未来世界的战士，一出生就经过严格筛选，没有所谓的个人身分、性格，他们和社会家庭完全隔离，并且从小就被植入晶片，只奉唯一原则：不是你死就是我亡。这些精选的未来战士必须遵守美国军方所谓的“生存守则”： 绝对服从命令、不能质疑长官、要有必胜决心、武力战胜知识、消灭所有敌人、必须赶尽杀绝、不能手下留情、心软等於死亡。陶德（Kurt Russell）是一名打过多场银河系大战的顶尖士兵，他从小就接受严格的军事洗礼，生存的意义只为作战。经过多次惨烈战役，他仍然屹立不倒，可说是达尔文“物竞天择”下的最佳见证。但从未战败的陶德，终於也将面临末日的降临。
日新月异的科技训练出一批全新的未来战士，他们的作战技巧精良纯熟；他们的体能午人可比；他们杀敌手法更是心狠手辣。为了测试下一代战士优秀的作战能力，政府举行了一场竞技比赛，让陶德和其他两名士兵和607号新战士凯恩（Jason Scott Lee）一搏高下，果然新的魔鬼训练方式，让凯恩攻无不克，两名士兵惨死，只有陶德逃过一命，但却也伤痕累累、奄奄一息。战败的他於是被政府当作废料，丢弃到一个遥远的星球上，那里全是因为科技进步而被遗忘的人与物。该星球上的居民悉心替他疗伤，而他也开始学习日常生活上的一切事物，慢慢发掘出自己的人性，并且知道除了冲锋陷阵、奋勇杀敌之外，生命还有许多美好的体验。没想到这时，607号战士奉政府之命，率领士兵前来摧毁这个星球。陶德被迫再度作战，於是抛开与星球居民间彼此的隔阂与歧异，他们团结一心，在陶德的率领下，为家园的存活背水而战。
Soldier: (Joel McNeely) The only reason Soldier existed in the first place was to show actor Kurt Russell kick ass in his usual stoic fashion, and unfortunately for him and everyone else involved with the film, audiences weren't interested. Russell's act had worn, and the director of Mortal Kombat gives us a film in Soldier that is so trite and predictable that you're just begging for some of those wicked one-liners that Russell had performed in similar roles of yesteryear. The film lost a horrendous amount of money for Warner Brothers, with a return on investment so outrageous that you don't even see the film on late night cable re-runs. In this post-apocalyptic tale of military change, Russell is the outdated soldier of a previous generation, being replaced with a new batch of genetically enhanced clone soldiers that will go out into space and kick even more ass. As the discarded underdog, he defends some helpless citizens from the wrath of the army on a waste planet and reminds viewers that the one-liners aren't necessary to prove that those old sturdy products can sometimes get the job done better than the newest gizmos. Given the story and the film's predictable failure at the box office, Soldier would have seemed like a perfect match for composer Jerry Goldsmith, whose career at the time was littered with projects like Executive Decision, Chain Reaction, and Deep Rising. Instead, the assignment went to a composer who proved that a single year could define both his arrival and departure from the mainstream with just a pair of disastrous films.
In his scores for The Avengers and Soldier, Joel McNeely finally scratched at that mainstream barrier that many score collectors had waited for him to burst through for several years. But both films failed so miserably that almost a decade later, McNeely would still be making a career off of films that most people never hear about. In the case of Soldier, the disappointment on screen as not due to a lack of effort by McNeely, who infused a devilish amount of creativity into a score that ultimately wouldn't matter. That's life, no? Clearly evident to any regular film score listener is the connection to Goldsmith in Soldier. McNeely had finished the score for Air Force One a few years earlier with an easy translation of Goldsmith's sound, and he obviously uses it as a basis in Soldier. At the outset of "New Soldiers vs. Old Soldiers," McNeely immediately pours on the rhythmic brass and percussion that had become trademark Goldsmith action material in the mid-1990's. With the lack of a distinct theme, McNeely stops short of violating copyright, but everyone in the room knows what he was up to. But he doesn't stop there. His almost non-stop bombast from the orchestra uses techniques from the books of Elliot Goldenthal and Bernard Herrmann to spice up the personality of a potentially stale product. So frenetic is the action music in Soldier that you can't help but admire the performances and recording. The brass section in particular is directed with a different approach, utilizing eighteen horns, twelve trumpets, twelve trombones, and six tubas arranged so that the trumpets in particular would feature a unique sound. McNeely mutes them for shrill, dissonant tones and splits them into three groups through the orchestra, allowing their ripping, ostinato-paced performances to tear over the highly percussive rhythms back and forth between the front two speakers.
An outrageously large percussion section hammers home the point, with the amount of noise from the combined performances so brutal that they're almost mesmerizing. McNeely borrows influences from a few other places as well: John Barry progressions in "Todd is Exiled," Goldenthal horn techniques in "The Final Battle," and a finale inspired by John Williams' Spacecamp in "Redemption." The wailing mid-range brass elements in James Horner's Star Trek III Klingon music are presented later in the score as an accent to the mind-boggling rhythms. None of these references are particularly bothersome in Soldier, if only because McNeely is so relentless in his brutally layered variants on those concepts. There is no central theme in the score, with fragments in "Todd is Exiled" and "Redemption" never developed with any satisfaction; these ideas are not integrated into the frantic action pieces, either. As such, Soldier is a score of technical marvel but little overarching effectiveness. The same could be said about the film, of course, but you can't help but wonder how McNeely could spend so much time in the process of creating a unique sound for the score and simply brush aside the basic issues of cohesion. At some point, the more mainstream Goldsmith-like aspects of the score become freakishly extravagant, and the mass majority of listeners won't be able to tolerate it for great lengths. Indeed, with the trumpet battles in "The Chain Fight," your friends will flee the room, the neighbor's dog will start barking, and babies down the street will wail in distress. The outrageous arrangements in the score will impress you, but between their quickly tiresome antics and the score's lack of a coherent theme, Soldier is a tad overrated by other film music critics. Appreciate it if you can, but even the most avid fan of film score deconstruction could be beaten by the majority of this music.
1.New Soldier Vs. Old Soldiers
2.The Chain Fight
3.Welcome To Hell
4.Todd is Exiled
5.Soldier Ships Arrive
6.One Against Many
7.The Final Battle