Stars: Kurt Russel, Jason Scott Lee
Far in the future, soldiers are drafted at birth and indoctrinated into becoming elite killing machines. They have no family or friends and know nothing of the finer points of life, not love, not even a kind touch. Just shoot to kill.
That sets up this Kurt Russell film in which he has about a dozen lines of dialogue in total. Jason Scott Lee plays Cain, his nemesis, a bio-engineered soldier who makes Russell’s character, Todd, completely obsolete.
Todd’s the best of the conventional soldiers at this point but he loses a test of strength to Cain and is consequently dumped on a rather inhospitable garbage planet with some other unfortunate soldiers who also didn’t make the grade – except they’re dead and Todd’s not. Todd is then rescued by refugees who survived a crash years earlier and for the first time in his life, he discovers what he means to have a family, what it means to care about people and how to function in a group. Yet, the people sense that Todd is still a dangerous soldier who reacts on instinct most of the time. They send him out into the harsh elements to fend for himself.
The Colonel who introduced the new soldiers wants to make them combat ready by sending them into training on the same harsh garbage planet where, unbeknownst to him, Todd ended up. Anyone found inhabiting the planet is deemed expendable. Todd, through cunning and strength manages to kill off everyone of the super soldiers even though he is outnumbered 20 to one. Of course.
I liked the setting, I like Kurt Russell – even though, through his characterization he didn’t have much in the way of facial expression, and I basically liked the script. It was, of course, extremely predictable as these types of films tend to be so one must look at the execution in general. Overall, it’s an enjoyable formula action film.
Lotta says see it if brute strength stuff is your type of film. Lots of fights and firepower.