It's *almost* there.It's too dark for a young kid's movie, too light for a teen, too dumb for an adult.
What we have is a movie without an audience.
Small Soldiers isn't bad. But it's hardly original, either. Director Joe Dante is just ripping off his own Gremlins. Yet, Small Soldiers had the opportunity to be a sleeper hit in the summer of '98. Why didn't it work?
There's something inherently creepy about toys coming to life and trying to kill people (or other toys). It's enough to terrify younger kids.
What could've been a black comedy for young adults and adults is watered down. There's nothing outside of the toys to hold the interest. No one over the age of 15 is going to give a rip if the kid gets the girl or not. For that matter, no one under the age of nine probably will either.
It's unfortunate to see such an actress as Kirsten Dunst wasting her time here, and it's unfortunate that we don't see more of the late Phil Hartman in what was his last role.
Small Soldiers does have it's moments, though they are far and few between.Hit or miss. You make the call.