Wing Commander (1999) Chris Roberts

Production Budget: $30 million
Gross: $11.5 million

Sometimes I think we nerds need to shut our damn mouths about what movies we want.  As a kid, the Super Mario Bros. movie was probably my first experience at Lucas-ing up a franchise.  Later, its like “Oh, you want a D&D movie?  Ok, we’ll give you a damn D&D movie.  Enjoy your f*cking Marlon Wayans bitches!”  You don’t have to finish the name Freddie Prinz before knowing without absolute certainty that Wing Commander would suck.  That’s why I don’t get the clamoring for a Halo movie.  I am hoping for the best, but my rational mind can’t think of anything but a Freddie Prinz/Marlon Wayans interracial comedy.  What is really funny is how bad this movie really should have done.  $11 million may not be too horrific, but it could have been worse.  This was one of the only movies to have the Episode I trailer, and many people only paid for a ticket for the trailer.  After seeing it, they would promptly walk out of the theater.  So how much of this gross was from Star Wars nerds?  We will never know.

I was, and still am, a fan of the Wing Commander games.  You don’t get much cooler than dogfights…IN SPACE!!!  Not to mention you had fairly decent cut scenes from actors like Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davis, and Thomas Wilson as the funny Maniac.

There are many things wrong with this story.  For one (and maybe primary) the creator of the games and director of the movie Chris Roberts decided to completely scrap the plot of the movies and start fresh.  Here we get an incredibly bizarre plot about Blair being from an intergalactic race called the Jedi I mean the Pilgrims.  They have the innate sense to feel their way around space (yeah don’t ask).  Anyway Blair is serving on a ship that has to rush to save Earth and have to learn to trust the Pilgrim Blair.  Yeah, for some reason there is a racism against Pilgrims that is loosely explained.  The movie wants to be a kind of WWII war movie complete with Spitfire fighter planes…IN SPACE!!!  Yeah I didn’t know riveted ships were so airtight.  And because we have Jurgen Prochnow, we have to do a scene ripping off Das Boot.  Because this is a text review I have gotten all the vomit out of my system from that last sentence and it is now just dry heaves.

To say this plot is cookie cutter is an insult to my dinosaur shaped cookie cutters.  Blair is yet another Luke Skywalker rip off learning to trust his instincts and be the best pilot evar!  It doesn’t help the tone of this movie is so spastic.  One minute they are trying to be the most serious of war movies and then we have scenes with Matthew Lillard’s *sigh* antics.  I see this as a pulp sci-fi fantasy b-movie; not a gritty space war movie, and not a teen sex romp.  Even the space battles, which should be the highlight of the movie, are incompetent in their execution and end up as just dull.

This leads to my next major problem which is the acting.  Freddie Prinz is his usual whiny teen bitchy self that he has played in every movie since he was born.  Matthew Lillard is annoying as f*ck.  No, that’s an understatement.  Matthew Lillard in this movie sends me into a homicidal rage by how grating he is.  And you want to know what’s worse than Lillard trying to be funny?  Lillard trying to act dramatically and cry.  That was the funniest shit I’ve seen all year.  Seriously if he tried that from the start that would have gotten a lot more laughs.  Jurgen Prochnow is also in this movie and he does absolutely nothing.  He just stands around grunting nonsense.  It just makes me yearn for his more inspired performance in say a Uwe Boll movie.

Then we have the little moments of stupidity that make you wanna slam your head against the wall.  The ships drop down when they leave the carrier.  Hm, I didn’t know there was gravity in space.  Or casting the French Devereaux with a Brit actress, and an American Taggert with a French actor.  What’s up with the comic relief character that gets sexual gratification from shooting down planes?  Why do bombs drop in space.  Yeah, its another gravity gripe but I really can’t get over that.  And why do the Kilrathi look like rejects from Hobgoblins?

Ugh, I hate this movie.  There is nothing to like about it or that is good in any way.  Its another movie that is only about 90 minutes but feels like Andrei Rublev.  F*ck this movie.  F*ck it up its stupid a**.


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