The opening scene of this movie made me think it was going to be an all-timer. The villain was emoting heavily and wearing contacts to make his eyes look weird, and he was flanked by scantily clad women with guns. The CGI was atrocious and the prisoners were clearly in completely different rooms than where they were supposed to be. But, somehow, it picked up.
Here are just some of the space opera clichés encountered in this fine film:
- Jumping through hyperspace
- Losing a pursuer in an asteroid belt
- giant space bugs
- giant sandworms.
At some point I stopped taking notes. This is not an original story, though the father/daughter angle is a little less cliched than the rest of it. But this is a cliched movie.
The sets are pretty bad – though better than some of these types of films – and every time they’re on a “planet” it’s so clearly the western US. I don’t even remember the score so it must not have been as bad. And the acting isn’t great either, particularly Dykstra, who can’t contain his French accent and stops mid sentence more than once. (Why not make him French?) There is also a cat fight (but of course).
As an aside: One thing I really don’t understand is how the woman pursuing them is just able to connect to them once she thinks they’re dead. Maybe this is an obvious thing, but I feel like most communications systems that exist require someone to answer. I guess this is supposed to be closer to telescreen from 1984, though I don’t know why that would make any sense.
But the thing about this movie is that the actual script is not that bad, there are callbacks and there is actually a semblance of a story, even if it’s not original. And the effects in the climax are somehow better than the effects earlier in the film.
It’s fairly rare that I start watching a film, thinking it’s going to be all-time bad and it gets better. (“Better” is a strong word – “less bad” is probably more appropriate.) It’s quite the experience.