Here's the pitch for Small Soldiers: "It's like Toy Story but these toys that come to life really kick butt!" That's essentially it for this breezy popcorn flick. In a very smart first 10 minutes, new toy-company owner Denis Leary tells his crew he wants toys "that play back". Hence the small soldiers land in Anytown, USA and the loner kid Alan (Gregory Smith) opens them up before they are supposed to be on the shelves. Those military-grade chips sure make them smart and give the toys plenty of pithy retorts to boot. There's plenty of violence and action, most of it... fun enough. The vocal talents, including Tommy Lee Jones, Frank Langella and cast members of The Dirty Dozen are inspired characters, the humans less so. With Gremlins director Joe Dante at the helm, it plays like a sequel to that 80s fantasy. Amazing visual effects, of course. --Doug Thomas, Amazon.com [show more]
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Alan Abernathy (Gregory Smith) is working at his father's toy store when he receives a sample of two new ranges of action figures: the Gorgonites, a race of peaceable aliens; and the Commando Elite, a tough bunch of war-ready soldiers. However, when Alan takes them home, the figures come to life and begin to engage each other in a furious running battle, with the Commando Elite transforming ordinary household implements into deadly weapons as they wage war against their alien foe. When Alan realises what is going on, he joins ranks with the Gorgonites and starts to draw up plans to bring an end to the commando threat.