Soldier review by Matt Fuerst


Let me preface what is going to follow. Soldier is a bad movie. A very bad movie. Like the sucker-punk I am I actually expected some quality, but quality was not achieved. It's interesting to ponder what exactly snookered me into thinking Solider was going to be good. I was counting on actioneer director Paul Anderson delivering a good flick. I was figuring the supposed $20M paycheck for Kurt Russel to be based upon the quality of the film. I figured a story by David Webb Peoples, writer of Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys to deliver a palatable story. I figured the $75M budget to be displayed on the screen, even if the story wasn't good. Sadly, with my list of expectation, I am also listing off all the flaws of the film.

Kurt Rusell stars as Seargent Todd, a soldier selected in the 1990's, at birth, to play the role of Soldier for life. Training commences right out of the hatch, and continues until graduation day 18 or so years later. Hey, we're talking round numbres here people. Todd fights in wars domestically, abroad and interstellarly, and does a commendable job. He never complains, requires as little maintenence as a human being could ask for. No emotions, no stray thoughts, nothing outside of way, death, killing.

Of course, there is always the better thing around the corner, and the evil Commander has genetically engineered a new breed of soldiers. Mandatory side by side comparsion ensues (not even entertainingly so) with Todd going head to head with new solider dude Seargent Caine in strength, endurance, and intelligence. Todd is deemed inferior in every way, and killed by Caine in hand to hand battle.

But wait! As if you thought for a second that Todd's goose was cooked, it isn't! He was just knocked out temporarily, thrown onto a waste ship, and dumped onto a planet somewhere in the solar system. Todd awakens on the planet to find in inhabited by some stray interplanetary travelers. Said interplanetary travelers are good like Christians and take in Sgt. Todd, just to decide later that born and bred soldiers don't make good housemates and kick him out of the village. As if there haven't been enough shocking twists and turns in the storyline thus far, a bleeding heart villager then decides to wander out into the desert, since he feels they made a mistake kicking Todd out.

Proving that three happenstances in one single movie is more than enough, the superior genetically engineering soldiers decide to do their first training run on Todd's new home planet, so he has to unleash the monster can of booty smack upon 20 genetically engineered supersoldiers.

Christ that was hard to write, I imagine it was hard to read, and it's just a snippet of how painful the movie is to watch. There is some novelty to the film, namely all the injokes and homages paid to other sci fi flicks. Writer Peoples wrote Blade Runner, and wrote Soldier as a side-quel, taking place in the same universe with some similar set pieces. In addition weapons are named after weapons in other flicks, like Aliens and even the videogame Doom! Alright, novelty aside, the storyline sucks. This is an action movie, with a weak story and a huge budget. This itself isn't the kiss of death, as the huge budget usually means you are going to get some pretty nice screen candy. Don't put your action application in here my friend, there are no job vacancies. Over an hour into the movie, not much has happened. Supposedly the fight scene between Caine and Todd will keep you going, but the fight scene is lame, slow, and uninspired. Basically the only payoff action-wise is the battle between Todd and the 20 soldiers, which is tiresome and long overdue by the time it finally arrives.

Anderson can deliver when it comes to action as well as sci-fi, as evidenced Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon. Sigh. I wonder what happened. Was it just a paycheck for everyone involved? Thats fine enough, but attach a warning or something to the trailer for susceptable fanboys like me, will you?

The DVD? Image quality, fine. Audio, pretty good. Some good booms are present with the explosions, but it's not reference quality or anything, and what's going on on screen won't likely encourage you to add it to your collection for any reason. If the movie was anywhere near worth watching I would have likely listened to Paul Anderson's commentary, but I couldn't stomach it. Please forgive me.

2 out of 10 Jackasses
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