Kurt Russell Weekend – Soldier (1998)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaac, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: A soldier is dumped on a waste disposal planet and lives among a community of crash survivors on the planet and takes it upon himself to defend his new home when genetic engineered soldiers are ordered to eliminate the crash survivors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Universal Soldier, Wait No

 

Story: Soldier starts in a world where the military select babies to train into emotionless soldiers, Todd 3465 (Russell) is the best of the first batch of trained men but when Colonel Mekum (Isaacs) starts genetically creating his super soldiers with his star being Caine 607 (Lee), Todd finds himself defeat and dumped on a waste disposal planet.

On this planet Todd is taken in by a community that live there after they crash landed but soon his skills make him a threat to even them, forcing him to leave and become the lone traveller on the planet. This quiet group gets ambushed by the Colonel on a clean-up mission leaving Todd to defend the innocent from his replacements.

 

Thoughts on Solider

 

Characters – Todd 3465 is an emotionless soldier trained from a baby to be the best in the field, he doesn’t say much but when he gets replaced he finds himself using his training to protect the innocent. Caine 607 is the new genetically advanced soldier who has replaced Todd, he is faster, stronger and deadlier than Todd. Colonel Mekum is the man that has bought out the replacements to deal with the bigger problems in the universe, not caring about the original models.

PerformanceKurt Russell is solid in this role, he got himself into shape for it but in the 90s the action stars were more physical presence while Russell doesn’t get the full chance to be the guy we know from the 80s. Jason Scott Lee is solid too in his performance, he has the look of the typical enemy our hero must face in combat to achieve his redemption. Jason Isaacs will always be a good choice for a military role and often finds himself working with this director.

StoryThe story is simple to follow, we have modified soldiers that have been replaced by the newest models and the older model must use his skills to defend the people who took him in against the new and improved model. It is a simple story it does feel like Universal Soldier for the most part too.

Action/Sci/FiThe action sequences are mostly the generic ones we have come to know from the soldier versus soldier film but nothing stands out. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the idea the soldiers are trained and built to fight in a futuristic war.

SettingsTh settings are easy to use with most being used in the montage to show Todd’s war record, the most part of the film is on a waste planet which puts our characters on the world there are desperate to escape.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects are fine but parts of them have dated through the years.

Scene of the Movie – Todd versus the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a Universal Soldier rip off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch action film that does feel like just another branch of the Universal Soldier universe.

 

Overall: Easy to watch actioner.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – R – The Remaining (2014)

Director: Casey La Scala

Writer: Casey La Scala, Chris Dowling (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexa PenaVega, Johnny Pacar, Liz E Morgan, Italia Ricci, Shaun Sipos, Kimberley Drummond

 

Plot: Friends gather at a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by terrifying apocalyptic events forcing them to examine life, love and faith as they must choose between redemption and survival.


Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable End of the World Horror

 

Story: The Remaining starts with two long-term friends Skylar (PenaVega) and Dan (Dechart) getting married, with their closest friends around them, Tommy (Pacar), Jack (Sipos), Allison (Ricci) and Lauren (Drummond). What was a perfect wedding turns into a living nightmare for the friends though, when an unknown catastrophic event happens leaving people dead and our friends trying to solve what has happened.

Skylar from a religious family believes this is the rapture and being joined by Sam (Morgan) a mysterious woman also just trying to survive, the friends go in search of Allison who had become separated from them. Once reunited the group must figure out how to survive the creatures picking off the remaining survivors on Earth.

 

Thoughts on The Remaining

 

Characters – Skylar is the religious woman who is getting married, she has attended church her whole life, but doesn’t understand why she hasn’t been taken is this was a rapture, spending the film trying to figure out what she has done wrong. Dan is the man she is marrying that had attended church to make Skylar happy, but this will become the trend, they guys seem to all be written the same.  Tommy is he guy filming the day and does try to record the events (don’t worry, this isn’t found footage, they just use his footage at times to look back at moments they thought they had missed). Jack is one of the best men, he leads the friends out in search for Allison his girlfriend, that is his character in a nutshell. Allison is the best friend of Skylar, wildly jealous of Skylar getting married while she has been in the long-term relationship with Jack. Sam is the random woman that joins them in search of escape from the terror that is happening.

PerformancesThe performances well here are the start of the negatives, this isn’t down solely to the performers though, the characters are written to feel very generic, which doesn’t give the stars much to work with, it would be fair to say you could swap the cast around easily and they wouldn’t have to do much different either. No one deserves any praise for their work.

StoryThe story is the world has ended, God has taken the worthy leaving the rest to fight to survive against creatures left to roam the Earth. We watch how these six people try to survive the end of the world, making bad decisions along the way. I feel the film does want to have the balance between is it religious or other source, but in the end just falls into trying to borrow from the Bible about the rapture putting their own spin on what is going to be. We also must deal with a love triangle between friends which isn’t needed either. The story isn’t the most compelling if we are being honest.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes from the idea the world would end instantly for the faith driven people, leaving the rest to face the rapture, this could well be a nightmare situation, but this film doesn’t drive home the horror like it should.

SettingsThe settings place us in a city, not sure which one it was meant to be, but it also doesn’t matter too much, we are meant to believe this could be a worldwide issue.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, they aren’t used that often which at times works and other times doesn’t.


Scene of the Movie –
The first moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me They spent a day in the hospital that had nobody in it or no resources, when they fear what is in the night.

Final ThoughtsThis is a largely forgettable movie, the characters are bland which give the actors nothing to work with and by the end it becomes overly preachy to only the idea of Bible being the true religion, we should have opened doors to potential of other beliefs having the same prediction.

 

Overall: Forgettable on nearly every level.

Rating