An itinerant warrior in outer space is forced to become a hero when he must defend a band of settlers on a remote planet.
Kurt Russell hits new heights in laconic action heroes with his portrayal of Sergeant Todd, born and bred to be a soldier in a futuristic army. Raised to kill mercilessly, living only for battle, he finds himself at the twilight of his career (and so-called life) when a regiment of genetically enhanced warriors threatens to make his brand of soldiering obsolete. Despite his extensive skills, he is no match for the best of breed of the new order, and he's left for dead on a planet that serves only as a junk heap. There he encounters a ragtag group of castaways, and in his own strange and silent way slowly begins to learn how to be less a killer and more a human. All is disrupted, though, when the genetic regiment arrives on the trash planet and decides to eradicate the local human "trespassers." Though Todd had been overmatched before, this time he has more than ever to fight for--a home, and friends. Soldier is one of those rare sci fi movies that relies more on plot and action than special effects (though the trash planet is effectively wrought). The pace of action in the last half of the film is relentless and exciting, and Russell's portrayal of the old warrior as he warms to human emotions relies more on expression than words--in fact, he barely utters more than a half-dozen lines. --Tod Nelson
A Great Ride I can't even count how many times I got sucked into this film, I must have watched the thing a dozen times now and enjoyed every one. I'm not meaning to, but it's on the Dish or I just feel like an action flick and there you go. It's a great action film and portrays a soldier's transformation to human. I agree with some of the other reviews that Kurt does a remarkable job portraying his role without ever saying much at all, that was on purpose - a part of the character. It has one of the all-time great lines when confronted with the fact he was wildly outnumbered and asked what he was going to do. He turns and doesn't even blink and says "I'm going to kill them all."...more info
SOLDIER I really loved this story! Each actor played his role perfectly and the filming and special effects were outstanding....more info
Soldiers The movie is the development of a man from soldier/robot to a human being. The action scenses are very good. I found it very entertaining....more info
Screw the story - the acting is great! One of the best acted sci-fi pictures I've ever seen. Russell takes a relatively shmalzy character and makes you really care. Plus you REALLY hate the bad guy! The commentary with the DVD is hilarious, too....more info
ode to what could have been ... You know, if anyone has ever read any of my other reviews, you'll realize that I've got a horrible pet peeve about movies that have a lot of potential and flop miserably. I don't think a movie has been made yet that exemplifies this more then Paul Anderson's 'Soldier.'
This movie REALLY could have been mind-blowing had it not been held back by Anderson's chronic lack of any imagination (see my other reviews of Paul Anderson's work). If this material was being molded by ANYBODY with any sense of vision or especially scope, this movie might have been as popular as the Matrix is now. 'Soldier' was CRYING to be done on a grand scale. How cool would it have been to have seen a huge 'Saving Private Ryan' meets 'Attack of the Clones'-type battle scene? Instead we get work that looks like it was done in a high school auditorium.
Look at things like the horribly dull set designs (not bad per se, but just no creativity), the poor lighting, the stereotyped lemming-civilian characters, and the clich®¶d villains. It's awful how phoned-in this movie just seemed.
The tragic part is that Kurt Russell was terrific in it and was just surrounded by people (actors and production crew alike) that just had no interest (or maybe ability) in trying to add flavor to the VAST RESOURCES they had at their disposal.
I actually cringe when I think about just how cool this could have been compared to the body of work that everyone seemed content to turn in....more info
Humanity vs Inhumanity at its most basic Soldier was a film that I didn't particularly want to see but now it's one of my favorites. Everytime I watch I get more out of it. Kurt Russell is perfect for Todd. He's a man who was chosen at birth to be a "Soldier". Soliders are trained to only speak when spoken to by an officer first, to show no emotion, no mercy, and follow orders with very little room for thinking.
Then a newer, genetically engineered soldier is introduced and the group that Todd fought with is demoted to go-fers for the 'real' soldiers. Todd, who was used to test the ability of the 'new' models was injured, rendered unconscious and put out with a garbage run.
It's at this point that the movie really takes off. Todd is helped by settlers who are where they shouldn't be. He has no training in how to react among 'normal' people. There are families here. You can see that he's trying to figure out the parameters of this new existence and if he hadn't been a sargent and allowed some degree of thinking for himself I don't know if Todd could have coped with these changed circumstances. There's a lot to think about in this film. What makes us who we are? If we are trained to act one way and punished for any deviation can we change our patterns of behavior as an adult. What are the possibilities that people can change. Whe are the monsters? The killers or those who send them out?
The film seems to be your same old/same old but there's a lot worth seeing and thinking about in Soldier....more info
Kurt did a great job Personally, I think that the lack of lines for Kurt enhanced this brilliant movie. The music of Loreena Mckennit is beautiful. ...more info
A rare treat... I must say that this is one of my favorite DVDs. I am a real fan of science fiction movies that have a real plot and show something special about the human experience. This movie has both in good measure. The movie shows the transition of a person from machine to protector. I love a good redemption movie. If you like empty action, then you might give this movie a pass. But if you like your action to be seasoned with thought then this is the flick for you.
