Film: Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers is a film released in 1991, starring Louis Gossett Jr., Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, and Keith Coogan. The Regis School has earned the nickname of "The Reject School" as many of it's students have been expelled from other boarding schools. When Luis Cali (perpetual villain Andrew Divoff), son of a powerful Colombian drug lord, takes over the school in an attempt to bargain for his father's release, The Rejects decide they won't settle with being hostages and begin hatching plans of sabotage and escape.

Not to be confused with Small Soldiers.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: The boys take every piece of the Headmaster's office furniture and lays it out as it was perfectly on the school quad. The Headmaster and the Dean try desperately not to laugh while in front of all the students. The Headmaster then says quietly he would rather like to leave all the furniture there and work outside in the sunshine.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used by Billy Tepen (Sean Astin) to get from a bathroom to an office.
  • Anti-Air: One of the terrorists grabs a rocket launcher to try to shoot down an incoming special forces Blackhawk helicopter, but ends up getting mowed down by an Apache gunship before he can use it.
  • Backed by the Pentagon: The film had support from U.S. Army units, including real Blackhawk and Apache helicopters.
  • The Cartel: Cali and his men, naturally.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The remote controlled airplane, with the control chip.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The remote controlled airplane's control chip evidently shares a common feature with that of the detonator for the explosives.
    • It was established earlier in the film that the chips were standardized.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: When Cali takes Billy hostage and holds him in Headmaster Gould's office while the Special Forces tries to enter before he can detonate the bomb, Dean Parker jumps through the window to kill Cali but Cali shoots him first, wounding him. With Cali distracted, the Special Forces enters the office and one of them shoots Cali in the back of his head, killing him.
  • Delinquents: The dean asks Billy if he's going for a record in expulsions. He sells disguised booze to his classmates and is the ringleader in any pranks pulled by the students. His record makes authorities dealing with the siege reluctant to go with his proposed plan, until the Dean convinces them otherwise.
  • The Door Slams You: During the climax, Luis Cali, the Big Bad, rushes into the kitchen looking for the students, who have taken refuge in the hidden cellar beneath the kitchen. Billy, holding a submachine gun, hides behind the kitchen's swinging door, and for a moment it looks like it's worked. And then Cali abruptly grabs the door with one hand and slams it into Billy, crushing him against the wall and dazing him long enough for Cali to disarm him and take him prisoner.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The operation to eliminate the terrorists and retake the school is conducted by special forces operatives.
  • Fast Roping: Several of the aforementioned special forces teams use this method to gain rapid access to the school grounds.
  • Foreshadowing: When Joey is talking about taking a machine gun from one of the bad guys.
  • Guile Hero: Billy Tepper mostly relies on his wits.
  • Heroic BSOD: After Joey is killed, Billy sinks in deep depression, almost missing their chance that they planned so hard for.
  • Kick the Dog: When Billy is late to the head count Cali beats him with a metal pointer.
  • The Mafia: Joey's father is a Don in the Mafia, he is ashamed of it and takes exception when his friends bring it up.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: It's not enough for the terrorists to shoot up a cop car with a fifty-cal heavy machine gun, they have to blow it up with an anti-tank rocket launcher to top it off!
  • Race Against the Clock: Billy has to get back to the school in time to make the next headcount, or five of his classmates will be executed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dean Parker and the Headmaster are both this for the school. Deputy Director Brown and General Kramer also seem like this outside the school.
  • Surprise Vehicle: Two terrorists don't see or hear an attack helicopter that is only a few feet away. They see it and hear it only when it rises to the same height as they are.
    • Somewhat justified, since there were 2 other helicopters closing in on the school.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Joey Trotta (Wil Wheaton) tries to start a rebellion among the students, the Colombians shoot him down without hesitation. Cali does try to explain that, had the boy not grabbed a submachine gun from one of the guards and threatened his people with it, Cali probably would have been content to just beat up on him some as punishment instead of shooting him. Cali doesn't help his case by claiming it was an accident.
  • Yanks with Tanks: The U.S. Army is brought in to help with the siege of the school when local law enforcement is unable to deal with the terrorists' firepower.