HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  Wing Commander Press To PlayBuy this film here.
Year: 1999
Director: Chris Roberts
Stars: Freddie Prinze Jr, Saffron Burrows, Matthew Lillard, Tchéky Karyo, Jurgen Prochnow, David Suchet, David Warner, Ginny Holder, Hugh Quarshie, Ken Bones, John McGlynn, Richard Dillane, Mark Powley, David Fahm, Simon MacCorkindale, Mark Hamill
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 2654, and the human race has expanded from our home planet to colonise the rest of space, but they have only reached so far before being attacked by the villainous Kilrathi, a breed of space aliens who have made it their mission not merely to stop human expansion in its tracks, but to exterminate every one of us as well. At an outpost on an asteroid, a special item of equipment is held, and the aliens want it for their own so mount an attack; luckily, it is removed just as the base goes up in flames, and a small spacecraft which is crewed by Christopher Blair (Freddie Prinze Jr) and Maniac Marshall (Matthew Lillard) may be able to save the day - and the war.

Wing Commander joined the seemingly endless list of box office failures to be based on a computer game back in 1999: you would think that lessons would be learned by the turn of the century, but here we were decades later and they still adapted a medium expressly suited to interaction and tried to fashion a compelling narrative out of them. Once again, there's a reason why what makes a great game doesn't make a great movie, and this was one example among far too many, a crushingly dull enterprise that had only the game's creator to blame, for Chris Roberts was at the helm and guiding the whole project in a manner you had to assume he was satisfied with even if the fans weren't.

Those fan complaints were typical, that the motion picture had changed too many elements, or misused the ones they did implement, and concocted something that missed the excitement of playing by miles, basically the same moans that were heard every time one of these were dropped into cinemas to general indifference. Turning this sci-fi effort to the big screen also had a problem with the science, and became mildly notorious for how much it got wrong about space and simple physics, but most of that could be put down to the fact it wasn't science fiction like the obvious Star Wars comparisons it courted, it was a World War II movie Roberts was faithfully emulating.

So much so that the results made Wing Commander come across like a bundle of extremely tired clichés he was trying and not succeeding in breathing life into, with barely one line of dialogue sounding as if it had not been flogged to death in a military entertainment back in the nineteen-fifties. Characters spoke in the most hackneyed terms imaginable, so much so that you could practically tell what they were going to say before they said it, and in many instances your improvised lines would be better than what the cast were struggling with. Before long, a grinding tedium set in thanks to a script that contained not one whit of suspense or surprises, leaving you wondering if your time was not better spent with The Dam Busters or The Cruel Sea instead.

Also irksome were such scenes as Maniac living up to his name by placing crewmembers' lives in danger for a laugh, which at least Roberts had the guts to follow through on by having him kill a colleague with his recklessness, but it turned you off not only his character, but anyone who believed he was worth having in the fleet, including Blair. He had his own barely comprehensible backstory about his rebel parents who died in an alien attack, somehow rendering him untrustworthy in a subplot that made you tired just thinking about it. Then there was Saffron Burrows, playing the group leader whose idea of wit was to call her pilots "Ladies" over and over to the point of infuriation - some of them are men, you see! Hilarious. One who was not a man was Ginny Holder, whose race and gender insultingly placed her in far more peril than any of the other pilots. Tone deaf throughout, only the terminally easily pleased would be diverted. Music by David Arnold (from the games) and Kevin Kiner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 89 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: