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Picks and Pans Review: Soldier

updated 11/02/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/02/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee

Russell is a 21st-century soldier who has been so rigorously trained that he's eerily robotic. He also happens to be last year's model, replaced by a new breed (including Lee) genetically designed to be even more dangerously impersonal. Disposable, Russell is left for dead on a planet used as a garbage bin. But when the younger guys show up on maneuvers, Russell, who is now protecting a ragtag colony of castaways, proves that DNA is no match for—well, for whatever workout routine the 47-year-old Russell has been using. His shoulders rise up like an ocean swell. Good work, Kurt!

The movie is a dumb jumble—battle scenes, periodic dust storms, lots of poisonous little green snakes and Gary Busey as a wise old captain who spouts cracker-barrel aphorisms. Russell observes all the mayhem in near silence and with an occasionally unsettled expression, like some future case study for Oliver Sacks. (R)

Bottom Line: Flunks inspection

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