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Soldier (1998)
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Review Date: October 27, 1998
Director: Paul Anderson
Writer: David Webb Peoples
Producers: Jerry Weintraub
Actors:
Kurt Russell as Todd
Jason Scott Lee as Caine
Gary Busey as Captain Church
Plot:
A boy is born and bred to become a cold-hearted, man-killing machine with only fear and discipline as his emotions. When a new breed of man-killers are created, his kind are obsolete. He is eventually dumped into a wasteland of garbage, and left for dead. Discovered by a host of "homeless people in space", this soldier attempts to grasp newer concepts such as love and affection. Eventually, the newer mankillers arrive on said wasteland, and the battle between this once obsolete soldier and his replacements begins.
Critique:
Short, easy to digest, science-fiction Western, that does very little to innovate anything in either genre, and ends up fogging your mind with memories of gunfire and explosions, and not much of anything else. If you like to see a lot of people get shot up, then you should check out this movie. If you like to see a lot of fire and explosions go off, then go see this movie. If you want to see TV's "The Commish", Michael Chiklis play eighth banana in a mediocre science-fiction pic, then go see this movie! Otherwise, skip it, and rent it on video one night when you have absolutely nothing better to do, and you want to shut your brain off for a while.

On the positive tip, Kurt Russell does play his cold, feeling-less character to a tee. He apparently only had a handful of words to enunciate during the entire film, but he sure made up for it in unemotional stares. Wow, what a man! All that and he was built like a lighthouse on steroids. Pretty good for a forty-something, if I don't say so myself. Scott Lee also had very little dialogue (probably even less words than Russell), but did provide for some sense of rivalry, I suppose. All in all, the film never bored me at any point, but it also never blew me away at any time. It basically just punched in its time card when it was supposed to, and called it a night.

Russell's character kept reminding me of that classic line from John Carpenter's THEY LIVE (7/10), where Roddy Piper says, "I came here to chew bubble gum, and kick some ass--- and I'm all outta bubblegum!". That's basically what Russell was like for the entire movie! He was just there to kick ass and not much else. I had more fun that I anticipated because I was with my friend, and we had some fun with the crappy lines and campy hommages (I noticed at least one to RAMBO and one to APOCALYPSE NOW). See it if you like brainless guns and explosions, and a good performance by Russell. Skip it, if you don't like guns, explosions or Kurt Russell.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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