Soldier, featuring Kurt Russell.

Soldier is a 1998 action movie starring Kurt Russell about a soldier (duh!) known only as Todd, selected at birth for a life of cold military discipline, brutal training, and dangerous combat.

Speaking of Kurt Russell (and I did back when I was talking about “The Thing”) Soldier is a movie you should check out the next time you’re bored. As I write this, the holidays are nearly upon us so a few vacation days are probably in your future.

Todd is a good name for a soldier right? Anyway Todd was selected at birth to be plunged into life-long combat and cold military discipline. Ultimately replaced by a ‘better soldier’ after a lifetime of outstanding service, the obsolete warrior is discarded on a barren waste dump planet.

That’s where Todd tries to fit in with a group of civilian refugees who eek out an existence rummaging through the scrap yards which essentially means the entire effing planet. For an action movie, the sub-plot of a soldier suddenly finding himself out of place in a civilian world is actually quite relevant and moving. I didn’t say anything about the Academy Awards, but still deeper than you might expect all things considered.

There are several scenes where you realize that Todd has never seen a woman’s body. These moments are thought provoking because they don’t lead to some horrible consequence demonstrating Todd’s war-like nature. Rather, they serve as a commentary on the things Todd never had a chance to experience in a lifetime of war. Deep right? I guess you could also just say “Todd like to look at boobs”.

There’s an inevitable conflict with the military that discarded Todd and that part is pretty much what you might expect. Again, these are not the finest action sequences ever filmed but entertaining just the same.

An interesting Bit of trivia from IMDB:

While listing the weapons Todd is trained on, you can see he is capable of using the “Illudium PU36 ES,M” otherwise known as the Illudium PU36 Explosive Space Modulator. This is the same weapon Marvin the Martian is always threatening to use on Earth in his Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Soldier also features Jason Scott Lee, a still relatively sane Gary Busey, and a particularly fetching Connie Nielsen.

Yes, Soldier has all the trappings of a 90’s testosterone driven action movie. Don’t let that dissuade you. It’s actually better than ‘Escape from L.A.”

Originally Published 25 November 2011

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