Soldier Review

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A career soldier defends a band of low-lifes from the genetically-engineered troops who have replaced him in the army.


Kurt Russell occupies an unsatisfying position in the Hollywood firmament. A sort of hard Jeff Bridges, he is nobody’s favourite actor of all-time, and yet has some solid work behind him (Backdraft, Breakdown, The Thing, The Fox And The Hound). However, agreeing to star in low-grade filler like Soldier does him no long-term favours. His one consolation is that so few people saw it in American cinemas and even fewer saw it in the straight-to-video release in the UK.

      Ditching the bloke-next-door persona for a near-roboticised, near-mute combat ubermensch some 40 years in the future, Russell gets to show off the fruits of his work-out regime – but not a lot else.

      His is Todd 3465, a soldier trained from birth as part of the Adam Project to obey orders and kill without concession (in an opening montage, we she him shoot *through* a mother and baby to the enemy). But his crack platoon is replaced by genetically-engineered warriors and Todd is suddenly on the scrapheap – literally.

      Exiled to a municipal dump planet, he is taken in by a band of tip-dwellers, and, in time, must defend them from an attack by the very soldiers who made him obsolete.

               It’s every Western you can think of, it’s Frankenstein, it’s The Terminator, it’s rubbish. Impossible to care about a pre-programmed automaton (Todd calls everyone “Sir!” and utters about seven lines in total), we are left instead to gasp at the hardware-reliant action, for which slow-motion must generate which slow-motion must generate all the portent. Pompous generals, indestructible foes, cute kids – all stereotypes are here – and Sean Pertwee (held over from director Anderson’s previous sci-fi bomb Event Horizon in 1997) proves yet again that he is the crap one out of the Britpack. But you can’t blame then newboy Pertwee for hopping aboard but when Mr Russell was offered it, he should’ve Kurtly refused.

Oh dear, oh dear...Kurt Russell and Gary Busey should really have known better. This is truly diar.