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Soldier (1998)
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$6.17+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on May 30, 2015
Kurt Russell plays an engineered soldier who was born into and raised into military service. Years and years of training and wars on various planets and galaxies under his belt but now told he's obsolete.
Dumped and left for dead he survives with help from refugee families.
War has been declared but now he's taking it to them.
Trained to win by attrition at any cost he takes the fight back to the ones who called he obsolete.
A fantastic and believable performance by Russell. You are brought face to face with how hard fitting back in can be.
Well worth the watching.
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on December 13, 2012
I was surprised that this movie was better than its title implied. Kurt has always been a very good actor, but it is easy to see that here he shines despite the very few lines he was given. The story itself was a surprise that it was not polished and it was a surprise to see that Todd, as a soldier did not make any smooth transition from his old life into a new one as easily as is too often portrayed in films. Todd, as a soldier, having known no other life was showing the stresses of what real soldiers have to deal with in such transitions when their training fails them in adapting to new situations. Alone, he could have survived, but amongst the refugees by whom he was befriended, he found it hard to live as he could not so readily adapt to their ways, so unlike his own, dredging up feelings long dormant and purposefully buried in his old life. However, when the action returned, one could see he burned with a new resolve as he returned to his old life to protect the people who took him in and to prove once and for all who was really "obsolete."
Busey was excellent as an old line officer who still had feelings for his men and Issacs was best as the one who viewed his new line soldiers as just commodities, machines to serve a purpose while placing himself above them.
While this was a science fiction setting, it could almost relate to almost any other time as well.
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on December 21, 2017
I was a bit worried if Soldier would hold up to the passages of time, but it did all right. We watched it with the Kid and he was as into it as the rest of us -- no playing with his phone or other gadgets. This movie is a classic.
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BOTTOM LINE: Well worth your time & money, SOLDIER has brains to go with its brawn and Kurt Russell delivers in what was probably his most physically demanding role since "Escape From New York." An action-packed yet introspective sci-fi flick. 5 STARS

THE STORY (contains spoilers): In the future, humans are genetically bred for the specific purpose of being living weapons - the ultimate fighting machines. Their success rate is impressive. However, when a new & improved generation of test tube soldier is developed a couple of decades later, the current versions suddenly find themselves decidedly obsolete. The brutal conditioning & rigorous military training which made them so successful as combat soldiers has also rendered them cold, emotionless, potentially lethal living weapons. They are deemed unsuitable for re-integration into mainstream society. So what do you do with these "people" when their time has come & gone? The government's answer: retire them. Permanently. However, one of these soldiers, (Kurt Russell), survives his 'retirement' (shot point blank & dumped onto a distant world that's literally a gigantic, planet-wide landfill). As we soon discover however, the trash world is NOT barren. Years ago, a small transport ship developed engine trouble and crashed there. The ship itself was damaged beyond repair, leaving crew & passengers with no way to escape ...or even signal for help. Thus, the survivors were forced to make the garbage planet their home. They adapted over time, learning to live off the leftover refuse of others. When Russell's soldier is unceremoniously dumped into their midst, he attempts to co-exist with them, unlearn much of what he was conditioned from birth to do and, ultimately, unravel the mystery of exactly what it is to be "regular" human being. But when the government learns that he survived and they return to "clean up" their oversight, the SOLDIER must take up arms once again and defend his newly adopted world & its inhabitants.

THOUGHTS: On the surface this is sort of an intergalactic, future-tech version of SHANE. That genre-defining western is an iconic film in its own right, and its story is elegant simplicity itself. Not coincidentally, SHANE's plot was also the blueprint for what was arguably the best of the original "Mad Max" films, and one of the best action films ever, 1982's THE ROAD WARRIOR. It's a real shame that there wasn't better recognition for SOLDIER when it came out. I recall renting it on VHS tape many years ago and I enjoyed it but somehow forgot about it. Not too long ago, while scanning Amazon's list of available sci-fi titles on Blu-ray, I saw SOLDIER on that list. I'd forgotten much of the plot but knew it had a ton of action and remembered it being a pretty good flick. Besides, it's got Kurt "Snake Plissken" Russel in the lead, so how can you go wrong? (Errr... Captain Ron not withstanding. LOL.) My wife & I both REALLY enjoyed this film.

