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When the small toy manufacturing company in Small Soldiers is taken over by the conglomerate, Globotech, which manufactures weapons for the U.S. military, the toy designers not fired by Globotech`s ruthless boss, Gil Mars, Dennis Leary, are encouraged to work on a new design of violent war toys - but `call them action toys`, says Mars. The results, elite commandos led by Major Chip Hazard, voiced by Tommy Lee Jones, and their deadly enemies the Gorgonites, led by Archer, Frank Langella, are powered by military strength computer chips. But when the toys arrive at the small town store Alan, Gregory Smith, is looking after for his Dad, things start to go very wrong...Although it owes a considerable debt to Gremlins, which was also directed by Joe Dante, this at times violent special effects movie at least makes an attempt to present a positive message. Its attacks on multinational conglomerates and the producers of violent toys are obvious enough (though perhaps a bit hypocritical), but depicting the toy soldiers as the evil monsters while the wierd creatures are cuddly nice guys is a positive touch. The special effects are spectacular, and Dante`s off-centre sense of humour is engaging throughout. It was a great idea to employ the surving members of The Dirty Dozen, Ernest Borgnine, Bruce Dern, George Kennedy etc to deliver the cliched dialogue of the soldiers, while the cute Gorgonites are voiced by Christopher Guest and the team from Spinal Tap. Performances are adequate, and at the end of the credits there`s a touching tribute to the late Phil Hartman, who plays the dim-witted father of the young heroine, Kirsten Dunst.