Toy Soldiers is a very entertaining action film that updates 1981’s sleeper hit Taps. Pic is unrelated to the 1984 Toy Soldiers, wherein Jason Miller and Cleavon Little led a bunch of Beverly Hills kids (including Tim Robbins in an early role) on a hostage rescue mission against terrorists in Colombia.
The new picture [from William P. Kennedy’s novel] presents the reverse situation of rich kids at a Virginia prep school who have to develop some backbone and defend themselves against Andrew Divoff’s group of Colombian terrorists who take over their school and hold them hostage. Seeing Sean Astin (son of John Astin and Patty Duke) and his pranksters turn into commandos who wipe out the nasty invaders makes for purely escapist, crowd-pleasing pleasure.
In his feature directing debut, Daniel Petrie Jr gets maximum mileage out of the derring-do of the final reels while emphasizing comic relief earlier on. Young villain Divoff is terrific at creating a brutal figure of hate.
Remaining in the end credits is Tracy Brooks Swope, but she doesn’t appear on screen; in fact there are no women’s roles other than bit parts.