Soldier

The dreadful Soldier takes place in a post-Apocalyptic future in which the military recruits men from birth and trains them to kill indiscriminately. As technology advances, better-engineered soldiers take the place of older, now-obsolete warriors like Kurt Russell, who is unceremoniously dumped on a garbage planet. When a fleet of superior troops, led by Jason Scott Lee, attacks its defenseless inhabitants, Russell takes them all on himself; apparently, to paraphrase Gattaca's tagline, there's still no gene for the human spirit. The most decisive battle in Soldier takes place off-screen between ace screenwriter David Webb Peoples (Blade Runner, Unforgiven, 12 Monkeys) and hack director Paul Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon). What Peoples must have envisioned as a spare, haunting meditation on free will—Russell is given fewer than 100 words of dialogue—has instead been placed in the hands of a director who's not shy about evoking Hitler, the Garden Of Eden, and whatever he can use from Pink Floyd: The Wall. For someone as hardware-obsessed as Anderson to decry the dehumanization of man is unseemly, but Soldier is too silly to offend. Russell seems primed to do another of his patented John Wayne impersonations, but his dramatic transition—from a killing machine to a killing machine who gazes quizzically at his own tears—doesn't require much charisma.

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