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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.
Soldier is a 1998 science fiction film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The film, classified as a thriller, starred Kurt Russell as a futuristic soldier named Todd 364. The film also featured Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, and Sean Pertwee.The critics used this film as a punching bag much like the character in the film Todd hits, it didn't deserve the bashing it got.All in all, the film never bored me at any point. The film was written by David Webb Peoples, and was intended to be a sidestory/Spiritual Successor to Blade Runner (to the point that multiple references to Runner are seen throughout the film).A committed performance by Kurt Russell that deserved to be far more appreciated he really does a lot with little, every gesture and movement . A science-fiction Western at its finest. Shane in space.
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
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Director Paul Anderson's Soldier is a really under rated and misunderstood action movie starring the legendary Kurt Russell. The screenplay was written by David Webb Peoples who is best known for penning classics like Blade Runner and Unforgiven. Set in a dystopian, futuristic sci fi setting. Kurt Russell is Sgt. Todd, a super soldier killing machine who has since birth only known fear and discipline. In this function, Todd excels. Todd was bred to be a soldier and by age 40 he has spent his entire life fighting and training. He ends up getting replaced by a new genetically engineered soldier that is faster and stronger. He is left for dead under high command and resides on a waste disposal planet in a community of outcasts. Todd has trouble coping with domestic life and throughout the course of the film finds some humanity. The new soldiers lack experience and end up on the waste disposal planet. The commander(Jason Issacs) has declared any survivors are hostiles and are to be used as target practice. What the military does not know is they are occupying Todd's new home and he has a score to settle. Soldier is mostly a straight up action movie, but there is a whole lot of subtext here that the critics of this film miss. As much as Todd excels at warfare, he can't function in normal civilian situations and has no idea how to function like a normal human being. Kurt embodies this character well and spent a year and a half training to prepare for the role. Most action actors are also dedicated to that part of the job. However, Kurt is equally effective in playing Todd's flaws as well. Todd is very effective in battle, but is very awkward and inept in a social setting. Kurt also conveys much of Todd's feelings with minimal dialogue, which Kurt makes look easy but is very difficult for most actors to do. This film bombed at the box office at the time of its release and probably has too much amped up testosterone for the wimpy 90's. Action fans however, should enjoy this. Plus Soldier has a bit of substance as well once you scratch the surface.
Oh Paul W.S. Anderson, you always bring me such disappointment and you
always give me a deep rage inside of me in your films that feel
unfinished in a strange way. Now he makes a film with Kurt Russell and
Gary Busey and still mangers to f'ck it up but still directing today.
Why I may ask?.
The story is about are main character Todd who is an engineered military fighting machine, but after being left for dead on a remote planet he starts a new life. He must fight his very replacements to save his newly found friends.
In every Paul W.S. Anderson movie that he direct's it always looks like it has a good budget to it like: The Resident Evil film series, Mortal Kombat, Death Race and now this film, and just like some of his other films it always has the same results; a wasted opportunity of being good. I know Paul W.S. Anderson can be a good director, I found Alien Vs Predator to be my biggest guilty pleasure of all time and Mortal Kombat wasn't all that bad, so I know he can be good, but Soldier isn't one of them.
The best way to possibly describe this nonsense of a film is be saying something like this: Imagine you got all you're army action figures and you're small plastic gun figures together and simply set them on fire and throw them down the stairs and watch them go all over the place making has much noise as possible, then close your eyes and think to yourself "God that was annoying and stupid", yeah that's this movie, that's this freaking movie!.
Let's start off with the good: Kurt Russell dose the best of what his got and that's saying a lot because of the blandness of his character. The action scenes are pretty well done if I must say and Gary Busey once again brings such a goofy performance but his so enjoyable to watch with the little screen time he got.
Now for the bad and these a lot: The movie is just bombarding with dull scenes and cardboard character's that the end of the day is a waste of time watching.
Todd the main character of the film barely speaks a word through the film, yes he dose say a couple of lines but for most part his dead silent. Main character's barely not saying anything can be a big risk in movies but some films pulled it off really well like the movie Drive and it was all down to good writing, but this doesn't have good writing and the silent hero thing completely did not work at all and made the character less interesting to watch.
