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Wing Commander

video review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Wing Commander

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Saffron Burrows
Director: Chris Roberts
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: March 1999
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action, War




Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows video review
2.  MrBrown read the review no stars
3.  Dustin Putman read the review no stars
4.  Greg King read the review movie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

Chris Roberts's WING COMMANDER is a cinematic black hole that's liable to suck your brains out as you attempt to decipher its impenetrable story. First-time director Roberts, who "directs" the movie based on his video game, clearly seems to be working in the wrong medium and doesn't have much of a clue as to how to stage a motion picture. Writer Kevin Droney, who also adapted MORTAL COMBAT for the big screen, creates a movie so confusing you need a manual to be able to follow it.

You can score the movie as you watch it. Give yourself 100 points every time you figure anything out. And give yourself double if you care. Don't feel bad if you find you can't make a single point as that will be a common score.

Basically we have some young warriors (Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard and Saffron Burrows) and some veterans (Jürgen Prochnow, Tchéky Karyo and David Suchet) who are part of a space armada. Their motto is "if you die, you never existed." As they prepare for battle, the troops spend their time arguing over the relative merits of estrogen vs. testosterone as being the most important ingredient for a fighter.

The "special" effects in the movie are only a small cut above the old Buck Rogers's serials. The fighters look like three-inch pieces of old metal with Bunsen burners for propellants.

You do have to give the actors credit for keeping a straight face through it all, no matter how inane the dialog. (One of David Suchet's lines, for example, is "Come on, this is sterile conjecture.")

My son, who is a fairly savvy and generally quiet moviegoer, whispered to me about a dozen times during the movie to see if I could figure out what was happening. Each time I answered him honestly, "I have no idea."

As I was forced to endure this stupefyingly dull film, I began to develop various theories about it. Perhaps, the speech was encrypted, and our theater didn't have the right decoder module. I tried watching the actors' mouths move since another theory of mine was that the movie was originally in a foreign language, and the problem was a bad English dubbing.

"Emotion gets in the way," the Wing Commander advises her troops. Well, the movie doesn't have to worry about emotion. There isn't a single character in it that creates one scintilla of interest or sympathy. Don't see the movie; rent the video game instead. No video game omaginable could be this terminally boring.

WING COMMANDER runs 1:40. It is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, profanity, sexuality and sexual innuendo and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, almost 10, said he couldn't understand most of the movie since it was confusing and didn't make any sense. He hated it until the ending, which he thought was okay, so he raised his rating from 1/2 to * 1/2. His friend Nickolas, almost 10, said he liked the film because of the action and gave the movie ****. He said he understood it because he had played the video game.

Copyright © 1999 Steve Rhodes

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