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Film / Soldier Boyz

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Soldier Boyz is a 1995 action film starring Michael Dudikoff and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

Ex-Marine major Howard Toliver (Dudikoff), head of a Los Angeles detention center, is approached by billionaire CEO James Prescott to go and rescue the man's daughter Gabrielle, who has been taken as a hostage from a United Nations supply plane that had landed in Vietnam; her captors are rebel fighters led by the cruel military leader Vinh Moc (Tagawa).


With little time to spare before the demanded ransom is delivered or Gabrielle is executed, Toliver decides to take six of the center's toughest inmates and head into Vietnam to extract her...but the group's constant clashing with one another, plus previously-existing rivalries among their members, will make the mission that much more difficult.

This film is also somewhat notorious for its CD-ROM tie-in PC game that was headed by none other than Darren Aronofsky.


Tropes in this film include:

  • Action Girl: Vasquez.
  • An Axe to Grind: In her back-story, Vasquez killed one of her molesters with an axe.
    Vasquez: The next one who touched me... I just took an axe and I started swinging. And when I was finished...there wasn't much left of him.
  • Angry Black Man: Butts and Monster both qualify, though while Butts is a younger, more righteous kind of angry, Monster is an entirely different beast.
  • Angry White Man: Brophy is a very angry white guy.
  • Attempted Rape: Monster tries to force himself on a prostitute. Vasquez and Lamb enter the room in the nick of time, but he manages to rebuff their assaults on him before Toliver enters and stops the brawl.
  • Big Bad: Vinh Moc.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Subverted. Monster dies second, and Butts survives to the end of the movie.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Zig-zagged. At one point, to stop the infighting and establish his authority, Toliver challenges Lamb to fight him, even shoving him to try and provoke him; however, Lamb refuses to be baited. Satisfied, Toliver turns to pick up his gear...then Monster steps forward and slugs Toliver in the face. Cue a vicious curb-stomping of the misfits by Toliver, while Lamb sits by quietly and shakes his head sympathetically after the beat-down ends.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: After Monster gets gunned down by a helicopter, Butts worries constantly about it. When Toliver's rescue plan doesn't have a contingency for it, he takes a moment to deal with it on his own.
  • Damsel in Distress: Gabrielle.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Toliver: Justified in that his charges are, with one exception, hardened convicts who have to learn to obey his orders when previously they were all about looking out for themselves and not taking orders from anyone else.
  • A Father to His Men: Toliver, mainly toward Lamb.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Played for Laughs during Lamb's introduction, where after he successfully manages to fight off a group of guards, Toliver asks him where he learned how to do that.
    Lamb: Um... Red Dragons.
    Toliver: Is that a gang?
    Lamb: Uh, no, it's a Chinese restaurant I worked at. One of the old cooks taught me.
  • Groin Attack: Butts is threatened with, uh, dismemberment by Vasquez when he makes an unwanted pass at her.
    Butts: (unzips his pants meaningfully in front of a kneeling Vasquez) Hey babe, why don't you do me a favor while we're here?
    Vasquez: (stands up) Why don't you wait until I get my knife and do the world a favor?
    • Later, he gets a very painful ball-squeezing from Toliver prior to the team's training montage.
    Toliver: From now on, when you're addressing a question or a comment to me, the first word and the last word out of your mouth better be "Sir!"
    Butts: (disinterested nod) Mmm-hmm.
    Toliver: Is that understood?
    Butts: Mmm-hmm.
    (Toliver grabs and wrenches Butts' nuts. Butts' eyes widen from the shock)
    Butts: (very meekly) balls hurt, sir.
  • Idiot Ball: Handled several times by the recruits, though it may be justified by the fact that they're not used to certain aspects of armed military combat. One of the more egregious moments of this is when Lamb steps on a land mine—moments after it's been established that land mines are in the area when Butts inadvertently sets one off by throwing his bag on it and AFTER Toliver had just told them not to move following the detonation of said first land mine.
