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|Index||377 reviews in total|
...we are to believe that in the event we ever discover another planet with a breathable oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, we would travel the many light years on a noble quest to.....dump our garbage? Gotcha. That's the only aspect of this film (I use that term loosely) that is worth a second thought.
Shane in outer-space. Soldier is from the writer of Blade Runner & Unforgiven. Kurt Russell plays Sergeant Todd a man who has been used as an automated tool for the military. Trained from birth to be the perfect soldier. The prologue depicting Todds relentless training is an effective set up for a story about the psychology of warfare, the challenges of re-adjusting to civilian life, and whether or not it's actually better to create a cold killing machine to survive the horrors of war. Soldier is relentless and you cannot resist watching as it makes points about the psychological aspects of being a soldier. It shows us a inhuman killer like Todd what it means to really feel and to have something worth fighting for. A simple classic cowboy science fiction/Western. Soldier is one of the most underrated films of all time it didn't deserve to bomb when it was released ,don't listen to the hate. Give it a watch. It's credit is finally due.
Here's another movie that was marketed to the wrong audience and
therefore died at the box office. I found Soldier to be a profound
meditation on violence and beauty. Kurt Russell delivers yet another
exemplary-but-unclaimed performance. His Sgt. Todd is an Everyman who
does his duty, no questions, and is tossed out with the rest of the
garbage when the next new thing comes along. From that point, Russell's
facial expressions combine with the sensuous camera-work of the
cinematographer to provoke the questions: Do I deserve love, beauty,
and community? and: When, if ever, is violence necessary? This is a
flick I'd recommend to the content guardians who are knee-jerk haters
of violence. Soldier uses violence appropriately, intelligently. It is
a film for grown-ups. Then again, censors rarely get that point. Bottom
line: When you watch this film, you have to watch everything that is
going on. It's not just another action flick.
Highly recommendation for a 90's and action sci-fi lovers! My ratings: 8 out of 10.
1998's Soldier is a science fiction action film written by David Webb Peoples. For those unaware, Peoples co-wrote Blade Runner and Twelve Monkeys, and scripted Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, among several other credits. The writer actually considers Soldier to be a spiritual cousin to Blade Runner, and a "side-quel" since it takes place in the same filmic universe. However, Soldier is also directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson), a director who likes to make trashy action flicks and who gets a lot of flack for his efforts. Hence, while Peoples' script might have been more substantive at some stage, the end result is merely an entertaining action film with a few nice ideas, and it works in that sense.To the credit of Peoples and Anderson, Soldier takes its time to build the characters and observe Todd as he struggles to ingratiate himself into a more peaceful culture. Peoples' script has a number of things on its mind, exploring if it's possible for a lifelong killing machine to assimilate themselves back into society.Anderson gets a lot of hate for his movies, but he knows how to construct fluid and exciting action scenes. The fight choreography here is solid, and the gun battles are bad-ass. When Todd cuts loose and sets out to eliminate his opponents, Soldier is insanely entertaining.Russell was handed a tough task in portraying Todd. Although the star is on-screen practically all the time, he only says about 100 words throughout the entire movie. Instead of using words to convey his character's feelings, Russell had to do all the heavy lifting with facial expressions and body language. And he pulls it off beautifully. It's a terrifically nuanced performance, showing that Russell is a better actor than he gets credit for. Also in the cast is Isaacs, who essentially plays a cartoonish, moustache-twirling villain. It's a cheesy role, but Isaacs seems to be in the right spirit. Gary Busey is here as well, showing us why every movie can benefit from a touch of Busey.unfortunately, the film was a box office disaster, grossing less than $15 million at the domestic box office and predominantly going straight-to-video in the rest of the world. The critics used it as a punching bag, as well. But it matters not. As long as you can accept the movie for what it is, it's a blast.
