Soldier (film)

Soldier (film)

Infobox Film
name = Soldier

caption = "Soldier" theatrical poster
director = Paul W. S. Anderson
producer = Jeremy Bolt
Susan Ekins
Fred Fontana
R.J. Louis
James G. Robinson
Jerry Weintraub
writer = David Peoples
starring = Kurt Russell
Jason Scott Lee
Jason Isaacs
Connie Nielsen
Sean Pertwee
music = Joel McNeely
cinematography = David Tattersall
editing =
distributor = Warner Brothers
released = October 23, 1998 (USA)
runtime = 99 min.
country = United States
awards =
language = English
budget = $75,000,000
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0120157

"Soldier" is a 1998 science fiction film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The film stars Kurt Russell as Sgt. Todd, a soldier trained from birth. The film also features Gary Busey, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee and Michael Chiklis.

It was written by David Peoples, who co-wrote the script for "Blade Runner". By his own admission, he considers "Soldier" to be a "sidequel"/spiritual successor to "Blade Runner". ["Cinescape", September/October 1998 issue] It also obliquely references various elements of stories written by Philip K. Dick (who wrote the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", on which "Blade Runner" is based), or film adaptations thereof.


The film begins in the year 1996 ("year zero"). A group of infants are chosen by a commander in the American forces, to be raised as soldiers. We watch one of the infants, Todd, as he matures and undergoes extreme mental and physical training to prepare for his career. This includes phrase repetition conditioning, running, weapons training, wrestling, boxing, and desensitization to violence. Todd appears to be one of the best in his group. After completing their training in 2013 (year seventeen), Todd and his group fight in multiple wars, including the War of the Six Cities (year thirty-eight), the Moscow Incident, and the Battle of the Argentine Moons.

The film then jumps to 2036. Todd is now forty and a veteran of many battles. A commander named Colonel Mekum announces that he intends to replace Todd and the others with a new group of genetically-engineered soldiers. The commander makes it clear that the new soldiers are superior in strength, speed, endurance, ability, and complete genetic lack of emotion, making the "old ones", who were trained from birth, obsolete.

Todd's own commander, Captain Church, insists that his group is far from obsolete, and resists replacing them. The two commanders agree to a contest to see which unit is best, but Todd's group is no match for the genetically-engineered soldiers. Two of his comrades are killed while fighting a single opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Only Todd manages to seriously injure Caine 607 (Lee) before the contest ends, but even he is finally knocked unconscious and believed dead. The surviving members of Todd's group are remanded to menial support roles and stripped of the title 'Soldier'.

Todd and his dead comrades are transported to Arcadia 234, a waste disposal planet with dangerously high wind velocities. Todd and his dead comrades are literally thrown out with the trash, dumping him onto the planet along with the debris. Though badly injured, Todd limps his way toward a group of humans who left Earth twelve years earlier, in 2024, on a voyage to the Trinity Moons. The colonists crash-landed on Arcadia 234, and have been stranded there ever since. They now live as a closely-knit community, having built a society from the planet's ubiquitous mountains of trash.

Todd has great difficulty adapting to the community due to his extreme conditioning. Many of the settlers are afraid of him, but still try to welcome him into the group. He is able to make friends with a settler named Mace, and tries to teach Mace's son, Nathan, to protect himself from a poisonous breed of snake that is indigenous to the planet. Unfortunately, Mace and his wife Sandra misinterpret Todd's actions as an irresponsible risk to their son. Mace worries that Todd might hurt Nathan or someone else in their community.

Todd soon begins to experience flashbacks from his time as a soldier and mistakes one of the colonists for an enemy, nearly killing him. The settlers decide that Todd is too dangerous to live among them (even Mace initially agrees with the decision) so they exile Todd after giving him enough supplies to survive on his own. He then settles in an old rocket engine nozzle among the garbage heaps and sheds tears. Todd does not appear to understand what tears are, implying that this is the first time that he has cried.

When Nathan saves his parents from a snake due to a single lesson from Todd, Mace realizes that Todd was only trying to help his son and decides to find the soldier so he can invite him back into the community. But the new soldiers arrive on a training exercise and begin a ground battle against the colonists. Mace is killed in the initial attack. Though outmanned and outgunned, Todd's years of battle experience let him outmaneuver the replicant army with guerrilla tactics. A final personal combat with Caine 607 ends with a hint of a happy future for Todd. Todd's former soldiers have been sent to ignite the explosion, but seeing Todd they show that, despite their conditioning, they are more loyal to Todd than the army. Todd salutes them and they follow suit. Todd and his comrades take over the ship, tossing Mekum and his aides out onto the planet. They and the colonists escape the planet just as it is destroyed by the planet killer weapon. After setting a course to the Trinity Moons, Todd embraces Nathan, and they look upon a galaxy as the film ends.


* Kurt Russell as Sgt. Todd
* Jason Scott Lee as Caine 607
* Jason Isaacs as Col. Mekum
* Connie Nielsen as Sandra
* Sean Pertwee as Mace
* Jared Thorne & Taylor Thorne as Nathan
* Mark Bringleson as Lt. Rubrick
* Gary Busey as Capt. Church
* K. K. Dodds as Lt. Sloan
* James Black as Riley
* Mark De Alessandro as Goines
* Vladimir Orlov as Romero
* Carsten Norgaard as Green
* Duffy Gaver as Chelsey
* Brenda Wehle as Hawkins
* Michael Chiklis as Jimmy Pig
* Elizabeth Dennehy as Jimmy Pig's wife
* Paul Dillon as Slade


"Soldier" was a box office flop. Shot with a budget of $75 million, the film only took in $15 million worldwide. [ [ IMDB] ]

DVD release

"Soldier" was released on DVD on March 2, 1999. It was released as a double-sided disc, which included the widescreen version on one side, with fullscreen on the other. The film's audio was mixed in Dolby 5.1 surround sound for the DVD, and included on the disc was a film commentary.

; Features:
* Available Subtitles: English, French
* Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
* Commentary by: director Paul Anderson, co-producer Jeremy Bold and actor Jason Isaacs (Dolby Digital 2.0)


External links

* [] - The film's official site
* [ October 2, 1997 draft of the screenplay]
* [ Special effects sequences for the film]

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