I just wish they remastered this in Blue Ray. I'd buy another in a heart beat. ...more info
Russell is great and he keeps this at bay filled with some great action scenes including the part where Russell emerges out of the water and guns down a lot of guards. but the laging is the other people like Jason Issaacs and Gary Busey. for Russell fans and he's really not talkative that much in this one up until the point where he talks....more info
5 Star Soldier This movie is a must for every action fan. The DVD contains a perfect video- and audio transfer + some nice extras. Kurt Russell did a great job. He must trained so hard to come in superb shape for that movie. I think he is a great actor and shows the audience that there is still hope and love in that destroyed character "Todd", not with words but with mime....more info
Brilliant characterisation of Sgt Todd by Kurt Russell Not a classic, but a striking character performance by Russell. Sgt Todd indoctrinated from birth to be an efficent cold blooded killer is replaced by a genetically superior warrior, whom he, notwithstanding, maims in a hand to hand combat test. He then becomes the only hope of a band of castaways scavanging an existance on a junkyard planet on which they have been marooned. Alas, they as thus deemed targets and legitimate prey for the new warriors and their odious commander. The plot suffers by a lack of consistency in the characters apart from Russell, they are too willing to go with the flow. However, once Sgt Todd is let loose to 'Kill them all Sir' this becomes a movie not to miss....more info
Soldier Kurt Russell is good as a future solder in a special unit. When the new improved versions are introduced his years of experience almost kills one of them but him and two others are killed and left on a dump planet. The only problem is Kurt wasn't quite dead yet. Some survivors of a ship crash that has lived there for years nurse him back to health. Although he was raised to have no feelings and be the best soldier he could be he develops a liking for these civilians. So much so when the improved versions do an Op on the planet and anyone there is considered hostiles, he defends the civilians. Good action movie if you enjoy movies like "No Escape" and "Universal Soldier". Good quality DVD and fair replayability. - C. Luster...more info
Regular people are the best critics! Soldier is a movie that bombed at the box office. Made for a reported $75 million, it didn't make back a quarter of that. Critics on [...] gave it a 2 percent consensus, which makes it one of the worst movies ever as fair as the critics were concerned. I have to ask why?
Like most of the other people here on the "Zon," the movie accomplished what it was looking to and did it believably. There were no notable bad actors, overly bad scenes, the plot was thin, but fine for most action movies. The only thing I can think of is that critics just don't get science fiction as well. They more understand the hundredth review they do on a revenge theme, or a crime and punishment theme, or more character driven personalized type of saving my daughter type of action movie. Throw a spaceship in and they are lost!
In a lot of ways I thought soldier made a good point on how we handle our military today. It should be observed that soldiers returning from long stints fighting terrorists, and then trying to re-enter society is going to have problems. It also may have shown some light on the often unthinking, unfeeling attitude you see with how the government treats its soldiers.
Despite the subtle politics, Soldier is a good action movie. Much of the movie played out in a similar vein like movies such as Die Hard, and Rambo that fill the action venues. Kirk Russell is convincing as a trained killing machine that no personal ambitions outside of doing his duty as a soldier and doing it well. When asked to describe his thoughts, feelings, he answers "Fear and Discipline, Sir."
I'm a science fiction and an action movie fan. I still doubt I would have committed so much money to a movie with nothing special to attract larger audiences. This is a movie that should have been made a little more on the cheap. When I saw the production values on TV, I wondered why I had never heard of this movie. Probably because the movie had little fanfare, and may have opened, then closed in the same week. Still it's a good movie, and I'm glad to see the other reviewers here at Amazon, know what they like. ...more info
Good soldiering Yes, the plot of this movie is incredibly contrived, almost absurdly so. However, the premise of the film is quite interesting. Right around present day, a top-secret government firm recruits (or should I say kidnaps?) male orphans and boys w/out any familial ties in order to mold them into perfect soldiers. The training is ruthless and the weaklings are weeded out; if you can't cut the mustard, you get whacked. In some ways, this reminds me of the regimen instituted by the Spartans of ancient Greece where boys underwent brutal instruction in the art of war between the ages of 7-20.
The movie then skips ahead 40 some odd years into the future. By this time, a new breed (literally) of warriors comes to the fore to replace the old school soldiers. This new class of warriors are genetically engineered to be military men. They endanger the old class of becoming obsolete.
There is then a competition between a champion of the old guard (Kurt Russell) vs a member of the new (Jason Scott Lee). The talents of Russell, Lee and Gary Busey are all a bit wasted in this movie, but it's nice to see bona-fide actors in an action movie. Indeed, having these 3 perform in a marginal movie like this is like hiring the Morman Tabernacle choir to sing "Happy Birthday."
This is not a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination. However, it is entertaining and boasts top-notch acting. The special effects and sets on the junk-yard-world are quite impressive, too. So, if you're looking for a solid action movie w/out a great plot to round out your action movie collection, this might just be for you. If you demand an exceptional plot from any and every movie you see, I would recommend that you pass this one by....more info
Entertaining It's a B+ movie that doesn't rise to greatness but is much better than
average SF mostly due to Kurt Russell....more info
" Fear ... fear and discipline. " The typical scifi story of a trained and battle worn warrior chosen at birth to be a deadly and obedient soldier of Nietzschean proportions that finds his sensitive side among the inhabitants of a planet used as a garbage heap for space faring travelers. Warrior spends childhood killing and conquering, warrior spends adulthood killing and conquering, warrior as veteran is disposed of in place of faster and stronger warriors, warrior finds love, community, sensitivity, and sheds tears, warrior mercilessly kills and conquers yet again. Great movie, great science fiction, definitely worth checking out....more info
Expression excellent action movie, but falls too much under a basic "action movie" during the end. THe things that save this from being a Jean-Cluad Van Damme film are one, Kurt Russels expressions on his face( ANd the fact he BLINKS ONLY ONCE!) and the unique approach to the battlefield of tomorrow. THe beginning with the kids being shot and them witnissing boars being slaughtered is the genious of how paul anderson can make things disturbing (EVENT HORIZON)....more info
See it. The soldiers depict, to a degree, what is required for a person to do the job, no matter what. Russel is excellent. This should be a movie the everyone is required to see so that they can get the perspective of why one must abandon his conscience in war, and why some people are not able to regain it....more info
Revenge of the Anti-Sith The spiritual opposite of "Star Wars III - Revenge of the Sith." Transcends sci-fi genre with a focused look at the essence of warriorhood, and what is sacrificed to create a "perfect killer." The evolution of the Kurt Russell character is a touching transformation from a souless Storm Trooper to a true citizen soldier in the ideal American tradition. But there's nothing textbook preachy about it. A lot of visual flash and pizzaz, considerable tension, and unpredictable twists because things could easily go either way, including the ending. ...more info
total junk!!! This movie was so bad, I regret even watching it on TV.Don't your money on a movie that is SO bad! It's one of Kurts trashy films (like escape from N.Y.)....more info
Don't laugh! I think this movie is one of the most overlooked of recent years. People may laugh, but I thought Kurt Russell was perfect in this--he gets my Oscar for that year. Too bad you never get nominated for a real action flick.