I still enjoy this movie. Sure it is exaggerated and simplistic, sure
it is just another "Rambo" set in the future and a far away planet
instead of a forest or jungle. As a kid, I watched it mainly for the
action and Kurt Russell. I thought Kurt Russell was mesmerizing as Todd
and I could really relate to his character. Nowadays it is mostly for
its theme and still Kurt Russell that I watch the movie. (I'll get
deeper into the theme). There is lots of action, but on the more naivé
and simplistic side. With a Rambo-like character that can take on a
whole army without getting a scratch, standard stuff for your average
action movie. But although with the simple premise and approach, I
still feel interest in this movie. It is not a groundbreaking movie. It
is not the most well made movie, but it doesn't take itself too
seriously, which is good. With a subtle and convincing performance of
Now to the real reason why I like this movie: the theme. The theme has been explored many times before but I still find it interesting in this movie. The theme is dehumanization, it has been explored better and deeper, like in Stanley Kubrick's 'Full Metal Jacket'. Also 'Full Metal Jacket' has a much more punching power than this movie. But in 'Soldier' it was quite touching with Todd's character development (Although I like Joker's character development better) and its exploration to its theme. Whilst in 'Full Metal Jacket', we get to see the consequences of dehumanization and its effects on mankind in the end, in 'Soldier' we head in the other direction where our main character begin to act more human and regain his humanity. Kind of like the other side of the coin. But I honestly prefer 'Full Metal Jacket', I feel it is more honest. But 'Soldier' is still an above average action movie even though it is quite simplistic. I honestly feel this movie is worth watching over and over again. Oh, also Kurt Russell doesn't spend half of his time on-screen spitting out cheesy one-liners like you would normally get in its genre, which I quite like.
I give the movie 7/10
Version I saw: UK DVD release
Photography/visual style: 7/10
It is not widely known, but Soldier is actually a 'side-quel', set in the same world as Blade-Runner. It mentions a couple of details in passing which mark the connection. It is mainly notable, however, for being the follow-up of director Paul W.S. Anderson to the seminal Event Horizon.
Anderson's career has become increasingly shaky, arguably deteriorating progressively from a high-water mark that was the eerie sci-fi horror film Event Horizon. Some of his output has veered dangerously close to outright B-movie fare.
Soldier is, in some ways, a throwback to the 1980s, an era of bold, brash action movies with muscular male stars. It even has a couple of representatives of that period, in the form of star Kurt Russell and supporting player Gary Busey. They feed into a theme of old vs. new, mature vs. inexperienced, that I thought would be the entire backdrop to the story.
It turns out that this was only a prelude. Russell's titular warrior loses heavily, and is cast out to survive in the wilderness, amongst poor scavengers. Here, it becomes clear that the skills and temperament that made him an excellent soldier, and indeed that were ruthlessly ground into him, are handicaps in any other context. This puts it in a field with the likes of All Quiet on the Western Front, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, First Blood and right up to the much more recent American Sniper and Ender's Game. Admittedly, having said that, it is far from flattered by these comparisons, but it deserves some credit for tackling an issue, which is more than can be said for many of those dumb 80s actioners.
Russell has always been a likable lead, and has only grown in experience. In Soldier, he needs every ounce of it, because his character is so laconic as to be practically mute. So much of his performance comes in the form of body language and facial expressions, constituting a hundred different gradations just of stoic determinedness and confusion/uncertainty. There's something... efficient about his performance that rather impressed me.
Another thing that impressed me somewhat was the special effects. By today's standards, CGI from this period often looks very ropey. However, Anderson cleverly places these special effects shots in the background and doesn't draw attention to them, so that they enhance the far-future outer space setting without coming under excessive scrutiny.
When it comes down to it, though, Soldier is first and foremost an action film. For all the other themes explored to a degree in the movie, by far the theme most explored is that of men fighting each other. But that certainly has its place, and has become Anderson's metier. I hear Pompeii is pleasingly daft and enjoyable, and if he is not going to go back to the tense, intense horror of Event Horizon, this will more than suffice.
I don't know if most people will like this film, but I have to confess that I thought it was a blast. Don't expect too much in terms of story, character development, etc, but if you're looking for a fun, 80's Schwarzenegger style kick ass sci-fi action film, this is it.