The writing was pretty poor, the other character's I didn't really care about at all and I doubt that Kurt Russell has ever had less dialogue to work anywhere.
Overall this movie sucks and to the people who are defending this movie I got this to say to them, "Don't even try it".
All future wars will be fought by soldiers dressed as robots because real robots will be too expensive.
That cost is probably why military scientists in this action movie trained human subjects to be unemotional automatons.
As one of the original members of an experiment to turn orphans into cold-blooded soldiers, forty-years later Sgt. Todd (Kurt Russell) is now obsolete.
Replaced by genetically altered recruits, Todd is left for dead on a junk planet.
Adopted by a young couple (Sean Pertwee, Connie Nielsen) and their son, Todd regains the emotions and memories that his conditioned mind suppressed.
Todd then gets to repay the family when his old commander (Jason Isaacs) wants to use their planet for target practice.
Despite numerous attempts at profundity, this mediocre meditation on military genetics never rises above average actioner.
Besides, no celebrity or comedian wants to go to another plant to entertain genetically altered troops.
Kurt Russell and a bunch of no names take a western theme into outer space. Think of a bunch of helpless settlers being attacked by a well armed bunch of bandits, with the hero riding in on a white horse to save the day. Instead of a white horse, Russell is dumped onto a garbage collection planet, where he gets to save some unfortunates who survive on discarded refuse. The only thing of interest is some intriguing visuals, but that cannot hide the sparse character development, lack of dialog, and nonsensical mayhem. More like a video game than a movie, "Soldier" fails on many levels, and is not recommended. - MERK
The film stars fan favourite, actor Kurt Russell, who for better or
worse is cast and thrown into a fairly limiting role. You can certainly
see the appeal of it to an actor. The part requires a strict, almost
entirely physical performance a la Tom Hanks' Castaway. It's a genuine
challenge especially for an actor as passionate as Russell.It's no
surprise then that Soldier was a kind of prequel to Scott's Blade
Runner. Soldier may be a bit like the poor man's Blade Runner, and
while it never achieves the mood of the aforementioned classic, it does
have a strong sense of place and environment. Anderson transports us to
other worlds. We appreciate this most about the filmmaker. Anderson's
other strong suit is action. The use of colour, mattes and
appropriately applied CGI is near perfect in generating a
post-apocalyptic look a la Mad Max in space.
Soldier is a satisfactory film for a variety of disparate moments and is one of Anderson's finest along with shopping , mortal combat , and event horizon.
Soldier is actually an impressively mounted genre piece which offers its target audience ample value for money. And while writer Peoples' is not exactly at the height of his game here he wrote Blade Runner and Eastwood's Unforgiven, director Anderson , working with production designer David Snyder another Blade Runner veteran, has a enviable flair for the visual set-piece. By dint of his character, Russell's natural born killer may not have a lot to say, but action always did speak louder than words, and here he keeps it brisk and bloody." Soldier was a financial disaster costing 75 million, but only earned 15 million in return. Critics, as with most Anderson pictures were largely very unkind , but has since become a cult classic.
The premise of Soldier is an interesting attempt at something different and oddly human especially for Anderson. But then something begins to happen, slowly, like the change within Sgt. Todd. It's small, but the transformation is enough that we feel something for this hardened man. Unfortunately, with emotion control at the core of this film, it's hard to know what to feel. Oddly enough, Anderson brings us one of his most human efforts or, like Todd, at least he tries.
Think about all the great classics. That first Alien. That first Predator... Almost none of them were received well. Almost all of them were negatively received by critics. And yet, they are considered masterpieces today. The "Soldier" is no different. It's a classic. A good classic. A great classic! After ten years of watching it, I still love to return to this and I still cry at certain places like when I watched this the first time. This film is definitely better than blockbusters which are lauded today and which get a better score on IMDb (I won't point a finger). Of all the films I've ever seen, there are very few which can be considered "perfectly done" (there is no specific point which could be improved). The "Soldier" is one of them.
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