He says 80 words (not certain on that, but I counted them once!) but packs more into his performance than any of today's more acclaimed "actors". I've never seen an actor express so effectively with their eyes. So often I see a close up these days and either am not sure what emotion they are trying to show, or I know exactly what they are trying to display but can't help notice how poorly they are showing it.
Maybe part of it comes from the character, I'll admit. His emotions are buried due to his lifelong training, but he's seen some things that have tremendous emotional impact, so you are expecting there's something deep inside that wants to get out. And then Kurt shows it, and very effectively.
In summary, this is my favorite of the highly specific Terminator/Robocop/Ultimate Soldier sub-genre, and ends up being one of my very favorite action movies....more info
Fear . . .Discipline This is one of the great, unsung science fiction films of recent times. The story revolves around a future where soldiers are segregated and trained from the crib to be merciless, killing machines. Kurt Russel, in a great performance, plays one of these soldiers who are soon to be replaced by a genetically enhanced new breed of soldier. Sgt. Todd 3465 (Russel) is believed killed in a training exercise and disposed of like yesterday's garbage on a waste-disposal planet. He survives, finds refuge amongst a colony of planet refugees, and tries to fit in.
This is, on a very rewarding level, a tremendous action film. Russel's nemesis in the film, Sgt. Caine 607 (played by Jason Scott Lee) is an imposing presence, and the fight scenes between the two are excellent and convincing. The special effects and battle scenes are impressive as well, and really transport you to a harsh, bleak, metallic future.
On another level the film is about the discovery of emotion in the highly trained soldier as he tries to fit into a more normal society. Russel is simply outstanding in the roll, doing an incredible acting job. He speaks a total of about 20 words in the whole film, but his internal struggles are always clear and very moving.
This "learning human emotions" trick is one several science fiction films have attempted, and most are embarrassing and painful to watch, dripping with sugar and sap. "Soldier" excels in this department as Russel makes the shift from killing machine to feeling man in a subtle, believable way. The film is just very, very well done and well written. The acting is fine all the way around, and the dialogue is completely absent of those wince-producing moments films of this nature often have.
Over time, this has become one of my favorite movies. I have watched it several times with increased enjoyment each time. I have quoted dialogue from this movie on more than one occasion, particularly the moment when Sgt. Todd tries to express his feelings, and all he can verbalize is "fear . . . discipline."
This movie is carefully crafted, intelligent, and hugely entertaining from the opening credits onward....more info
Soldier Great Si-Fi action flick. This movie will be for all whom love Si-Fi movies and Kurt Russell. The price was right....more info
'Science' Fiction it's not.... The basic premise of this movie could be quite interesting - how does a man trained as a 'killing-machine' integrate back into society. Yes, it's been done before but still holds promise. The plot was adequate.
The acting was believable - no complaints there. I particularly enjoyed Sean Pertwee as 'Mace'. And Jason Isaacs has long been a favorite actor.
But what ruined the movie for me was the science. I'm not a fanatic - I have no problems with FTL travel or spaceships 'banking' on turns or loud explosions in space in movies. And I realize that movies are not 'real'. But I've never seen more 'bad' science in any one movie. My son and I watched this together and it turned into a contest seeing who could catch more bloopers.
I could go on and on detailing the scientific and logic errors in this movie - but it would take me all night. It spoiled the whole movie for me....more info
Truly, eyes are the windows of the soul. Kurt Russell barely says a hundred words in Soldier. There are no catchy one-liners to diminish his performance; he says only what is necessary and it always ends with 'Sir!'. Soldier is a cruel extrapolation of the the military's destruction of individuality. Here, soldiers are as disposable as tissues when something better comes along. Russell's performance in this movie is endlessly fascinating! His face and body language express more than any dialogue could, allowing the viewer to take as much emotional depth as he or she would have. It is interesting to find that as one tunes into this near-silent performance, one can find much more depth in the performances of the other actors in the film. If you don't want to delve into the emotional avenues of this film there are some great action sequences to keep the pace moving, including a fight with our hero and our antagonist high up on chains! The violence here is graphic. Not many punches are pulled by the director, although the commentary makes it clear that he did not go as far as he wanted. The violence is not gratuitous though. To understand our hero we must see where he came from, and that is a cold and fearsome place. I wish there were more extra features in this DVD. It only comes with a trailer and a commentary. The guys are interesting though, balancing technical aspects of the film with little bits about the actors and what they all went through during filming. I highly recommend this movie for fans of Kurt Russell, action, sci-fi and good storytelling. Thank you Paul Anderson!...more info
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It. a human trained from birth to be the ultimate soldier meets the ultimate soldier, genetically engineered to be faster, stronger, meaner. Russell does a good job coming to grips with his humanity in the action-packed futuristic drama. An interesting twist on the old story of an impersonal military trying to create the perfect warrior only to have it destroyed by a soldier fighting for something he believes in.
