts to grow a heart he's essentially the same character throughout the film. There are never any moments where the movie asks questions like "is it worth replacing the human error factor if you get rid of sympathy? " or "what could go wrong if we started creating people who's sole purpose is to kill our enemies? " some themes that would have been very interesting to explore in a science-fiction setting.

Other characters in the movie don't offer much more depth, particularly Col. Mekum (Jason Isaacs) who heads the bioengineering project and is written as transparently evil, deciding to casually wipe out any number of people because you know, all military types just want to see blood spilt every ten minutes. That’s not even counting the questionable decisions he makes regarding his own troops. What kind of training exercise can you do on a planet that is essentially a giant scrap heap? On the other side, we have the people that welcome Todd once he’s stranded. The villagers are all good-natured and kind but fearful of the unknown. Other than that they're all pretty interchangeable. The bioengineered soldiers have little dialogue and no personality so a lot of the movie is characters we're told we should care about running around trying to kill each other or avoid getting killed, and you can’t help but think of the wasted potential

When it does come to people actually killing each other, there are some cool action scenes with good special effects, cool sets and those are a lot of fun to see. A lot of it is junk getting blown up but every one of the baddies gets his in a different way and it's a pretty exciting climax. I’ve also learned that “Soldier” is considered to be cannon with the “Blade Runner” series, which are also set in the same universe as the “Alien” films (whether or not those are related to the “Predator” films though, that’s up to you!) I think it’s interesting… but honestly, this is nowhere near the same level and you’d have to be as hardcore as these genetically engineered soldiers to want to own this movie just because of your love for the Ridley Scott film. It might be worth your time checking this one out for curiosity’s sake though.

Overall "Soldier" is a pretty mediocre action film because all of the action is tacked on at the end and you have to sit through some tedious "character development" waiting for shots to finally be fired. I didn’t hate the movie and somewhat enjoyed it at times. Really, it’s more unmemorable than terrible. (On DVD, February 14, 2013)

5
adamwatchesmovies@ 2.8.2015   reply age: 26-35   730 reviews

I found this movie surprisingly boring for what it SHOULD have been. Kurt Russell did the absolute best he could with this character but he had almost no lines to work with and Kurt Russell is no Jean Dujardin. Good action but boring. It's sci-fi action so just compare it Aliens. Think it terms of character development and such. One is best in class and the other is worst ever of its genre.

1
patrick.sullivan@ 7.3.2012   reply age: 36-49   272 reviews

I loved this movie, this movie was a great motivator for me when I was in high school and wrestling. Seeing those "soldiers" climb the ropes and working out reflected what I did every day to train and defeat my "enemy". Damn great movie.

10
vubonic@ 18.3.2002   reply age: 18-25   2 reviews

You have to have served in the military to be able to appreciate this film. Kurt Russel's laconic character needed few words to portray the calculated killing machine he was trained to be. The music was a little cheezy and some scenes were overdrawn, but the film was excellent. I wish they would have taken some more time building the plot on the planet that Russel was dumped on after being discarded by the military. Also, they should have made a greater plot as the focus of the story, rather than concentrating on Russel all the time. Still, a good film, anyhow.

8
pyrhuss@ 28.7.2001   reply age: 36-49   80 reviews

I liked it, had a bit of a 1984 flavour. The acting isn't great, but then that's part of the story in this film.

7
rsinge@ 18.5.2000   reply age: 26-35   2 reviews

Great action.

6
4u2nv@ 0.0.0   reply age: 18-25   107 reviews

Don't go expecting a great story, or even good acting. Go for the ACTION! My fiancee ADORED this flick. A super great GUY movie that girls can enjoy, too. No one ever said Kurt Russel was Oscar material, but, this movie will not be a dissapointment for those looking for a fun 2hours!

7

This is a great movie. Take it from me FRANCIS "the movie critic" CALDERISI.

10
calderis@ 0.0.0   reply   1st review

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Select stars from 1 to 10.
10 - A masterpiece, go, see it now
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8 - Great movie, don't miss it
7 - Good movie, worth seeing
6 - Not bad, could be much better
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4 - Not good, even if you don't pay
3 - Poor movie, not recommended
2 - Very bad, forget about it
1 - Worst ever, avoid at all costs


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