Soldier

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Drama, Science Fiction

Derivative, dreary and painfully silly whenever it tries to leaven the testosterone-heavy action with sensitive, character-driven interludes: How did screenwriter David Webb Peoples (BLADE RUNNER, UNFORGIVEN) wind up with his name on such drivel? Let's blame director Paul Andersen for the simplistic mess: MORTAL KOMBAT, wildly successful though it was,...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Derivative, dreary and painfully silly whenever it tries to leaven the testosterone-heavy action with sensitive, character-driven interludes: How did screenwriter David Webb Peoples (BLADE RUNNER, UNFORGIVEN) wind up with his name on such drivel? Let's

blame director Paul Andersen for the simplistic mess: MORTAL KOMBAT, wildly successful though it was, suggested little other than a talent for putting actors through the motions of whaling the crap out of each other. Sgt. Todd (Kurt Russell) was selected at birth to enter a top-secret training

program that molds mere human flesh into hardened killing machines, harshly discarding recruits who don't make the grade. Their humanity buried deep beneath layers of deference to authority and brutal physical discipline, Todd and his fellow future soldiers are ruthless, remorseless military

automatons: They're the top of the line, until this year's genetically engineered models arrive. Beaten to a bloody pulp by the new, improved Caine 607 version (Jason Scott Lee), the apparently lifeless Todd is dumped on a distant garbage planet with all the other obsolete trash. But he's not

quite dead, and kindly homesteaders who've formed a self-sustaining colony amid the slag heaps patch Todd up and try to socialize him, with less than stellar results. Still, when the uber-soldiers arrive on a routine civilian slaughtering mission, it's Todd who holds the fate of the scavenger

colony in his hands. Can you say ROAD WARRIOR? There's even a little mute boy who figures prominently in the proceedings. This exercise in musclebound moralizing might qualify for mindless entertainment if it were entertaining: The soldiers' admirably sculpted physiques are very decorative, but

the scenes of Todd's uneasy redemption through the hippie-dippy example of the space collectivists are so ham-fisted you just want to close your eyes and think of Mad Max.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Derivative, dreary and painfully silly whenever it tries to leaven the testosterone-heavy action with sensitive, character-driven interludes: How did screenwriter David Webb Peoples (BLADE RUNNER, UNFORGIVEN) wind up with his name on such drivel? Let's bl… (more)

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