Monday, November 5, 2012

Small Soldiers (Joe Dante, 1998) Review

Hey everyone, let's ride on Toy Story's fame! How about we make a film about toys that come to life! The main difference being that there is a REASON to why the toys are alive. Kudos to that, I guess. This film is easily the action version of Toy Story as opposed to the family friendly film of Toy Story but which films is better? It's pretty damn obvious but let's take a look at Small Soldiers anyway...just because I can!

Two new waves of action figures are released to the world: The Commando Elites and The Gorgonites. The catch? These toys have been installed with a chip that brings them to life...and are at war. The leader of the Gorgonites, Archer (Frank Langella), befriends a 15 year old kid, Alan Abernathy (Gregory Smith), but the leader of the Commando Elites, Chip Hazard (Tommy Lee Jones), is in pursuit of the Gorgonites and anyone affiliated with them. This sparks an all out war between the two toys's (grammar spasm) army with Adam and his friends and family caught in the middle.

Interesting concept (a little bit stolen from Toy Story though) but...not the best execution. It's half CGI and half actual toys which leads to the CGI becoming very distracting. Sure it looks good but it becomes a bit shocking when it Also there is a waste of talent. Tommy Lee Jones, while good in this film, seems a bit wasted. David Cross and Jay Mohr as the toy makers are some of my favourite characters though. ALSO the Gorgonites are ungodly annoying. There's a fine line between cooky and annoying...this goes over it.

It's not all bad though. Like I said, the CGI is good and there are some generally enjoyable characters and moments. Plus it has a very satisfying ending that, while a bit predictable, is also great to watch. It's action fuelled and the way that the Commando Elites make their own weapons, MacGyver style! The action is thrilling and fun to watch. This film also is quite funny...I guess.

Small Soldiers is an okay film. While the idea of a toy war is pretty epic and it does offer some great moments, it just feels a It's above average, that's for sure, but that's about the best I can say. Would I recommend it?........probably. It is fun to watch but it's not that amazing. I enjoy it but that's all. Well, I haven't done a bad film in a while (we had a 10, 9 and 9.5 in a row!)...I'll think of one.

An above average action (alliteration!) film that is fun to watch but isn't anything special...

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