'Soldier' Review: Your Men are Obsolete
On Wednesday's Kulturecast we discussed Demolition Man (1993) and Judge Dredd (1995). Both were entertaining, but they had a definite 90s science fiction feel to them. With this review I'll be discussing another 90s sci-fi action, though this one stars Kurt Russell and isn't, in any way, funny.
Soldier is a 1998 Kurt Russell vehicle. Chosen at birth for a government program to train superior soldiers, Kurt Russell, playing Sargent Todd, spends the first forty or fifty years of his life fighting in ever major human conflict across the universe. Eventually however, he and his squadron get old, and new and better soldiers are brought in to replace them by an officer played by Jason Isaacs, better known as Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter. Despite objections from his superior officer, played by Gary Busey, Todd is thrown in the garbage on a desolate planet. Here he finds a small settlement of squatters who include Sean Pertwee from Dog Soldiers and Connie Nielsen from Devil's Advocate. In the settlement Todd begins to discover what it is to be a part of a community and to live without the constant threat of death. Unfortunately, the nw soldiers find themselves on the same planet as the settlement and Jason Isaacs orders them to kill the squatters in order to get a hint of real combat. Sargent Tod rushes to the defense of the town
The production values of the film are decent, but not outstanding. Thanks to Sargent Todd's disciplined upbringing, Kurt Russell spends most of his screen time woodenly refusing to react to things, or, at most, looking confused at the concept of a hug. In the hour and a half run time Russel says a total of 104 words. The shots of space and large explosions are painfully done in CGI, but the shoot outs and fight scenes are highly entertaining. Watching Kurt Russel as he sneaks around and mercs the other soldiers is exciting and well done.
All in all I would say that soldiers is an enjoyable movie with a suitably entertaining story and exciting action scenes. Kurt Russell may play a chunk of flesh with no real expressions, but for a casual night of movies and visual violence, there are many worse choices than Soldier.
Final Say: Watch It