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video review out of 4 Movie Review: Soldier

Starring: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee
Director: paul anderson
Rated: R
RunTime: 98 Minutes
Release Date: October 1998
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie review
2.  Walter Frith read the review video review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

In this sci-fi thriller, Kurt Russell plays a New Millennium mercenary, chosen shortly after his birth by nefarious, militaristic government forces. He was psychologically programmed and brutally trained to be a highly disciplined, emotionally dead fighting machine. Raised with the credo - "kill or be killed" - he became a lean, mean monster who subsequently proved himself in many galactic battles. Then, at age 40, he suddenly becomes aware that he and his colleagues have outlived their usefulness and are being replaced by a new breed of test tube warriors who have been genetically engineered to stronger and meaner. After losing a gladiatorial bout to one of these psychopaths (Jason Scott Lee), Russell is unceremoniously dumped like garbage on a distant planet and left for dead, but he's nursed back to health by a pacifist space pioneers who were stranded there years before. Predictably, when the new mercenaries, under a wretched, villainous leader (Jason Isaacs), return and attack the settlers, Russell defends them. The underlying theme of David Webb People's script is not new. It's a sci-fi adaptation of the western, "Shane," just as the theme of "Star Wars" bore a striking similarity to "The Searchers" and "Outland" was adapted from "High Noon." Unfortunately, director Paul Anderson ("Event Horizon," "Mortal Kombat") is focused on ballistic, video-game visuality rather than character development. Kurt Russell has announced that this is his last action movie, and his subtle characterization proves he's ready to move on to other things. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Soldier" is a brutal, blood 'n' guts 3. The trick is that it could have been a treat.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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