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Toy Soldiers

A movie directed by Daniel Petrie Jr.

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Toy Soldiers - we don't need no education, we don't need no thought control

  • Jun 9, 2001
Rating:
-1
Pros: It only lasted 112 minutes

Cons: It lasted 112 minutes

The Bottom Line: Just when you think it is safe to go back into the water - another snake slithers in

Terrorists overtake exclusive prep school, Regis Academy, home of a rag-tag group of rich, over-indulged and neglected miscreants that have been booted out of most the other exclusive prep schools around the country.

Heirs to untold fortunes, sons of senators and corporate big-wigs, children of the prominently rich and notoriously famous, dumped by the wayside because they can't conform. With conformity comes acceptance, with acceptance comes idealism, with idealism comes reality, and the reality is - parents need an heir to pass their fortune on to, they just don't necessarily need to really know them. So here we have children of the corn - mafia babies standing side-by-side with the working poor on scholarships.

We know, of course, why the terrorists have chosen this school for their hostage situation - the power families behind these children will offer them the bargaining chips they so desperately need. The leader of the group, Luis Cali (Andrew Divoff) is a man on a mission. His father, a Latino druglord, has been taken back to the States to stand trial for his misdeeds. Luis wants him back - hence the bargaining chips in childrens clothing.

Naturally the problem is, they don't realize they have their hands on a band of six boys that really have no respect for authority, any kind of authority. All those machine guns and grenades and bombs really don't mean a flying rat's a s s to them, they rebuke authority. Needless to say, this group of boys join together and overtake the terrorists, with the help of the dean of students, Louis Gossett, Jr.

More could be said here, but why bother. The story itself doesn't matter - the meat of the movie is what matters, and that is the group of six and Gossett.

Sitting on the sidelines
I was sadly disappointed in this movie. Too many incredibly bad theories crammed into 112 minutes. Let's start with the premise of these boys - six boys that hate their parents, that rebuke authority, that don't care what others think, that don't follow rules.

Why, pray tell, would they join up with the pure and the innocent and become the super heroes of the movie? Why, instead, wouldn't they join up with the terrorists and shoot the moon at their parents. They don't really care what their parents think, and they certainly don't care what the other students think. It was a perfect solution for these kids - but, oh, no, instead they turn into Batman and Robin - phooey!

The Mafia has a kid in the school. He is also one of the six bad kids. We are trying to get a druglord out of the hands of the authorities. Let's face it, da Godfather rules da world anyway, who are we kidding? He has more authority than the President of the United States. Come on, all he needs to do is make one tiny phone call and all will be right with the world.

Next we have the miliary forces and the FBI join hands to get the terrorists out of the school. Now from various other situations we have viewed in other movies, we are certainly aware that you cannot get the military or the FBI involved in anything, without a lot of innocent people getting killed. They are headstrong and only see things from the point of view of saving their own hides, making themselves look good, not having a black mark against their name. Ever heard of Waco or Ruby Ridge? ‘Nuf said.

Furthermore, we have Gossett, managing somehow to do what no man could before. Of course, perhaps his training for An Officer and a Gentlemen or Iron Eagle has given him superhuman powers and has afforded him the uncanny ability to become a superhero as well.

The true proof in the pudding comes, though, when Wil Wheaton is offered the opportunity to leave the school, as a good will gesture to his father, Jerry Orbach, the Godfather. Wheaton refuses to leave his friends behind, manages to obtain a machine gun, and in turn manages to get himself killed. Divoff totally freaks, realizing that Orbach will undoubtedly seek revenge. A sudden riot in prison tells the story as we watch Divoff's father meet his maker in a truly unpleasant way. Noogies to him - boom, boom, boom - another one bites the dust.

There are just too damn many guns, helicopters, grenades and secret op soldiers in this gig. Too much fire power for such a little show. Too many unbelievable scenarios for this insurgent group of students. If these terrorists were serious, as their firepower implied, they would have killed off a half dozen of these pernicious little brats and be done with it, instead of one or two old sad souls.

As far as acting abilities went, I took into account the ages of these actors and considered that they were young into their budding careers and realized that basically they couldn't act worth a frick. As far as Gossett goes, maybe he just didn't have anything to do that day.

Stars - Gossett, Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, Keith Coogan, Andrew Divoff, Jerry Orbach, George Perez, Mason Adams, Shawn Phelan, Denhold Elliott, T. E. Russell and a whole bunch of obnoxious parents and students. You can thank co-writers David Koepp and Daniel Petrie, Jr. and director Daniel Petrie, Jr. for this in depth piece of cinematography.

Thanks,
Susi :(

p.s. thanks to Pink Floyd for the words I used in my title, taken from The Wall

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About the reviewer
Susi Dawson ()
Ranked #81
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Wiki

The Regis School, a specialized prep school for rich boys, is taken hostage by an elite squad of commandos headed by the son of a South American drug czar who is in prison. He vows to kill one student each day until his drug-lord dad is released. The students decide to risk their lives in a deadly campaign to stop him. Sean Astin (LORD OF THE RINGS) stars in this film based on the novel by William P. Kennedy.
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Details

Cast: R. Lee Ermey
Director: Daniel Petrie Jr.
Release Date: 1991
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (November 05, 2002)
Runtime: 1hr 44min
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