Kurt Russell didn't have to memorize many lines! Russell didn't say much, but he didn't have to. The picture was well directed and well acted. A very interesting story line....more info
Recycled but nominally workable throwback I can't really bring myself to either like or dislike this movie entirely. Another entry in the "future troopers" genre, it uses science fiction to explore the notion of a fierce, unstoppable, but ultimately disposable form of combat soldier. Examples of this notion have ranged from the excellent (Blade Runner, Robocop and the Terminator) to the awful (Universal Soldiers). This one's okay.
On first viewing, it reminds me of a larger-budget version of Enemy Mine, in which we get barely a glimpse of a war-torn future before the hero is dumped on a barely habitable planet, struggles for survival, and ends up in your basic action climax. Like Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. in that movie, Kurt Russell gives a performance better than his material deserves -- which isn't saying much, since a lot of Soldier plays like it was written for Stallone at the height of his Rambo misanthropy.
The cast is generally good, particularly Russell's finely understated performance -- his character's lifelong conditioning has made him incapable of expressing emotion, or even speaking conversationally (he robotically addresses everyone but the enemy as "sir"), yet he conveys enough in his body language to make more of his role than one might expect.
Another reviewer called this a sequel to Blade Runner and compared Russell's Sgt. Todd to BR's Deckard. Without arguing too much, I'd modify that by saying it's more of a Blade Runner prequel (thematically, if not literally). It's essentially the backstory of Blade Runner's Roy Batty, an enhanced combat soldier bred for offworld service but never regarded as truly human, who rebels against his shortsighted human masters and leads his followers to a prospective home on another world. Of course, Todd's stoic efficiency bears little resemblance to Batty's charismatic dark angel persona, but they're flipsides of the same coin. (The fact that both films were written by the same screenwriter becomes clear long before the credits roll -- listen for the "Tanhauser Gate" reference.)
Soldier isn't a great movie by any stretch. If anything, it has the feel of a script written back in the 80's that had gathered dust on a shelf until someone felt like filming it. Take it on that level, and it's watchable. Not great, but good enough to pass a little time....more info
Good acting, but poor scientific verisimilitude --- SOLDIER is very good praxeological ("soft") speculative fiction in that it employs thoughtful extrapolation of sociological and psychological trends to establish the premises upon which it is based. What's more, anyone who decries Kurt Russell's work in this film betrays an ignorance of acting and a lack of good taste that fits the silly booger perfectly for a career as a newspaper movie critic. More punishing insult I cannot possibly offer.
The problem with this movie is that there are aspects of the production that beat the living hell out of us "hard" science fiction fen. Back in 1969, in his essay "Science Fiction: its nature, faults and virtues" (*The Science Fiction Novel*), Robert A. Heinlein made the following comment on the genre:
"A handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method.
"To make this definition cover all science fiction (instead of 'almost all') it is necessary only to strike out the word 'future.'"
In 1981, Heinlein followed up in "Ray Guns and Space Ships" (*Expanded Universe*) with:
"Science Fiction is speculative fiction in which the author takes as his first postulate the real world as we know it, including all established facts and natural laws. The result can be extremely fantastic in content, but it is not fantasy; it is legitimate -- and often very tightly reasoned -- speculation about the possibilities of the real world. This category excludes rocket ships that make U-turns, serpent men of Neptune that lust after human maidens, and stories by authors who flunked their Boy Scout merit badge tests in descriptive astronomy."
And that last particularly sums up the true science fiction fan's problems with SOLDIER. Posit a spacegoing civilization and tell me, please, that they would ever bother going through the expense (economic as well as thermodynamic) and bother of hauling refined metal and other salvagable scrap materials out of one gravity well and then carelessly dumping the stuff on the surface of a planet somewhere else (i.e., at the bottom of yet *ANOTHER* gravity well). Even if they were planning future colonization of that windy mudball, anyone but a mundane (or a dimwitted fan of "soft" sci-fi) would know that all that junk could be more efficiently and cost-effectively used in a microgravity environment (in other words: up in orbit) as raw materials for any contemplated new manufactures. Once you've achieved the technology necessary for spaceflight, it's simply easier and less costly to make most rough and finished goods in space than on a planetary surface. That's true today, and cannot be otherwise in the future.
The whole of this idiocy is summed up by the director's use of a particularly gormless background image: a bloody great aircraft carrier flopped over on its port side (apparently the *USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt* -- like you couldn't set the damned thing down on its keel?) with the island superstructure sticking up at a 45-degree angle. Yeesh.
SOLDIER is an entertaining movie, and I extoll Kurt Russell's work in this film. He is generally quite horribly underappreciated as an actor, and his professionalism -- here as elsewhere -- is beyond reproach. This having been said, would it have killed the silly sonsabitches responsible for the production values in SOLDIER to have gotten input from some people who understand "established facts and natural laws" and who aren't (like writer David Webb Peoples, director Paul W.S. Anderson, and production designer David L. Sawyer) total and absolute mundane cement-heads?
