Based on the novel Weapon by Robert Mason, Solo deals with the controversial subject of AI (Artificial Intelligence), particularly with the creation of an android that is to be used as the perfect weapon by the US military and how this experiment turns out some unexpected results. Solo is still a prototype that needs more testing and confirmation of his unique programmed skill, to “think” for himself in order to adapt to any situation. On one of the missions he is sent by General Haynes to an island in Central America, with the mission to destroy an airstrip being built by local rebel forces that are using nearby villagers at gunpoint to speed up the task. In the middle of the mission Solo identifies the villagers (among them women and children) as non-combatants and tries to abort. The field commander still detonates the charges and damages the airstrip but also Solo.
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Back at the base Solo's designer, Dr. Bill, removes his main power source in order to repair it, then Solo is debriefed about failing to achieve the mission's objective. As it turns out Solo's “thinking” proves to be a fundamental flaw in achieving the purpose he was designed for. Therefore General Haynes decides to suspend the project and send Solo back to the lab for reprogramming. Solo picks up the radio transmission with the reprogramming orders and his main directive engages: “Preserve self.”as he sees this as losing himself. So he takes a helicopter and escapes to the island where the mission took place.The General sends in his top guy, Colonel Frank Madden, with a team to retrieve Solo by any means. Meanwhile Solo crashes his helicopter on purpose and hides in an ancient temple in the jungle, weakened by the fact that he is running on backup power.
The rebels come back to the village and threaten to kill the people if they do not repair and finish building the airstrip in less than ten days. Miguel, the child of the village leader, finds Solo in the temple and brings the whole village to see him. They think he is dead because he is cold and does not move since his energy is almost depleted, and carry him into the village to give him a proper burial. They are very much astonished when he “rises from the dead” and chases away the rebels that came to threaten some more during the funeral ceremony. He finds they have a generator and strikes a deal: they will provide him with power and he will teach them how to defend themselves against the rebels. While he helps them to build all sorts of traps and teaches them to shoot he also learns some valuable lessons into humanity. He now understands that although illogical, sometimes it is better to sacrifice yourself to save someone. By observation he also learns how to bluff and also tries to imitate human laughter.
Bringing in more firepower (a grenade launcher) and more men Colonel Madden returns to the island again to capture Solo, this time enlisting also the help of the rebels who have been defeated in an attack against the village. In order to protect them from another even bigger attack Solo leaves the village. While he tries to rescue Dr. Bill that has been badly hurt by Madden in order to lure him out he recovers his main power source and is now at full power. Solo carries Dr. Bill's body back to the temple to bury him where he learns from Miguel that the Americans and the rebels have captured the villagers and threaten to kill them if he doesn't surrender. He returns to the village, takes them by surprise and annihilates them. The final battle is with Colonel Madden but of course Solo overpowers him, breaking his spine.
When everyone thought the threat was over another helicopter lands and out comes another Madden, this time an android whose programming seems to work according to his design as a weapon. He kills Colonel Madden and goes in search of Solo, finding him at the temple. An epic battle takes place where Solo is almost defeated. But using what he learned from the villagers, he bluffs and manages to overturn the situation. He subdues android Madden and demolishes the temple which apparently destroys them both, as the recon sent by General Haynes confirms. In the final scene of the movie though, as the camera pans over the jungle, we can hear Solo laughing.
Best part of story, including ending:
It is yet another interesting approach to what humanity really means and how we are able to sacrifice ourselves in order to save our loved ones.
Best scene in story:
For me one of the most touching scenes was when the villagers, although under threat and in a hurry to finish the airstrip, decided to take time in order to give Solo a proper burial. I think this shows how much we care about other people, even after their death.
Opinion about the main character:
I find very interesting and enjoyable Solo's journey into discovering his humanity, surpassing his programming and learning to live beyond a fixed set of rules and his diligence in doing so.