Soldier (1998)

Cleave June 11, 2012

In 1996 a bold experiment and plan was put into motion. Infants were selected at birth to be a new breed of soldier. They would be trained to be able to do just one thing and that would be to be able to kill and do it well. They would have no conscience just the duty to follow the orders that were given to them by their commanding officer. They were trained in all forms of combat and if one of them fell behind in their training they would be killed to make the unit stronger. They would be the future of modern warfare where soldiers would kill soldiers and you would not have to worry about your children having to joining the military, unless they were chosen at birth, of course.

That is how the film opens and you are shown just what it is like to be trained to kill since you could walk. They were shown no mercy and shown how to kill and not have any emotion about it. You see them after their training as they fight in several wars and even fight in space as the galaxy is colonized. They seem to be one of the most decorated units and now they have nothing to do. It is between wars and they sit or train and nothing more. They never speak unless spoken to, they are flesh and blood but they might as well be robots breed to kill. The time that it took to train them is a concern so the military has to find quicker more effective ways to do so. So they cloned and engineered them instead. This is where the real movie begins.

Colonel Mekum (Jason Isaacs) wants to show off his new batch of warriors and where best to do that then to do so at the top units HQ. He is an officer out to make a name for himself and is going to use the unit that Church (Gary Busey) commands. He wants to show just how superior his genetically modified and engineered troopers are. Church has his top man, Todd 3465 go up against the top man of Mekum’s unit, Caine 607. In every test Caine and his fellow soldiers seem to have the upper hand. They are faster, stronger and more aggressive then any in Todd’s unit. Church explains that they are doing what they have been trained to do and that the tests they have been doing do not mean anything.

Todd 3465 (Kurt Russell) and Caine 607 (Jason Scott Lee) are sent up the chain with 2 other men from Todd’s squad and commanded to fight. They hold nothing back and all three are sent to the ground and then drug off to be disposed of. Somehow though Todd survived the fall but went into a comatose state to wake up in a garbage ship as it is dumping its load on another planet. He doesn’t know what is going on and has to try and use his wits to just stay alive. It is his own injuries and a freak windstorm that causes him to be taken in by a group of castaways that crashed on the planet 12 years before.

Mace (Sean Pertwee) is a good man and wants to do the right thing but as time goes by he is conflicted as he watches Todd and his wife Sandra (Connie Nielsen) grow closer and closer. Todd himself doesn’t know what to do and is visibly terrified when ever she comes near him. It takes the entire colony faced with total destruction from Caine to make him overcome his fears and fall into being a soldier again. He is the only one that stands between the colony and Caine who has been ordered to wipe them out by Mekum. Mekum doesn’t want any paperwork to deal with and feels no remorse about having the misplaced settlers killed off just to prove just how good his soldier are.

This film is one of those that you have to be in the mood to watch as it has both slow spots and action spots. Think of it this way you get your appetite wetted at the beginning and then time to digest what is going on. Shortly after that you get a romance that is not happening but is passionate anyway and then all hell breaks loose and then it is a race to the finish to see what will happen. Like a single malt Scotch, this film is an acquired taste but it really does taste good if you will just stay put long enough to watch it.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★☆☆