The Soldier | VERN’S REVIEWS on the FILMS of CINEMA

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I solely paid consideration to THE SOLDIER (1982) as a result of I observed it had a rating by Tangerine Dream. (Seems to be an excellent one, too, although laborious to search out as an album.) I ought to’ve checked it out anyway simply because it’s written and directed by James Glickenhaus between THE EXTERMINATOR and THE PROTECTOR. It’s a bit of extra regular and fewer sleazy than these – it’s a covert ops film within the mould of THE KILLER ELITE or SWORD OF GIDEON or a type of – however I believe I favored it even higher.

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Ken Wahl (THE DIRTY DOZEN: THE NEXT MISSION, THE GLADIATOR) performs the titular The Soldier. That’s his code title! Looks as if there might be some misunderstandings there. He leads an elite counterterrorism unit that operates fully off the books and solutions solely to the pinnacle of the CIA (Ron Harper, BODY COUNT, PEARL HARBOR). They usually’re launched in a fairly humorous method. Within the first shot, a limo carrying an envoy is driving via Philadelphia and an outdated girl – effectively, a lady sporting an outdated girl costume – crosses in entrance of her with a babycart. The motive force doesn’t even decelerate, simply nails the girl and retains going. A lady with a procuring bag, a development employee and a businessman all see it occur and are available working over, to search out the girl useless. Contained in the babycart is a doll and an uzi.

However these aren’t simply random folks! They’re extra assassins! They pull weapons out of a bag, a lunchbox, a briefcase. Earlier than they’ll use them they go down in a hail of bullets and we see The Soldier and his crew – the nice Steve James (proper earlier than VIGILANTE), Joaquim de Almeida (DESPERADO, FAST FIVE), Peter Hooten (Physician Unusual within the 1978 TV film DR. STRANGE) and Alexander Spencer (no different credit) – simply standing in a line on some steps sporting their cool black outfits and berets. The place the fuck did they arrive from? I don’t know. However a helicopter comes, they load up the our bodies, clear off the blood, and fly away with out saying a phrase.

They’re not the one clean operators on the earth, although. Within the subsequent sequence we watch a gaggle of KGB brokers led by Ivan (Jeremiah Sullivan, SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND) come ashore at night time and ambush a plutonium transport truck with a bazooka the following day. The truck explodes, flips over and explodes once more, then they only stroll previous the flaming corpses to climb up the tower on the trailer and pull out a plutonium rod. When a sheriff tries to interrupt, Ivan shoots him with a trick shotgun hidden actually up his sleeve. It’s a fantastic shot as a result of it’s slo-mo and it’s the stringiest, goopiest squib I’ve seen shortly (even if you happen to can see for a second that there’s a stable field inside there).


They pull an Alfa Romero out of the again of their truck, put the rod within the trunk and drive off proper earlier than one other explosion. They drive over the border to Canada, seamlessly switching from their Russian dialog to completely dorky American accents. Subsequent factor you recognize they’re on an oil discipline in Saudi Arabia, hiding a nuclear bomb inside one barrel in a pile.

A lot of the film is simply watching lengthy sequences like this unfold, and that’s what I like about it. There’s some exposition, for instance the following scene has a digicam slowly rotating as a circle of Israeli officers focus on their dilemma: they’ve acquired a requirement to withdraw from the West Financial institution inside 96 hours or a nuclear bomb will destroy 50% of the world’s petroleum provide.

From there we go immediately into the following cool sequence: a goofy trying prisoner of Mossad will get dragged into an interrogation room the place one other prisoner identifies him. Mossad director of particular operations Susan Goodman (Alberta Watson, THE KEEP) then executes the primary man, however within the different room it’s revealed that it was her greatest double agent with a squib on his head. No surprise he had such a large brow and ridiculous trying wig!

When the U.S. finds out what’s happening they don’t need to threat dropping that oil, so the president (William Prince, THE GAUNTLET, SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION) calls the pinnacle of the CIA and asks him to provide you with a plan to drive Israel off the West Financial institution! I can’t image that ever taking place. However “alternatively I need to know who the fuck is behind this,” and the director has “simply the person for the job, sir” and we all know who meaning.

The Soldier’s plan is “to speak to the Russians” to determine in the event that they’re behind it or know who’s, so he goes to Austria to fulfill with Dracha (Klaus Kinski between FITZCARRALDO and ANDROID) on the highest of a mountain. However Dracha instantly tips him into getting on a ski elevate by himself and he’s in a position to leap out proper earlier than a bazooka blows it up. This results in a ski chase worthy of a James Bond film! My favourite components are after they tear previous regular skiiers who don’t know what the fuck is occurring, and naturally the climax when The Soldier goes off a leap and spins round and in some way shoots a man with a machine gun in mid-air.


As tends to occur in this stuff, the CIA director will get killed, so The Soldier is on the market on his personal with nobody to vouch for him or to speak with. So he rams a automobile into the Israeli embassy, convinces Susan he’s legit they usually workforce up.

This actually is usually only a compilation of tremendous cool sequences set to tremendous cool music. Like, we watch a man painstakingly taking aside a lightbulb to fill with explosives and placing mentioned bulb within the CIA director’s desk lamp. After which we now have to attend for the director to show it on. We additionally watch a ninja sneak up on The Soldier whereas he’s asleep in a chair after which they’ve a bloody struggle till The Soldier will get ahold of a gun and the ninja reveals that he’s Steve James simply enjoying a joke. One factor that’s goofy is that he does Bruce Lee noises like he’ll later as Kung Fu Joe in I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA.

There’s simply a lot scope and element to this factor. They go to fulfill one of many different operatives in an enormous, crowded redneck bar with a dwell band and mud-wrestling. Some dude calls Steve the n-word so Steve beats the shit out of him and begins a large brawl. As our guys stroll out of the place any individual will get thrown via the window behind them, the mud wrestlers climb out, the digicam retains panning throughout an incredible assortment of classic vehicles and bikes and an airbrushed van within the car parking zone and finally we see the signal that claims “MUD WRESTLING TONIGHT.”

So both they created an entire world right here or they discovered a hell of a location and clientele to be extras.

Talking of attention-grabbing areas, there’s a scene shot on forty second Road, with a number of nice titles on the marquees (together with Glickenhaus’s personal THE EXTERMINATOR). On this case I’m fairly certain they actually simply shot guerrilla model with the true folks on the road.


The scene’s over fast although as a result of it seems to be a movie for a taking pictures simulator The Soldier makes use of for apply.

I get pleasure from films like this, possibly partially as a result of it’s a enjoyable and comforting fantasy to consider that there is usually a small workforce of badasses who’re so fucking unbelievable at what they do this they’ll remedy any downside, save the world from any catastrophe. We get the impure catharsis of fucking some man’s up with the ethical justification that it’s gonna cease an entire struggle or a nuclear blast.

It’s additionally kinda creepy although due to course it’s accepting the concept that we belief these guys to transcend any legislation or management and do the proper factor. They handle to sneak right into a facility in disguise and take management of the nuclear arsenal, to make use of as a risk! There are such a lot of methods this might go incorrect. Any considered one of these guys might flip into the villain in an UNDER SIEGE. However for now they’re on our facet. They’ve The Soldier’s again and The Soldier has ours.

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on Tuesday, April fifth, 2022 at 7:16 am and is filed underneath Action, Reviews.
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