    Toliver: (after Lamb steps on the mine) "Don't move" means DON'T MOVE.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Brophy gets himself killed distracting a group of rebels from the rest of the group. Also Gabrielle, the woman who the rebels kidnapped and try to ransom her father for weapons tries to pull this by telling her father not to give them the weapons and let her go, knowing that they will just use the weapons to kill more people. This doesn't work.
  • Insert Grenade Here: During the final battle. Butts slips a timed explosive into Vinh Moc's helicopter, and blows it up when Vinh Moc's chasing the group one scene later.
  • Kick the Dog: As if we didn't already know that Vinh Moc is not supposed to be a nice guy from his introduction, halfway through the movie he and his forces drive into the village where Toliver's group is staying, then Vinh Moc himself grabs a little girl and threatens to shoot her if the Americans don't show themselves. The girl's mother tries to defend her daughter—and Vinh Moc shoots her instead. Watching all this from the house where they're hidden, the heroes visibly wince.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": Lamb accidentally steps on a land mine at one point. Fortunately for him, it doesn't blow up immediately, but he has to keep his weight on it while Toliver works on disarming the bomb.
  • Martial Pacifist: Lamb has some impressive fighting abilities—when first introduced, he's able to take out a couple of guards using a mop—but he's the nicest guy of Toliver's six recruits and won't fight needlessly if he can avoid it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Brophy sneaking away from the group during their rest-stop at a local village leads to the rebel army torching the village and the deaths of Lopez and Monster.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: We never do find out the convicts' real or full names.
  • Pet the Dog: Brophy is caustic, callous and a bigot, but he shares his water canteen with Lamb at one point (after refusing it to him one scene earlier) and later pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to draw enemy fire away from the group.
  • P.O.W. Camp: Where Gabrielle is being held. Getting to the camp to rescue her is the goal of Toliver's group.
  • Precision F-Strike: Numerous times. It's an R-rated film, after all.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Toliver's recruits include two gang-bangers, a sociopath, an abused girl, a Scary Black Man, and a Martial Pacifist.
  • Rape as Backstory: Vasquez was frequently molested by different men. Her chopping her last abuser to pieces is the reason she's at the detention center.
  • Rebel Leader: Vinh Moc.
  • Scary Black Man: Monster plays it straight.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Lamb was accused of murdering his own parents, hence the reason he was at the center. However, Lamb himself insists he did not kill them.
  • Semper Fi: Toliver.
  • Ship Tease: There are hints of an attraction between Lamb and Vasquez throughout the movie.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Vasquez is the only girl in the titular group.
  • Spicy Latina: Vasquez.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: During the final battle, when the group storms the rebel army's stronghold.
  • Timed Mission: The team has three days to learn the ropes of combat and save Gabrielle.
  • Token Good Teammate: Aside from Toliver leading the squad as their warden, Lamb is the most stable member of the group. While other squadmates like Butts and Vasquez are played sympathetically, they admit that they're guilty of their crimes, while Lamb furiously denies he actually did the act that got him in the detention center (the film never confirms one way or the other). He also shows one of the better grasps on martial pacifism, defending himself with just a mop even as guards try to kick his ass.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: When the rebels try to execute Monster by putting a bag with a boa constrictor over his head, it ends with Monster spitting a large chunk of the snake's flesh in the executioner's face.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Brophy after the village incident.
    Brophy: I didn't ask you to fucking save me!
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Subverted—Vasquez lives.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The group gradually becomes this. Special mention goes to Butts and Lopez, who were members of rival gangs prior to the events of the movie and who are, for much of the film, at each others' throats.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Butts holds Brophy at knife-point over the Nice Job Breaking It, Hero incident above.
    Butts: We're supposed to be a team, man. BROTHERS!
  • Win Your Freedom: The convicts are offered full pardons if they survive the mission.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The title, naturally.


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