--------- Note: One of the earlier reviewers mentioned that SOLDIER is set in the same plenum as the inappropriately-titled 1982 movie BLADE RUNNER (drawn, like so many of the past two decades' ghodawful dimwitted "skiffy" flicks, from the work of hack SF writer Philip K. Dick [1928-1982], who is the unspeakably mundane Modern Language Association's present-day darling, his signal claim to fame being a Hugo Award given for THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE , and who has been for the most part largely -- and rightfully -- ignored by hard science fiction fen). The reviewer's surmise is incorrect, as there are also in-joke references to a bunch of other sci-fi movies, including Russell's own ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and the Star Trek film THE WRATH OF KHAN....more info
Some more refinement and this would be a truly great film This movie reminds me of the graphic novel War Machine. The novel is about a genetically created soldier who was trained since birth to serve with unfaltering loyalty and does so until he is abandoned. Both the book and the movie have that similar story of a futuristic soldier trained since birth who defies his leaders for a moral solution. They are two very different and specific stories mind you. But I digress. Soldier is kind of a mixed bag of action and a little heart, with some quirks as well. Ultimately what you get is a great movie with some gaping flaws that still make it a pretty good flick in the end.
I think the biggest feather in this movie's cap is seeing dispossessed soldier Todd, played by Kurt Russell, interact with civilians and try to unlearn his conditioning. It is not done in a cheesy way like having Todd shed his first tear or anything like that. The script seems to respect the fact that you cannot change yourself overnight. Also theew is a love interest of sorts that is pretty much unrequited. At least through the course of the movie. Again these things don't change overnight. Kurt hardly says a line and still shines in this movie. Some might disagree, but I think Kurt Russel's acting was very well done and appropriate for the kind of character he was. Most of it is in his eyes. The acting is real subtle but very effective.
Cinematography was nice. Colored lenses were used in basic but effective ways. The junk planet landscape gave a good post-apocalyptic feel (again with color filters adding to the ambience). The guns and tech should keep you military types drooling. Big guns and even more massive assault vehicles were definitely fun to see in action. The special effects are very good and not overdone, and thats always a nice touch.
The plot is solid enough. The thing is they do some odd things in the movie. I mean REALLY odd things like officers ordering these super soldiers to fight each other to the death to prove a point and other strangeness. The truly stupid stuff comes around the end when Todd goes toe to toe with newer soldiers. I can't figure out why genetically enhanced soldiers that are made to ignore pain scream like little girls when they are dying. Also the soldiers themselves don't seem to have much of a concept of small unit tactics. They just walk in and shoot. I suppose that is explained well enough with captains and colonels arguing over the unit having no real combat experience. Todd doesn't seem to have a problem using surprise tactics, but the 'new recruits' didn't seem to get it. I don't know... this military of the future is pretty dirt dumb.
This DVD is pretty sparse on special features, but you do get a pretty informative commentary by director Paul Anderson, co-producer Jeremy Bolt and Jason Isaacs (the mean colonel from the movie). Other than you get get some production notes, the trailer and some subtitles in English and French. Not exactly a sweet lineup, but you do get a good commentary.
Soldier is a good film. I think Russell and the social evolution of his character Todd is what makes the movie more than just another sci-fi shoot fest. If the story overview sounds interesting to you and you can forgive some oddball soldier maneuvers then go ahead and see this movie. Soldier won't win any awards, but I finished watching it thinking the movie was pretty good.
Starring Kurt Russell-- and the Commish!!! Every once in a while (actually, pretty much every time Kurt Russell makes a movie), a movie comes around that sucks so bad that you really have to love it. Soldier is such a movie. From the asinine plot to the cheesey special effects, this movie blows-- but I loved it so much that the first time I watched it, I literally had to watch it twice in a row! I really don't see how anyone could not love this movie, especially since it also stars Garey Busey AND the Commish (who knows his real name?). So despite sucking, this movie comes with very high recommendations. You WILL be entertained!...more info
Fear and discipline Not a huge budget killer movie, but definately a good movie to watch if you like future scifi movies. Kurt Russell does a really good job of playing the emotionless killing machine without feelings. Upon becoming "obsolete" and tossed with the garbage, he never loses the spirit of a hardened soldier. Cool effects and weapons, gotta love the chain gun in any movie. Worth buying on Amazon if you like future scifi and/or Kurt Russell....more info
Great movie We just happened to be channel surfing and came across the opening credits for this movie. We had no idea what the name of the movie was, but it sure peaked our interest! Every time I wanted to change the channel, I kept going back to it because I didn't want to miss anything!! I dont even like futuristic movies like this! I love Kurt Russell and he barely said anything in the movie, but it sure didn't matter. I had to google this movie just to get the name of it!!...more info
"Do you know how much it costs to breed you, you big moron?" Paul W.S. Anderson's "Soldier" is a film with a fascinating premise. Unfortunately, that premise was never realized to its full potential. What could have been a gritty, science fiction equivalent of "Shane" is instead a derivative cinematic mess that is shockingly devoid of energy or conviction. Oh, what could have been.
Sgt. Todd (Kurt Russell) is a legend in his own time but faces obsolescence when a new generation of genetically-enhanced super soldiers arrive on the scene. When Todd is forced to combat Sgt. Caine (Jason Scott Lee), it becomes painfully apparent that he and his colleagues are inferior to their successors. Todd is left for dead on a junkyard planet but finds a new purpose for himself when he becomes the protector of the planet's inhabitants. Forced into a showdown with the soldiers that replaced him, Todd stands his ground and proves to the military commanders overseeing the battle that new is not necessarily better than old.
