why Cranky is in pain
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soldier poster

Soldier

Starring Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Gary Busey
Screenplay by David Webb Peoples
Directed by Paul Anderson
Website: www.wb-soldier.com

IN SHORT: In space, no one can hear you laugh, either.

Cranky should be whimpering in pain from the wretchedness of Soldier, but he was having too much fun laughing at the screen with the rest of the audience, every time an unrealistic testosterone filled line of dialog came dripping out of a character's mouth. Even people who got into the sneak preview for free -- and I'm talking the younger demographic, not the old farts like Cranky -- were walking out.

OK, then, let's get this over with: From birth, the baby called Todd (eventually Kurt Russell) was trained as a soldier. He had no choice in the matter 'cuz by age 12 if you failed in the program, a bullet was put in your brain. As the best of the best, Todd fought and killed and rested. Then he did it again. And again. And again. Finally, the day came when a pompous upper-level officer, Colonel Mekum (Jason Isaacs) did wonderful things with recombinant DNA and sergeant Todd was beaten silly by a brand new Super-Soldier, Caine 607 (Jason Scott Lee). Dumped with the rest of the garbage on a planet called Arcadia 234, which seems to be landscaped by old movie sets, he is discovered by a whole passel of chilluns and a cute blonde, called Sandra (Connie Nielsen), wife of Mace (Sean Pertwee).

Todd's commanding officer, Captain Church (Gary Busey) wasn't happy about losing his best man, but orders is orders. Then, his new campers are ordered to an abandoned planet for training exercises. Yep, it's good 'ol Arcadia and we all know what that means. It's old versus new. Good versus bad. Same old same old.

Director Paul Anderson attempts to meld the space effects of his Event Horizon with action shtick of his Mortal Kombat in this one, and totally misses by a mile. Soldier comes off as a second rate Nintendo cartridge. Here's the situation: when a soldier is trained from birth to be a killing machine, stripped of everything that makes (him) interesting and human there ain't much left. Screenwriter David Webb Peoples has even less to do, as Russell's character rarely talks.

Soldier is such a waste of time that I can't believe I've spent this much web space wasting your time. Go off and blast something on your arcade games. You'll have much more fun.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Soldier, he would have paid . . .

[gee, don't you just love disk crashes? We found this error long after any remembrance of the film had passed from the gray matter. Whatever it was, it wasn't very high]


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