Just how many times has Paul Anderson seen Dune? I mean, when you find yourself on a planet with massive wastelands, lots of sandstorms, and one person who leads the social group that he's not originally from to safety or some such crap, doesn't that remind you of a certain David Lynch film circa 1984?
Maybe if he was in Lynch's territory it would have turned out better. Anderson, director of Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon, set his sights on making his "sci-fi masterpiece" with a human element this time by setting himself down to work on a good premise movie, and ended up screwing that up, which you'd figure would be easy. If he'd made it out of studio, tried the independent road, the film might just have turned out quasi-semi-decent, instead of ye load of crap which we see before us now. But he decided to stay with the high paycheck security of a movie that relies on being blind and not noticing the plot holes that are large enough to walk through.
The movie has a specific cadre of people drafted at birth and becoming the perfect soldier, not speaking unless spoken to, and following all orders. Not speaking is good news, we don't have to listen to Kurt Russell attempt to utter a line... in fact, we don't hear his voice until about a half hour into the movie. All of these people watch atrocities, kill civilians, and go through life without emotion. Good premise.
He's replaced, of course, when they come out with genetic models that were designed in Japan and made in China, in otherwords, cheaper, better. And of course he's still alive when they dump him on a waste planet. And, of course, he finds other inhabitants and isn't quite accepted amongst them, due to massive war flashbacks and a nice little human element that almost works... until they put the action in.
In fact, if you took out the action sequences at the end, it'd be a good movie.
But no, instead, you have Kurt Russell kicking butt like he always does... badly. And you end up hating the movie that started out so good, started out so intriguing. If I could just make a single splice, I'd save it...
But hey, you know what they say, always the critic, never the criticized.