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Sci-Fi - Dystopian Future, Uncategorized

Soldier (1998)


Duration 1h 39m Rating (UK) 18
Source of story An original screenplay, said to occupy the same universe as Blade Runner.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson
Writers/Script David Webb Peoples (with uncredited additions by Tony Gilroy)
Starring Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Gary Busey, Connie Nielsen

Elevator Pitch: Todd 3465, a soldier trained for combat from birth, is one of a group of twenty who seem to be being superseded by a squad which has been genetically developed, and in a combat demonstration seems to have been killed. When dumped with rubbish on a planet used for waste disposal, which has been colonised by the survivors of a spaceship crash,  he is found to have survived. His years in combat make it almost impossible for him to live peacefully in the community, but the same experience may help him and at least some of he colonists survive an attack by the replicants.

Content: No nudity, sex, smoking or drug taking but a great deal of violence some of it quite graphic, including combat with all sorts of firearms and missiles. There are scenes of training and brief illustrations of combat in wars where Todd and his colleagues have fought. Elaborate set pieces showing the environment of the waste disposal planet and the way the inhabitants live, plus a lot of interaction between the officer who controls what might be replicants and the one who is in charge of the squad of which Todd used to be a sergeant.

A View: I had never heard of this film, not surprisingly because it was never released outside America, where it lost a load of money, but apparently it has a bit of a cult following now. It was universally disliked by the critics only gaining 12% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, being considered to be cliché ridden. I did not think it was that bad although I was taken aback by the massive death toll amongst the innocent colonists. It is quite courageous in its presentation of Todd who only has 108 words. So maybe a watch for nothing if you are an SF fan.

Additional Info: There is a lot of information available about Kurt Russell’s involvement. His wage was $20 million, exceeding by $6 million the cinema takings. He broke his ankle at the beginning of the shoot, requiring the scenes to be filmed in order, firstly those with him lying down, then the ones with him sitting and finally the ones where he is standing.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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