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Toy Soldiers
1 review

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Dan Petrie Jr.

Written By:
Dan Petrie Jr.

Cast:
Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, Keith Coogan, Andrew Divoff, Denholm Elliott, Louis Gossett Jr., Shawn Phelan

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Toy Soldiers (1991)
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Movie Review by Zara
January 24th, 2007

Awe, come on! Smile Wil!

If I were to choose a picture to put in the dictionary next to the term "underrated" it would be one of Sean Astin. Overlooked for most of his career first for being just another spawn of famous acting parents and later overlooked for not fitting into a leading man mold (he's short, he's stocky and let's face it - that Hobbit role was fitting as far as his aging facial features are concerned). People are fond of Astin for mainly three roles, Mikey, Rudy and Sam. Trouble is that Astin has worked throughout his lifetime creating interesting and noteworthy characters. Even with homo-erotic teen action tales like TOY SOLDIERS, you can always relate to the guy.

The plot revolves around a group of students at a private prep school, the majority of which are entitled youths from wealthy or noteworthy families. When a Columbian drug lord's son takes the school hostage to attempt to negotiate his father's release from an American prison (Ah, the good old days! When the brown skinned terrorists were from South America!) the students plot to get out of harm's way. Lead by Astin's Billy Tepper, your typical rich kid with discipline/authority issues, the teens manage to pull off what the military and the FBI can't seem to manage.

The sheer fact that Louis Gossett Jr is the school's dean is enough to make me smile. Every hotshot white kid needs a supportive black man in his corner, and Gossett never fails to fill that role with the dignity that most actors couldn't accomplish. The film never panders to the teenagers, although it does follow the cliches of having the token black and token Hispanic students (along with a constipated-looking Wil Wheaton playing the mobster's kid) as well as feature scores of shots where the young men are wearing not more than t-shirts and tighty whiteys. Considering that this is quite possibly the best that Sean Astin has looked in his lifespan, I'll take it. TOY SOLDIERS is frivolous, meaningless and a little silly. But it's also damn entertaining.

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