The movie is tailor-made for the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stallone or Van Damme, so I was originally surprised to see Kurt Russell in this kind of role, but he certainly nailed it. Man, he is a BEAST here! He must have done some crazy-intense training to get into such impressive physical shape. He was the physical equal of any other action star of that era, but unlike those other guys Russell had decades of acting experience under his belt. He effectively pulled off a very complex role with almost no dialogue; using facial expressions & body language to convey emotion. I doubt any of those other action heroes would have been anywhere near as good, but Kurt was perfect. There's a scene that takes place shortly after he's been cast out by the trash-picker community, (they are fearful of the threat he represents), which crystallizes why Russell is such an excellent but criminally under-rated actor. He's hunkered down in a filthy drain pipe that's now his temporary home when his eyes well up and a single tear runs down his face. He wipes it off with his finger and stares at it with a confused, uncomprehending look on his usually stoic face. He haltingly attempts to process what has just happened, with no clue as to what this water from his eye is nor how it got there. A subtle yet brilliant insight into the mind of this soldier - and a clue that he is, every so slowly, transitioning into something more than just an unfeeling killing machine. There's some fairly deep thinking going on under the movie's surface if you take the time to look, yet the quiet, insightful moments are perfectly balanced by some gut-wrenching, bone-crunching action sequences and "whoa!" visual F/X shots. SOLDIER truly has the best of both worlds. The action scenes are blisteringly intense and the technical aspects of the film are equally inspiring as well. The cinematography is gorgeous to look at, with some really beautifully shot scenes featuring Kurt bathed in sharp light & shadow. And a special shout-out to the intricate, over-the-top set designs on the trash planet. The level of detail is amazing. The way-cool, full-scale/practical massive military "Crawler" vehicles look like real tech, and represent a believable menace to the film's protagonists. Lastly, from a visual F/X standpoint SOLDIER still impresses, with no glaringly bad or outdated-looking CGI shots to belie the film's true age.

THE BLU-RAY: The Blu-ray presentation for SOLDIER sports a solid transfer that looks terrific. Considering that it's a 15+ year-old film which has had no restoration work done to it, the transfer is quite good. Unfortunately, the audio portion of the film isn't as good. Sound mix is very inconsistent; I was forced to turn the volume up to hear the soft dialogue, then dial it down to keep my eardrums from being blown out during the action/combat sequences but that's really the only gripe I have.
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VINE VOICEon March 30, 1999
"Soldier" is a unique movie, in that the protagonist has almost no dialogue. I doubt Kurt Russell spoke more than 60 words in the entire film. In a way, it's too bad, since Russell is a very accomplished actor. To his credit, he let his expressions speak for him, and at times his expressions were quite poignant. I wished, however, that the film would have concentrated more on the `soldier's' tribulations as a child growing up through the system of training. It could have been quite fascinating. More time could also have been spent with the castaways after he was dumped unceremoniously with all the other garbage. It would have heightened the emotion of the film when he was subsequently cast aside by the villagers because he couldn't fit in. But alas, Hollywood chose the easy way out, touching only lightly in these areas and concentrated mainly on the action...and as an action film, it wasn't bad at all, but it could have been so much more. Between 1 and 10, I give "Soldier" a 7.
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on April 9, 2017
I have watched this movie at least 4 times. Finally decided to go ahead a buy it. Solid story, a variation on the hero's journey. I will leave the spoilers to other reviewers.
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on March 2, 2018
King of the B-Grade action movies! This is a classic that to be honest has enough of a plot and character development that I enjoy watching it over and over again. If you haven't seen it and love great action movies this one kind of reminds me of a cross between a low budget version of a great sci-fi series and the original Die Hard.
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on August 14, 2017
I loved this movie ever since my days as a young boy. Back then it was an inspiration, a role model to strive to be life -
Both the good and bad guys had there appeal - but the steady pace set by the role of the soldier in this film, just really always stood out.

Now, after growing up its still a good flick & my son, well he doesn't look to movies to see how to act.
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on February 28, 2018
Yes, it might be "cheesy" and "underacted", but it's perfect, and for those that want to know more about the Bladerunner universe, this is a must watch.
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on October 1, 2017
Great movie. We bought this to replace our VHS version that we'd pretty much worn out. Lots of action with a bit of humor tossed in here and there. We would definitely recommend it.
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