Review of Small Soldiers (1998) by Kevin P — 16 Mar 2018
Strengths: It's such a wacky premise that it works. This succeeded as both a movie for kids and one with some cool action scenes. For being a movie from 1998, the special effects are quite good, with only a handful of scenes looking out of place. Praise must also be heaped on the voice cast. The toys had great work behind them. Tommy Lee Jones (Chip Hazard) stands out as the leader of the Commando Elites, while Frank Langella (Archer) is a good choice to lead the Gorgonites. They did a good job in providing some comic relief with some of the toy characters and the film is rather funny overall. As for the regular cast, it's fun to see Kirsten Dunst (Christy) before she became a bigger star and Gregory Smith (Alan) does fine. The highlight is the small role by Dennis Leary (Gil), who is a joy to watch.
Weaknesses: The voice cast is great, but the regular cast doesn't do much. Outside of the two I mentioned, most of them are kind of just there. Phil Hartman (Phil) feels like he's playing something too similar to his Jingle All The Way character and people like Kevin Dunn (Stuart) and David Cross (Irwin) are kind of just there. The script features several far-fetched moments that are worthy of eye rolls when you get older. It also gets rather repetitive with the toys going through the same things over and over.
Overall: I'd call this a guilty pleasure of mine. I know it's way out there and kind of dumb, but it's fun. There are plenty of better kid's movies around. I just happen to think this one is wacky enough to enjoy.
Small Soldiers has generally received mixed reviews.
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