"Soldier" the movie: Good or Bad?

I am, of course, referring to the Kurt Russell vehicle wherein he plays a soldier replaced by genetically engineered “super-soldiers,” afterwhich he is dumped on a garbage planet.
From what I can see watching this film, the production values are surprisingly high. But so few people seem to have seen it that I wonder if it ever got a theatrical release. Russell says a total of 104 words in the entire film, and spends long stretches just looking on dispassionately heavy-lidded.

Basically, I just can’t really decide if this is a good movie or not. I know that sounds like a weird question, but I think it is perfectly possible for a movie to be well-made, and therefore be considered “good,” whether or not I like it. And I can’t even decide on the latter issue anyway. What do ya’ll think?

I thought it was decent. Not a great movie by any means, or one I’ve any desire to see again, but an entertaining little flick all the same that I don’t regret having watched.

Well, it was on twice on TNT tonight, is that where you saw it?

I thought it was pretty pointless.

As good as any other Kurt Russell movie. Better, because of the lack of dialogue.

And I liked the movie.

Honestly, I liked it. It was an interesting experiment, at least. The only Russell movie I like better is Overboard.

I didn’t think it was the greatest movie, but it did entertain me for two hours or however long the movie is. I thought it was a decent action flick. Not really worth seeing again though.

I thought it was a mediocre action flick, but a very weak SF flick. It was basically no different from the humpty-jillion after-the-apocalypse yawners that Roger Corman and company churn out relentlessly. A bunch of people in a junked-up environment shoot each other, have fistfights, chase each other in junky vehicles, and generally behave like big fucking idiots. Feh!

I’ll give it points for developing Russell’s character as a person raised to kill and pretty much do nothing else, who has his sense of humanity expanded by the refugees in the desert. But it was hardly enough to overcome the general Feh!ness of the film.

I haven’t seen this but the synopsis sounds like a Story I read in Heavy Metal Magazine called “Friday Job” I think…
It was about a groups of genetically enginered soldiers thrown on a crappy planet during a war forced to fight first regular soldiers then beast soldiers. His squad is abandoned with no lift out and fight literally to the last man… He waits for rescue then decided to leave his post (He wasn’t a perfect clone) and investigate the planet he’s on and try to find his way back to his mother ship… Interesting story.

I may hav to view this once to see how close

The movie is generally poor, but Kurt Russell’s performance is outstanding. It’s worth renting to watch him.

imho it sucked. Kurt Russell doing an impression of an android rather than a “programmed” soldier.

It is a pretty sad state of affairs when an Arnie performance (in T2, playing a similar role) has more subtlety and depth than a Kurt Russell performance.

I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it was great, but it was pretty good for a b-movie. Of course, I have a sliding scale for genre movies. If a mainstream movie had similar writing and acting I’d probably hate it.

I thought it was hilariously bad. There’s a montage sequence at the beginning of it in which Kurt Russell and the other super-soldiers are wearing oversized suits and waddling across a soundstage like stoned ducks, apathetically wielding oversized rifles.

Absurdly badly constructed houses are all lined up on the sound stage behind them, looking like a set for HeeHaw. Extras pop out of windows and up from behind garbage cans, looking startled, and the stoned ducks swing their supersized guns around and go Bang Bang Bang, and the extras squeal and fall down dead.

I saw the movie at the dollar theater when it first came out. My friend and I were gasping for breath, we were laughing so hard during this scene.

I had no idea that Kurt Russell’s acting was good in the movie – I didn’t realize he was acting. I thought he was bored and angry at being cast in a dumb movie, and so he was just staring off into space waiting for the cameras to finish rolling.

Fun to laugh at, but not good for much else, IMO.


Living in the dorms, I saw this movie about twenty times or so, and I didn’t mind. There are definitely worse movies to see repeatedly.

I’ll go with DanielWithrow on the fact that the openning sequence is rather silly, with some of the space battles, but the montage of the kids growing up is rather interesting. And after that, when the newly engineered soldiers are introduced, the movie gets rather good. I mean, as far as sci-f action films go. I’ve definitely seen worse, and this movie has one of the best lines delivered in such a movie. When the invading army is coming in and the love interests asks him “What are you going to do? one man against an entire army?” he just looks at her serious as shit and says:

“I’m going to kill them all. Sir.”

I just thought that was a pretty sweet scene. There’s no boasting about it, no cockiness, just clear, straight dedication that this is what he was trained for, and this is what he’s going to do. I thought it was an interesting movie for the character, and like I said, I’ve definitely seen worse.

Oh, and by the way, it did get theatrical release, if albeit limited.

It bit ass.

I was disappointed, too, because I generally like Kurt Russell (Big Trouble in Little China is one of the best bad movies ever made.)

This movie just reeked of “screenwriter who doesn’t read much sci-fi” syndrome. There was no logic or intelligence to it, at all.

Sending your trash to another planet?

Falling several hundred feet into scrapmetal and living to tell the tale?

They just happen to run maneuvers on the planet they unknowingly dumped Kurt on? And they just happen to be within 500 miles of him?

I find it difficult to believe that genetically-engineered, trained-from-birth super-soldiers can’t think of better tactics than “walk in a straight line, shooting.”

I liked it, almost loved it, sure it was not perfect. But what I liked most seems to be the main detractor to others.

I found the lack of subtlety, the stony barefacedness, the lack of stupid one-liners when killing people in a killing machine refreshingly realistic, IMHO. Then add a “bad guy” who stays dead when killed the first time, the line that ** El Elvis Rojo** quoted (personal fave as well for the same reasons), etc. made for an enjoyable, somewhat cliche free movie

  1. I think Russel is a decent actor. For those not believing me, check out recent release Dark Blue or him as a doc in Vanilla Sky.

  2. I guess ‘Soldier’ was supposed to be deeper than it manages to be. Some sort of dreary future where even brainwashed humans as soldiers are good anough killers. Russels portrayal is effective, but the mobvie lacks in so many other respects, it falls flat on it’s face. Now had it just been a dumb action movie, I could have enjoyed it for its popcorn value, about the same way I kinda enjoyed Universal Soldier, which is about the same stuff, basically. But this movie has a pretentious air of being about deeper things. It fails.
    I saw it the same week I saw Small Soldiers, which on the surface is an animated kiddy movie, but on depth delivers what the Russel flick fails to do. I was pleased to fin d that Rosenbaum of Reader fame thought it better than contemporary ‘Saving Private Ryan’. IMDb users do not agree though.
    It seems animated movies can’t be about serious things. Maybe this is why ‘Small Soldiers’ and Iron Giant failed at the box office. The latter easily being one of the ten best movies in the past five years.

The thing that bugs me about that movie is the totla lack of basic logic behind the premise. Even the most inane and moronic armed forces are not going to discard Veteran soldiers for Rookies that can run faster.

If you look, the movie credits say it was based on the book Garbage World by Charles Platt which features a world (asteroid actually) which is used as a garbage dump by several other nearby worlds (also asteroids, actually). Of course, that’s pretty much the only point the book has in common with the movie and there is a bit of a difference between an asteroid and a planet, but that particular idea didn’t come out of nowhere.

As for the rest of the movie… :rolleyes:

I thought it was a pretty entertaing bubble gum action flick. The sf premise was absurd, but the gunfights were cool and the SFX wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed it.