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Soldier (1998) poster

Soldier is a 1998 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Anderson, written by David Webb Peoples, and stars Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee and Gary Busey. The film was released in the United States on October 23, 1998.

Plot

Todd (Kurt Russell) has been trained since birth, through brutal conditioning, to be an emotionless killing machine. After 40 years, Todd and his comrades are deemed obsolete when Col. Mekum (Jason Isaacs) promotes a new breed of genetically flawless soldiers. Discarded on the trash-covered planet of Arcadia 234, Todd is rescued by colonists Mace (Sean Pertwee) and Sandra (Connie Nielsen) -- but he's soon forced to face his stronger replacements when the military seeks to wipe out the colony.

Why It Sucks

  • This is simply a ripoff of every Star Trek movie.
  • Awful acting.
  • Terrible connections to Blade Runner.
  • This is the late-1990s version of Battlefield Earth
  • Cheap visual effects.

Reception

The film received mostly negative reviews upon its release, currently holding a 10% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 51 reviews. It was mainly criticized for its lack of character development and predictable script, but praised for its action scenes. Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle commented that "the action is handled fairly well, but it's routine, and there's no satisfaction in seeing Todd waste men who are no more bloodthirsty than he is." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly criticized the film's overuse of genre clichés, saying "any cliché you can dream up for a futuristic action movie, any familiar big-budget epic you can think to rip off, Soldier has gotten there first." Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune described the film as "a big, clanging, brutal actioner in which we search the murk in vain for the sparks of humanity the moviemakers keep promising us."

Not all reviews were negative. Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader found the film to be enjoyable, calling Russell's performance "persuasive" and saying "this appealing formulaic action adventure displays a lot of conviction in its not-too-flashy action scenes and a little levity in the gradual socialization of Russell's character." Similarly, Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5 and called it "a potent comic-book-style action-adventure."

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