Saturday, December 5, 2009


Released: 1996
Reviewed: 11.28.09
Star rating: 2 out of 5

Mario Van Peebles (Solo), William Sadler (Frank/New Solo), Jaime Gomez (Tracker), Abraham Verduzco (Miguel), Adrien Brody (Bill), Farnesio de Bernal (Father Cerna), Barry Corbin (Haynes).

Solo is a robot soldier designed to do what mortal men can't in combat. But he was also designed to think using a set of protocols that prevent him from completing his most recent mission. Now considered a rogue, and on the run from the government who wants to destroy him, Solo happens upon a terrorized village and decides to help the peasants.

If this sounds familiar that's because it has been done before. Think "Universal Soldier". And I'm sorry to say, it was done much better. The film provides a few minutes of plot and character development before jumping right into things and leaving us a bit confused about the relationships that exist between characters. That's also the point where the film stops developing any of the characters other than Solo. That would be fine except that Solo is a rather uninteresting robot that doesn't speak much or appear to enjoy interacting with others. So the film plods along to the rather inevitable storybook ending that can be seen coming a mile away.

Acting was sad in this one. Peebles can act a bit, and the guy has a nice body, I'll give him that much. But he is way too pretty to pull off being a rough and tumble military action hero. Sadler and Corbin were so over the top it was ridiculous. And supporting work was obviously inexperienced.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were pretty good. I enjoyed the Christian church built on top of apparent Mayan or Aztec ruins that were then destroyed without concern. Wow. Sound was decent while dialogue was a bit campy in parts.

Overall, not the worst action film I've ever seen but I'll probably not bother ever watching it again. And I'm glad I didn't pay good money in a theatre. With some violence and foul language this one should be okay for teens and above.

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