VIDEO: Soldier (1998)

The overlooked awesomeness of Soldier.

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  • David F White

    Soldier is really stupid & overrated!!!

    • Cristiona

      Are you kidding?

  • Thomas Stockel

    I love the hell out of this movie.

  • Gallen Dugall

    I’ve seen at least parts of this and don’t really remember it. The start where they’re turning children into “perfect soldiers” probably killed it for me. It’s a horrible unworkable concept that has unfortunately been tried repeatedly throughout history.
    Most notoriously the Soviets in the late ’50s and early ’60s cleared out orphanages and set up a model town in the middle of nowhere to train the children. By all accounts the efforts to “harden” the children did a great job of turning them into sociopaths that were a constant threat to staff and each other. Everyone associated with the program was executed, institutionalized or sent to Siberia.
    After a quick glance (because who could stomach more) of the better documented “child soldiers” used in African conflicts you quickly realize that children make horrible soldiers because the training interferes with normal mental development. You don’t get good soldiers – you get crazy killers.
    The most successful child to soldier program was probably the Hitler Youth, and it was basically just Boy Scouts coupled with Nazi political indoctrination.
    So yeah whenever I see the really done to death “turn children into soldiers” trope in sci-fi (I think this was written when Ender’s Game was popular) I get annoyed and lose interest. It’s well beyond cliche and stupid and into aggravating and sick territory.

    • Sean Tadsen

      You’re making the mistake of assuming that because the movie includes children being made into soldiers it’s somehow advocating it, when really, if anything, it’s very much against the practice. You’re very clearly supposed to be disturbed by the brutality of the training and what it’s doing to these kids. The main character’s arc is mostly about him being rehabilitated and humanized by being around normal people. And in the end, while he might not be 100% fixed, he is at least better emotionally than when he started.

      • Gallen Dugall

        It’s more a matter of a situation that couldn’t possibly work as presented completely breaking of my suspension of disbelief and preventing me from enjoying the story. Kind of like how I can’t watch Doctor Who because they constantly get basic reality wrong. I understand stupid people don’t understand how gravity works, but if gravity’s your plot device in a story you may want to at least wiki gravity and read the summary. I understand that lots of people don’t understand religion, but before you have an authoritative character say, “No one expected that the afterlife would be just like regular life!” you may want to google ‘common religious beliefs’ because that one will be at the top of the list.

        • Sean Tadsen

          Fair enough. I have the same problem with the Hunger Games franchise. And I’ve always felt that Doctor Who was more science-fantasy than science-fiction.

          • Gallen Dugall

            Doctor Who being fantasy is fine. Doctor Who saying, “All the coastal regions were DESTROYED!!!” and then closing on a pristine coastline is saying, “Our audience is a bunch of drooling idiots and we hate them.”