Paul W.S. Anderson's noble sci-fi failure takes place in a future world where the military has implemented a training program called Project Adam, in which select infants are raised as super-soldiers with no understanding of anything except killing things and blowing stuff up. Todd (Kurt Russell), a hardened Project Adam veteran, finds himself replaced by an even superer-super-solider (Jason Scott Lee) and winds up banished on a trash planet (yes, an entire planet devoted to waste disposal), where he struggles to fit in with a group of outcast colonists who are more than a little intimidated by this intense and near-sociopathic newcomer. Soldier struggles to make its mark with a somewhat imaginative and intricate mythology (indeed, screenwriter David Peoples considers this a companion piece to his Blade Runner script, and ten points to those who catch the Tanhauser Gate reference) but it just ends up a confusing mess, coming across more like a way too ambitious Syfy movie than the sort of militaristic spin on Star Trek that it's trying to be. Anderson struggles under the weight of it all, only managing to deliver a few good stand-alone moments in a film that needed a director like Ridley Scott to see it through -- even Gary Busey, who can usually be counted on for at least some random crazy energy, is oddly low-key in this, perhaps confused into subdued submission.
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