Now Is Your Last Chance To See Kurt Russell’s Sci-Fi Bloodbath
Kurt Russel's forgotten sci-fi film, Soldier, is on Netflix until March 1st.
A ’90s cult classic starring Kurt Russell is about to leave Netflix. Soldier is an action-packed extravaganza that fans of the Escape From New York star owe it to themselves to check out before it’s too late. As the aptly named What’s On Netflix reports, Soldier is set to flee the grandaddy of streamers on March 1st, giving fans a little over a week to view the overlooked 1998 gem.
Soldier was directed by Paul WS Anderson hot off of Mortal Kombat and along with Kurt Russell, stars Jason Scott Lee and Jason Isaacs of Harry Potter fame. A young Wyatt Russell of Falcon and the Winter Soldier fame played his dad at age 11. The movie was written by David Webb Peoples, the same screenwriter responsible for 12 Monkeys, Unforgiven and co-writer of the 1982 sci-fi noir masterpiece Blade Runner.
If you’ve ever wondered what a sequel to Blade Runner made in the ’90s would look like, look no further than Soldier. Peoples penned the Kurt Russell vehicle as a “spin-off sidequel” to the Ridley Scott classic that takes place in the same universe. Soldier isn’t an official Blade Runner sequel, but it does have some connections to its spiritual predecessor.
When the Kurt Russell character Todd has his service record listed on screen, it says he fought in the battles of Tannhauser Gate and Shoulder of Orion–two battles mentioned in Blade Runner. Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty mentions that he fought in the above battles during his infamous “tears in rain” monologue at the end of the film. There is also a scene featuring a spinner, the flying police vehicles from Blade Runner.
Kurt Russell was so adamant that his character be absolutely jacked that he took an 18-month hiatus from acting so he could work out 3-4 hours a day. Paul WS Anderson actually postponed the filming of Soldier so that Russell could achieve his ridiculous physique, directing Event Horizon in the meantime.
Ironically as soon as filming did proceed, Russell broke his left ankle. The Overboard star’s unfortunate injury caused Soldier’s shooting schedule to be rearranged. Scenes with Kurt Russell lying down were shot first, saving all the action sequences for after the actor had recovered.
Despite the pedigree of a script by Peoples, and the star power of the ’90s, Kurt Russell’s Soldier was a flop at the box office. The film cost nearly $60 million to make and grossed less than $15 million worldwide. 15 coincidentally is also the movie’s percentage on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that Soldier was critically panned at its time of release.
But what do critics know? Blade Runner also bombed at the box office and was absolutely savaged by critics upon release, proving that sometimes a movie is so far ahead of its time that the general public isn’t ready to appreciate its genius until much later. Is Soldier one such movie? Only one way to find out – but hurry, because on March 1st, it disappears just like tears in rain.