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Science Fiction - Soldier

Buy Soldier
Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Number of discs: 1
Rating R
Warner Home Video
Run Time: 99 minutes

Soldier is an action / adventure / science fiction movie. This Kurt Russell vehicle got slammed at the box office. At a cost of 75 million dollars and earning back less than half of that in theatrical release. The fact that Soldier did not do well at the box office is more a testament to the power of critics than it is a comment on the quality of the movie. Soldier is a solid and well-crafted movie and a very good story that asks some tough questions while still remaining true to the SF/action genre.

Can you manufacture the perfect soldier? The answer from the powers that be in Soldier is that you can. Sergeant Todd, Kurt Russell, is one of a group of children selected at birth and trained to be the perfect soldiers. Through a montage of virtually dialogue free clips we see Todd grow from a baby into a war vet with decades of battle under his belt. The essence of Soldier though is when Todd's replacements are introduced to his battle commander. As the result of a pissing contest between Todd's commander and the new commander of the new genetically engineered soldiers Todd is left for dead and put into a garbage scow to be disposed of. Ending up as a piece of refuse on a garbage planet thought to be unpopulated Todd discovers that there are accidental settlers on the planet who are woefully unprepared for the coming of the genetically enhanced soldiers who are coming to the planet to engage in maneuvers.

The intriguing aspect of Soldier is that as much as the military are portrayed in a negative light so too are pacifists. The depth of character in Soldier is also surprising for a movie that has such sparse dialogue. The movie owes some of its feel to the Sergio Leone school of spaghetti westerns as it does to Philip K. Dick. Simply put if you haven't seen Soldier you should it is a good movie, well told and well acted. The DVD is a good deal as well with extras including commentary by director Paul W. S., a theatrical trailer, production notes and both the wide and full screen editions of the movie.

 

Denis Bernicky

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