Movie Review Flashback- Small Soldiers (1998)

Small Soldiers is a 1998 family film starring Gregory Smith, Denis Leary, Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, Phil Hartman, Kevin Dunn, Ann Magnuson along with the voices of Tommy Lee Jones and Frank Langella. It was directed by Joe Dante.

A small town toy company is bought out by a major corporation. The owners Irwin Wayfair and Larry Benson are told to make their toys more intelligent. As a result, Larry uses his new corporate access to get advanced AI microchips to create intelligence army toys called Commando Elites and their mortal enemies the Gorgonites. The elites are suppose to capture and exterminate the Gorgonites who are trying to get home.

Teen Alan Abernathy sees the toys on their suppliers truck. Wanting to help his father’s failing toy company, he convinces the driver to advance him the toys. Soon, they come to life and start grow and learn. The commandos even kidnap his crush Christy Fimple in order to get to Gorgonites whom he starts to protect. However, as their intelligence grows, it soon becomes clear that these are more than just toys.

Small Soldiers is definitely a product of the nineties. It has that cheesy and campy edge to it. The film uses early CGI and motion capture to bring the toys to life. It is definitely a more action-packed version of Pixar’s Toy Story. For family film, it has a pretty entertaining plot and the acting is well done. It is good to see a veteran comedian like Phil Hartman in a comedic role. Gregory Smith and Kirsten Dunst have gone on to greater things, but this film definitely has its place in their CV.

FAVORITE QUOTE: Welcome to Earth, Irwin.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Mild violence, some foul language

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