"Soldier" is an empty and hollow film which boasts some great visuals but little else. The film feels like a series of skits that were assembled with no transitions between them. Furthermore, the embattled populace that Todd protects is so thinly developed that we form no interest in their plight. When they come under fire, they strike the viewer as merely actors and actresses feigning panic. They do not come across as living, breathing cinematic characters who are being threatened by the situation at-hand. Thus, there is no vested emotional interest in seeing Todd save the day. Making matters worse is the wooden performance Lee delivers. The charismatic Jason Scott Lee from "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (1993) is nowhere to be found here. His character is a bore and easily one of the least-convincing baddies of the 1990's. Russell tries his best to salvage the film but in the end "Soldier" winds up being one of those films that leaves you wondering to yourself why you dropped good money to see it....more info
Soldier Had this in video and wore it out. Loved the premis and concept. Russell is no slouch either
Surprise for the box office bomb Although this movie didn't do great at the box office, it continues to provide a strong multi-level entertainment.
Yes, the movie has good sci-fi action adventure complete with believeable sets, futuristic equipment and a Sparta like training regimine taken to an extreme end--but, we also find the emotional content of the soldier who was de-humanized from training become human again after meeting the loving family. We find a small tramatized child who shares a "quiet" in common with the soldier. The soldier is also dealing with "old age" after a fashion.
For me, this movie makes it into my personal top ten. However, as everyone has different tastes, I recommend that the reader go rent this video and then, I believe he or she will come back to Amazon and order it....more info
Great Entertainment, Great Acting This is a fantastic science fiction movie with great action, storyline, and acting. Kurt Russel is particularly fantastic in this because he barely even says 25 words the whole show. Yet, he is able to portray such a complex character that transforms as the storyline unfolds.
After being trained from birth to be an elite killer soldier, following orders at all costs, and completely devoid of humanity and human feelings, Todd finds himself disposed of when he is replaced by a better soldier. He is dumped on a waste disposal planet where survivors of a crash are living. He lives among them and ultimately defends them when the "better soldiers" arrive on a training mission.
This movie moves very fast, so we are not bored at all. And the storyline is so interesting, though somewhat bloody, that we are engrossed the entire time. I recommend this for fans of science fiction and unusual science fiction since Kurt Russel does such a good job as a main character who barely speaks but tells an incredible story....more info
Destined To Be A Closet Classic! I applaud the writer, director and star of Soldier - great work!
The story brought in some interesting concepts - something to think about. Soldiers trained from birth - a life of incessant training and combat. It makes you ask yourself questions. How far off is this from the athletes from the primarily former Eastern Bloc who's life was geared around Olympic competition? How far off is making newborns wards of the State and inducting them into this kind of life? The story also asked the question: What does someone who has known nothing but military training and combat think and feel? It's really something else. Another thing that I was pleased to see was the triumph of Man over Technology. While the new Soldiers are genetically superior to Dodd and his men, they lack the intuition, creativity, and combat experience that the "old ones" have.
The director's influence on the story was obvious in the use of story/plot over special effects (though they did exist). Use of the camera was expert in such scenes as Dodd's flashback as he is using the large metal can as a punching bag - it comes as no surprise that out of instinct and pure reaction that he attacks the man who suddenly comes into the room. Excellent setting of mood and building of suspense.
Kurt Russell himself plays an excellent character. He pulls off alot of combinations that other actors may very well have shyed away from. For example, he definitely put on some muscle for this film, but at the same time this hulking and scarred Soldier is at times terrified, compassionate, and paternal...all the while not coming out of the hardened state of the character. Bravo.
All in all, the untrained eye may see this as a low-budget sci-fi film (again, few special effects - sometimes the primary judging factor of a sci-fi film, sadly). I, however, see this film as making a statement and showing off the style and skill of all involved....more info
Sue me, I loved this movie I just want to thank Kurt Russell for doing this movie. It's not often that A-list quality actors do movies like this. Sure, it had a fairly low budget, but that never got in the way. Every dollar is on the screen. I'm glad I bought it; I've already seen it two or three times and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're searching for a plot heavy, dramatic, Oscar-caliber movie, then I would urge you to keep looking. If you're a guy (or gal) who is sometimes in the mood for a good, lean, military sci-fi flic, then I urge you to check this one out....more info
Action flick with a heart I didn't expect to like this sf/f action movie when I picked it up, but it surprised me by having quite a bit of heart to it. There are still too many things going up in fire for my taste, but the characters are good and the trash planet of Arcadia is beautifully shot. All of the actors turn in good performances. Of special note are Jason Isaacs as the sleazy Colonel Mekum, Gary Busey as Captain Church, Jason Scott Lee as Caine, the super soldier, James Black as Riley (he has one, maybe two lines total in the whole movie yet conveys so much through his eyes and face that you come away feeling that you know something about his character), Connie Nielsen as Sandra, Brenda Wehle as Hawkins, and Sean Pertwee as Mace. It's a good ensemble cast, and while no one performance overwhelms the others, I was quite impressed with Sean Pertwee's turn as Mace. He has a quiet presence on screen that makes you want to watch him and see what he does....more info
Soldier Few actors could accomplish what Kurt Russell does with this character. He manages to convey so much without uttering more than a dozen lines. Some are one word lines at that. He turns a cold-blooded killer into a flawed and likeable hero. This movie show cases true talent....more info
Much Maligned Film Deserves to Be Seen Critically smashed at the time and DOA at the box office, Soldier was one a huge run of mega budgeted flops Warner Bros released in 1997 & 1998. But the suprise is how good this by the numbers sci-fi actioner really is.
