Perhaps in another time, "Buffalo Soldiers" would have been political commentary for a new age. Right now, it's just the kind of thing you want to slip into your DVD collection with the spine facing the wall.
Anybody who's the least bit familiar with cinema over the last 30 or so years will recognize the tone and character of a dozen different movies housed within "Buffalo Soldiers," an anti-war film that takes place in Germany at the end of the Cold War.
The premise, at least according to director Gregor Jordan, is that if soldiers don't have a conflict, they will find a way to create it ö- or something like that. In this case, Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) is bored, so he deals drugs on base and makes tons of cash. The only problem is that his hold on his sanity and his security is by a thread.
When he decides to date Robyn (Anna Paquin), the daughter of Sergeant Lee (Scott Glenn), things begin to fall apart. Lee is a by-the-book Army man and since Ray has recently made off with a stash of weapons from a couple of abandoned trucks, it's only going to take one wrong move and he'll be in prison for the rest of his life.
If this sounds slightly anti-military, it is. No wonder this film never got a wide release and was shuffled onto video with all the fanfare of a Michael Jackson preschool visit. Perhaps in another time, "Buffalo Soldiers" would have been political commentary for a new age. Right now, it's just the kind of thing you want to slip into your DVD collection with the spine facing the wall.
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