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Soldiers of Fortune (2012)

What have Christian Slater, Sean Bean, Colm Meaney. Ving Rhames, Dominic Monaghan, and James Cromwell got in common?

Soldiers of Fortune

They're all in this film you haven't seen.

Stumbling across Soldiers of Fortune on a late night channel hop, I thought, hm. Christian Slater? I like him. Sounds like a bad war film. So I stuck it in the PVR queue.

Then I found out it was a B war movie, dirty dozen, Expendables type with an all star cast.

Well. Score.

Slater is disgraced army vet Craig McCenzie (Yes, I triple checked the spelling), down on his luck, and broke. While gambling to help pay the bills of fellow disgraced army vet Mike Reed (Freddy Rodríguez) he is hired to lead a team of civilians to a live battle zone. A sort of extreme vacation. With live ammo.

Of course, everything goes wrong from the get-go. Slater's team of pros are all killed (quite coldly, I might add) including Reed, leaving McCenzie trapped on an island of hostiles with a bunch of would-be have a go heroes.

From left: Sean Bean / Dominic Monaghan / James Cromwell / Ving Rhames / Christian Slater

There is more to it than that, obviously. Each super-rich civ has a reason to be there. Twists. Turns. And Colm Meaney as the scene stealing bad guy is always fun.

So, it's a tongue in cheek action movie, sure. But it's good, and mostly for one reason. The cast is stellar - and not just because of big names.

James Cromwell pretty much acts everyone off the screen in every scene he's in. You don't rack up nearly 50 years in the business by not being able to act. Sean Bean, Ving Rhames, and Christian Slater are all solid leading men in their own rights. Monaghan generally plays supporting roles - but if you've seen him in Lost you'll know how versatile he is.

So packing a movie, set in largely a single location, with great actors should be a win.

Then, there's the action scenes. Director, Maxim Korostyshevsky (who has weirdly done nothing before, or since) pulls a solid job, and there's a big enough budget to have Expendables size action.

Soldiers of Fortune: BOOOOOOOOOM

It's a solid, reliable, action movie. It's cast is lovable. Dominic Monaghan is always adorable. It's cheesy 80's action at it's best. Sure, it's an Expendables movie. Hell, the trailer even claims:


What's not to like?

And, it teaches you things. I learned that even trained vets don't look at explosions. Civilians with machine guns are super dangerous. James Cromwell could snap me in half like a twig.

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