What Anderson managed to achieve on this film was probably pay his bills. Now, before we go on blaming any directors for the final cut, bear in mind that studios have the final word in all aspects to their "investment". However, I don't believe Russell was desperate enough to sign on an other "by the numbers" production. Be that as it may, Soldier has nothing going for it. A "sidequel" to Blade Runner ? I do not see ANY consistencies between the two besides the scribe; David Webb Peoples. He also scribed Unforgiven. Ironically,that's the impression I have for Anderson on this film. We get a automaton, unemotional Soldier who is obsolete and is out-casted then finds himself in situations unimaginable. Well, you could do a lot with that and make it work. But Anderson feels that it makes for a kick-ass reason to jack up a body-count. The survivors seem to exist as a catalyst for unfortunate events and thereby give a man who knows nothing about being a person. But everything about being the alpha soldier. Anyway, I do see a lot of effort from an action perspective, but not as much as on a narrative one. I don't understand why Anderson feels action will make the movie over plot ? Is it a stretch ? For Anderson ? Yes! While I do like the final fight, that is not enough to substantiate a good movie. As I said, the survivors act as a catalyst to ramp up the "I must avenge..." cliché/turning point body-count. What works on paper and in Anderson's head, may not work on a film. Apparently, Anderson is trying to pigeonhole himself with mindless actioneers with that other no talent, hack; Michael Bay. What's worse, is that Anderson usually writes his own material and that they keep selling. Thus, his motivation for stronger stories is lacking. Russell knew quick $ when he sees it. All he did was deliver a mute and stoic soldier. But there was no humanity to him. So introverted and invulnerable except for his "arc" where he weeps alligator tears for banishment. I have a feeling, that Russell had a guilty feeling regarding his participation and had foresight to see that this wasn't going to work.
It is very rare that Kurt Russell makes a mediocre film. He is a very
talented actor. Many of his character roles have been very convincing
when they're need to be and is good at making laughs too. But what made
him sign onto this project was beyond my comprehension. It's hard
enough to accept that the story itself could be passed off as a cinema
production, let alone this be a good movie. There was so much more
director Paul W.S. Anderson could have done with this.
Kurt Russell is Todd, a genetically altered human being, created to serve in the military. Todd is a muscular, silent, and deadly warrior. His skills are top notch and his killing is callous. He has no fear of anything. He is simply a human version of the T-800 endoskeleton from The Terminator (1984). That's cool stuff. However the character of Todd is another story. Todd is basically the equivalence of having a conversation with a rock. He has no social skills and his ability to communicate is through violence. That's not a fun character to watch when one is trying to understand them.
But nothing lasts forever. Soon the people who bio-engineered Todd are able to create even more powerful human soldiers. It is to Todd's discretion that he is discharged and eliminated. What the higher command doesn't know is that Todd's not dead. And the planet that he was dumped on is now going to receive some unexpected help. Now it is up to Todd to protect a group of people from being annihilated and break them free from their universal prison. This is where he begins to gain the ability to be more human. But by the time this happens, the movie is dismally over. The reason the terminator is more amiable than Todd is how fast it is able to process information and become more human. Todd is not a computer and it takes him a long time to start being a likable character.
The planet that these refugees hide in is dull. From background to front screen, everything is the same color; beige. Even the sky is beige. The ground is made up of a granular dirt and it's always windy. All this does is prevent the audience from having a clear image of what is going on in every scene, not to mention, everything is covered in sand. The plot lagged as well. This is supposed to be a sci-fi action film, not a drama. And that's all that kept getting pushed on me while I was watching this for more than half the time.
It wasn't until the last few acts did I really enjoy this film. Why - because finally there was some action. The army that Todd once belonged to returns to the planet he was dropped into to exterminate the outcasts that he lived with. It's at this point that Russell finally puts those muscles to work, especially when it comes to that Gatling gun! It reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger too much but it was fun to remember. It's really cool how Todd was able to defy all odds and take on an entire army and come out with only a few scratches. However, this is all I can give it. The ending is nice too but in no way could I see Todd being anything but what he was "brought up" to be.
Kurt Russell probably had fun but as for audiences go, the feeling may be the complete opposite. Nothing is new, fascinating or funny about this in general. The few action scenes are the only entertainment here.
Kurt Russell excels in this military action adventure sci fi movie with a brevity of dialogue and solid acting. The polar dynamics operating here between an extreme version of a brainwashed, brutalized military soldier and the rudimentary cobbled together tribe of families forgotten in the backwash of a garbage heap of a world is fascinating to watch. This mainstream movie is a clear step above the average action movie by highly acting over exaggerated drama. The martial art scenes aren't fancy, but gritty, raw and well photographed fighting sequences. The movie delicately dances through the obvious stereotypes but with a sensitive undertone, avoiding the obnoxious tendency towards syrupy overplay. An entertaining, meaningful, and emotionally connecting movie. 8/10.
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