Plot: Major Howard Toliver (Michael Dudikoff) is one of the best soldiers on the planet, but these days, he devotes his time to social causes. He oversees a high risk prison full of troubled young people, trying to make a difference since he knows the streets are worse than war zones these days. Toliver is soon approached to run one last mission, to rescue the daughter of a rich, powerful man, but he hesitates at first, until he sees a chance to do some real good. While he agrees to the rescue mission, he demands to choose his own soldiers from the prison, give any survivors full pardons, and he wants millions donated to local youth programs. After he selects his colorful half dozen prisoners to join him, the group heads to Vietnam, where a local warlord has gone on a rampage and holds the American girl prisoner. As his squad descends into arguments and in-fights, Toliver tries to instill some military discipline into them, while also giving them some basic tips on how to survive the mission. But can this group even get along well enough to survive enough, let alone the rest of the mission?
Entertainment Value: While Soldier Boyz was made in the mid 90s, it has all those special 80s action movie vibes, without question. The story makes little to no sense, going for a kind of troubled teen Dirty Dozen, but the movie more than compensates when it comes to the action scenes. This one is loaded with big, dumb, and super fun action, with minimal breaks for exposition or development. This is high body count, splashy squibs, and relentless explosions kind of action, with Michael Dudikoff and a bunch of juvenile delinquents in the leads. Dudikoff has a central role and is around a lot, but the action often falls on the younger cast members, which isn’t a concern. The youngsters carry the mantle well and Dudikoff is still fun as the worn, but optimistic old veteran who tries to keep his squad alive. The teens are a colorful bunch, with a white supremacist, drug dealers, murderers, a psychopath, and a mentally unstable rape victim, perhaps not the best crew to hand assault rifles to, but who are we to question Dudikoff, right? As I said, the narrative is thin and doesn’t focus on common sense, so what little development there is comes off as predictable. But the real draw here is the action and in that regard, the movie more than delivers. In truth, I don’t know what else genre fans could want from a wild, over the top b movie type action flick, as Soldier Boyz hits all the right notes and is a total blast to watch.
No nakedness. The female squad member endures some harassment, but is also strong enough to defend herself and then some. On the blood side, the red stuff flows like wine here, thanks to some seriously generous squibs that never disappoint. The gun shot wounds spray out what seem like gallons of blood in some scenes, but even the less splashy ones yield impressive crimson. And given how many bullets are fired and how many bodies pile up, that means a lot of goopy bloodshed to go around. A guy also takes a bite out of a python, just to mix things up a little. Aside from the gun shots, there’s not much blood here, but there are a lot of big, blood soaked shoot outs, so don’t count out the power of the squibs. In terms of dialogue, we have a lot of teen dysfunction, tough guy talk, tough girl talk, leadership lessons, and of course, one liners, so a good deal of fun stuff in this one. The squad banters all the time, which leads to insults and personal attacks, all of which add to the entertainment. This is the kind of ridiculous dialogue you want to hear as shit blows up, I think. The craziness is a little reserved outside of the usual action movie conventions, but I do think the premise of giving criminal teens assault weapons and permission to kill, partnered with the over the top violence and quirky dialogue earn this one a couple points.
Overall Insanity: 2/10