WING COMMANDER Add To My Top 10
Release Date: March 12, 1999
Runtime: 95 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Director: Chris Roberts
Producer: Todd Moyer
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The movie takes place in the year 2564, opening with an invocation by President John F. Kennedy as the camera tracks some ancient star maps. Soon, it is revealed that the Confederation of good guys is engaged in a brutal war with the ugly, bloodthirsty Kilrathi (a veiled reference to killer rats?).
After the Kilrathi wipes out a Confederation battalion, the only hope for survival, in classic STAR WARS fashion, is a lackluster Academy pilot named Christopher Blair (Freddie Prince, Jr.). Aside from his bland personality, it is revealed that Blair has inherited incredible navigational skills, as well as a cross, from his mother who belonged to a reviled sect known as the Pilgrims, a group of brilliant, early space explorers who were systematically killed off by the Confederation because of their beliefs.
The prayers and the references to Pilgrims, all give hope that this movie will have depth, but as soon as Christopher Blair and his buddy Todd "Maniac" Marshall (Matthew Lillard), land on a space battle cruiser and meet the women pilots, the movie goes downhill. Maniac has a relationship with a female pilot, who later dies while they are one upping each other. Blair develops a relationship with his wing commander, Angel Deveraux (Saffron Burrows). Needless to say, the rest of the movie contains lots of insolence, insubordination, a few revelations, and a mundane sci-fi story, with some of the worst dialogue in movie history.
The screening audience was brutal on this movie, boldly laughing at the weak dialogue. The acting was insufferably bad. Freddie Prince, Jr. showed no attractive personality traits whatsoever. His only salvation was that everyone else was worse. This movie had to be made in Luxembourg, probably because nobody else would approve of the script. The plot points were extremely unrealistic, and the constant insubordination would not have been tolerated in a real battle situation. It is unfortunate that this movie was so muddled and confused because, clearly, there were some positive references to God, prayer and Pilgrims, which were lost in the pagan attitudes and activities of the crew.
Although MovieGuide (r) has not reviewed the computer game, there is no question that it must be much better than the movie. Even with the enticement of the STAR WARS trailer, it would seem wise not to waste one's money on this debacle.