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Soldier (1998)

Soldier (1998)

I've seen this one before, and I have only good memories of it. Watching it again it reminds me that it's somewhat of a forgotten gem - an action movie that has only good ratings, and yet not that many people seem to know about it.

The story? It's that Naked Weapon scenario again (only this one was first). Children are trained to be soldiers. A soldier shall not speak unless spoken to. A soldier shows no mercy. A soldier lives to kill. A soldier is a soldier, and casts his humanity aside to be a soldier, but what happens when he's one day discarded, and faced with regular humans who know nothing of war, or death, or discipline. What does he do? How does he react?

Todd plays such a soldier, and he is the best of the best, until one day the new generation comes along and shoos him off - leaving him for dead in a desert wasteland. But he fights back. He fights not to be the best, but because he realizes there's something more to live for than solidarity: huamnity.

The filming is suitable, and the persona of the soldier crafted as a soldier, too. Emotionless, or so it's supposed to be, though it does brew. The movie moves at a fast pace when it comes to plot-chops, the scenes are dusty and dystopian - mostly within closed quarters, or outside with walls of junk and sandy sediment to obscure the view. It feels homely that way. Enclosed, yet not unnatural, and the lack of distance view seems to enforce the notion of being stranded, or being at home. The movie features actors such as Kurt Russell and Jason Scott Lee, and builds up the mood for this potential future... not really dystopia - but it's no utopia either, nicely. It's a world where soldiers are trained to be soldiers from birth. A potential future. A cold world. But it lights up with a fiery salute in the final scene.

It's both a personal story and a story of war, a fight to: be human. You really follow Todd's progression through the movie, from infant to adult, to machine, to man - once more.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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