Saturday, April 19, 2008

This SOLDIER Ad is Way Better Than the Movie

THE SOLDIER should have been much better. Made in the great period of the 1980s before Gorbachev, glasnost and the Malta Summit, THE SOLDIER revels in its depiction of all Russians as slimy, raping and pillaging scum whose only goal in life is the destruction of "the American way of life." In fact, the Commies in this go 'round are sooooo evil that they steal plutonium and make some kind of bomb which they plant somewhere (I'd actually lost most of my interest by this point).

The only squad that can possibly save the day is run by a CIA operative known only by the code name, "The Soldier." As played by Ken Wahl in pre-'Wiseguy' fashion,"The Soldier" is a mix of James Bond and Rambo... getting caught in hair-raising predicaments and then blasting his way out of them.

Despite sharing top-billing in the ad above, Kinski shows up for about one scene 34 minutes into the flick (okay, so I was clock-watching) as a KGB agent named Dracha who wears a really spiffy white ski outfit and tries to kill Wahl by employing a ski lift and a rocket. Not classic Klaus, but better than nothing.

Much to my disappointment my memory of this flick was better than the actual product. Yes, there is a great beginning on a Philadelphia street near my old stomping grounds. Yes, director James Glickenhaus (THE EXTERMINATOR) includes a few good twists and exploding heads. And yes, the great Steve James (THE EXTERMINATOR, AMERICAN NINJA, AVENGING FORCE) does get to say to a redneck in a bar: "You got two choices asshole... duck or bleed." However, these three minor shining points do nothing to absolve THE SOLDIER of its looong uninteresting stretches.


Cinema Suicide said...

Dang! I've actually been keeping an eye out for this. I saw back in the late 80's on one of the local UHFs before it became a major cable affiliate and I was totally into it. I remember a chase down a mountain on skis when Ken Wahl does some sweet helicopter move and hoses the guys that were chasing him with a Mac-10. I also remember Patrick Stewart having a non-speaking role and a full head of hair.

Synd-e said...

And a Tangerine Dream score? Yikes.