Kurt Russell gives one of his most phenomenal performances as the emotionally stunted lead character. It's a true tour de force of cinematic acting-he hardly says a word, but his eyes, expression and body language surge through the screen.
Paul WS Anderson's direction is efficient and tight, it's more his approach to the the look and feel of the material that's the problem. David Webb People's script is terrific and you can't help but wonder what Ridley Scott or John McTiernan might have be able to do with this.
This is kind of an 80's throwback that you could imagine being an absolute blockbuster for Schwarzenegger in his prime- but it's 10 years too late, despite the brilliant work of it's star....more info
A very emotional action film! My mom was in tears! As far as memorable action movies come, I have extremely hard time forgetting Curt Russell's Soldier. The premise of Soldier is great. It is about a ice-human killing machine who wants to feel. But unlike other people Todd (Russell) grew up under millitary control that brainwashed him to be nothing more but a killer. It is hard journey for Todd, he has to become human and in the process he will kick some serious butt....more info
Kurt Russell does it all with his face. As much as I like the storyline, what makes this film is the fine job Kurt Russell does with only a half-dozen or so lines. It is the lines on his face that convey what is going on inside this charactor whose only feelings are "fear and discipline". This is a terrific story of awakening humanity in an individual deprived from birth of such things, and some of the best scenes are between Russell and Connie Nelson's character as he tries to fit into the frightening world of normal life. I knocked off a couple of stars for "borrowed" plot lines from similar-themed films, and gave one back for Russell's fine performance....more info
Ugh, this old theme again? ...
Anyway, I would call this movie mediocre. Okay plot, but nothing to expansive. The acting is okay, but over emotional and predictable. The plotline in particular is very predictable. From the moment Kurt Russell falls off the rope wall fight event, with his opponent, whom he scars, you know that you will see his scarred opponent again elsewhere in the movie. The movie's main villain, a westpoint snob, is like a Snidley Whiplash ripoff, with a weapon wielding Dudley Do-right ...
The action is decent, but the usual predictable implications of honor, and veiled morals are evident.
In short nothing special. Seen a million others just like it....more info
Starts out Strong / Gets a Little Weak Later On "Soldier" is a great movie. I really enjoyed it. A friend gave it to me - thanks, bud.
The movie starts out really strong. I found it to be pretty believable in the beginning. As it shows Todd progress from baby to ruthless soldier/killer, the progression is very interesting to watch. It is a strong part of the movie of which I wish we had seen more.
The middle of the movie comes to life quite well also. I enjoyed watching as Sgt. Todd interacted with regular people and tried to come to grips with being human. This is another really strong part of the movie, and I wish this part could have been extended a bit more, to have let us seen the soul of the man. Watching him trying to adjust into "normal" life is one of the best parts.
Ironically, the worst part about the movie about a soldier is when the movie requires him to start doing action scenes as a soldier. There was nothing wrong with Kurt Russell's performance at all, but the plot at this point started to seem very contrived.
I disliked the fact that they made the bad commander guy to be "evil" by having him make fun of the old troops, criticize the one new soldier for losing his eye, and other silly instances. That was not necessary. It was also not necessary to show that he is a coward by having him piss on himself.
I feel that the end of the movie would have been more effective had they shown the attacking troops attacking for a legitimate reason other than "the enemy commander is evil and we need to give Sgt. Todd somebody to fight." As I said, the whole fight sequence seemed contrived. It was interesting to watch, to be sure, but the story by that point was pretty darn weak and getting weaker and weaker.
Luckily the movie redeems itself at the very end, narrowly in time just before the credits come up. So it does have a good ending. But I just keep thinking to myself that this movie could have been more than what it was. It started out as an intense psychological sci-fi war movie and ended up as a cheap action flick. A little bit disappointing.
My favorite part in the movie is where Todd puts on the facial war paint and says, "I'm going to kill them, sir." You've got to love that part!
As others have mentioned, this movie tries to rely on story rather than special effects. I think it succeeds for the most part. The special effects are still quite good though. The junk scenery backgrounds were downright breathtaking. I was really impressed by those effects, and that doesn't happen often. Usually movies these days are so busy cramming effects down your throat, one after another, in such fast sequence that you never have time to appreciate them. (Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith immediately spring to mind). I like the style of this movie much better.
Kurt Russell's performance as Sgt. Todd is extremely effective. The minimalist approach works best here, and he does an outstanding job. The man still looks awesome in a flat-top. He's looked cool in one ever since Stargate. (That movie was the reason I tried to wear a flat-top, for a while. It seems my head is just not the right shape for such an animal :)
So the bottom line: this is a great movie. The only reason I give this 4 stars rather than 5 is that I feel like it could have been more. While the movie was good, the action portion of the story left me feeling a little unsatisfied. This may be the type of movie that would have done better if it had been written with less action and more of a character-driven story. But I've got no real complaints. Recommended....more info
El Sucko! I am a big fan of Kurt Russell but this movie sucks. And as Forrest Gump said, "thats all I have to say about that."...more info
Missing In Action On second thought, my title to this review should be "Missing THE Action", which is the film's dominating and damning problem: starring action hero Kurt Russell ("Escape from New York") and directed by genre resident Paul Anderson ("Mortal Kombat"), I expected "Soldier" to be a veritable action-powerhouse...yet the film goes beyond missing its mark and lacks any definitive direction - unsure if it wants to be a an action flick, a survival story, or a social critique.
"Todd" (Russell) is a soldier born into and raised in your typical lifelong military program: taught to kill as soon as he can walk, he excels in his training and becomes the callous veteran of many conflicts. However, when a rival program pits its stronger, faster units against the older models in an exhibition, Todd is presumed killed and his body is dumped on a designated garbage disposal planet. Here, he settles in with a close-knit community of exiles, and slowly begins to attain a level of humanity he never knew...until the new breed of soldiers, in an effort to gain combat experience, is dispatched to the planet to weed out its inhabitants.
As said before, the film lacks action - or, at the very least, lacks satisfying action: with the exception of two encounters with rival soldier "Caine" (a hunky Jason Scott Lee, "The Jungle Book"), Russell has no hand-to-hand fights, and the only firefight - a slow-moving 17-on-1 shoot-`em-up - doesn't occur until the film's last twenty minutes. The rest of the movie focuses solely on Todd getting acquainted and trying to fit in with his hosts, and for a lack of a more delicate phrase, this is very boring: though an accomplished actor, Russell lacks the subtlety in this film to make his rarely-speaking character appear like anything besides a guy who doesn't understand what the heck is going on - lots of pursed-lip, wide-eyed staring. But he calls everyone "sir" - even women.
The rest of the performers - including Connie Nielsen ("One Hour Photo") and Gary Busey ("Under Siege") - are generally passable in their portrayals, but aren't given an opportunity to add to the script. The film's graphics are visibly outdated, and the sets range from okay-ish to dollar-budget. However, the more significant fault lies in the film's sense of morality: the faction that bred Russell's character is seen exercising cruelty and infanticide, yet when the bigger and better soldiers with the cockier commander (Jason Isaacs, "The Patriot") arrive, the folks behind Todd's creation are suddenly turned into good guys. In addition, the over-the-top militarism displayed has no purpose: it's never revealed why a program to turn out such soldiers is even required, and the attack on the exiled colony happens for no other reason than that the commander is a jerk.
While I was expecting Anderson's trademark style of pop-direction and not much of a story, "Soldier" is a significant step below average for the man who brought us "Mortal Kombat" and "Resident Evil", and it's not hard to see why the film flopped back in 1998. In short, this movie isn't going to stir too much interest with either sci-fi or action fans, and Kurt Russell devotees have definitely seen better from their man. Leave this one on the shelf unless you're desperate....more info
Terrific B movie action adventure science fiction film Written as sort of a sequel to Blade Runner (it takes place within the same universe) by David Peeples (Unforgiven, Blade Runner), Soldier is a rarity now days; it's a B-Movie masquerading as an A movie. I said it was a rarity because it also doesn't have any pretentions to be anything but that. Kurt Russell plays a man born and bred to be a ruthless, brutal soldier. When he's injured, he's discarded like yesterday's news on a planet where much of Earth's waste is dumped. When the latest genetically enhanced soldiers arrive to dispose of the inhabitants of the planet, Russell's character is pushed into action; he's discovered the barest hints of humanity and compassion that was always denied him before. He's taken to these underdogs and they to him almost as a family.
In many respects the plot for Solider could have been lifted from a Clint Eastwood Western. Here's The Man With No Name suddenly discovering an emotional core he never knew he had. He helps the less fortunate not because of pity but because he realizes he finally belongs. Russell's performance is masterful. While the Russell doesn't have much dialog, he manages to convey what makes the character tick with minimum discussion. Russell uses body language to communicate as much as the dialog. In many respects, he's a variation on the character of Rick Deckard from Blade Runner. He's a man of action that ceases to exist between assignments. This cypher like character suddenly discovers he is more than his past and his actions. In the process he rediscovers his own humanity. Soldier makes a complimentary piece to the Mad Max series.
The film uses the action and science fiction genre for a springboard to examine a lot of different themes and issues but, make no mistake, it is still an ACTION film. The stunts are well choregraphed and the visual effects effective but it isn't drenched in the CGI we've come to expect movies of this type to have.
The DVD transfer is very good as is the audio quality. The extras includes commentary by director Paul W. S. Anderson (Event Horizon, Resident Evil), a theatrical trailer, production notes and both the wide and full screen editions of the movie. My only complaint is the fact that writer David Peeples isn't given any room for a commentary track. Since he's truly the author of the film (and it was intended as a sequel of sorts or companion piece to Blade Runner), it would have been very interesting to get his take on the finished product.
Solider isn't Citizen Kane nor does it pretend to be; it's like many of the classic B-Movies of the 50's to the 80's (most notably The Terminator)in that there's far more than meets the eye going on here....more info
It doesn't get much worse than this! You know when you're sitting around on a Saturday afternoon, and some pathetically terrible, 1980's sci-fi movie comes on and it's SO bad that you end up watching it all? That's exactly what happened to me with Soldier, but this movie was made in 1998!!
This is the kind of movie, acting, and directing that gives sci-fi a bad name outside a few franchises, and ensures we don't get much in the way of original movies. Kurt Russell packs wide-eyed looks into the camera as a substitute for acting; the director uses generic music and sudden and *dramatic* slow-motion shots to add 'feeling' to the movie. The world is eternally dark and gloomy, only lit by the constant over-bright fires. Kurt Russell is too big a name for this movie, and none of the other parts are done any justice by the terrible acting.
One of the worst movies I've seen in a LONG time! Ranks up there with Battlefield Earth and Lost in Space....more info