Aye Sir, a Great White She Be
Wing Commander
Review by Ross Anthony

"If you just let yourself be drawn into the picture, you wouldn't have to laugh." So said a viewer of "Wing Commander" to his giggling friend. Apparently, the former had been drawn in and the later, moved to laughter. That one statement pretty much sums up the audience's reaction to "Wing Commander." Half the audience seemed taken in by riding the spaceships through their seas of glory, while the other half chuckled in waves of muse at the corny/cliche dialogue and plot developments.

I must admit, I'm fine with a mild amount of "the hokey" (I can even like it!). So after voluntarily clicking out plausibility sensors in my mind's eye, I was among those enjoying the ride. It wasn't until about three-quarters of the way through that the following dialogue exchange tickled me into becoming a member of the now exuberantly tickled sector of the crowd:

"You'll be court martialled!" Commander Angel threatens lt. Blair (Prinze Jr.). His response, "Oh, like I care..."

Is a synopsis really necessary? It's a space flick based on the video game -- in the vein of "Starship Troupers", maybe "Star Trek", "Battlestar Galactica" (if you're old enough). No footage is shot on a planet, most is on a huge battle cruiser, with occasional dog-fighting jet-like crafts mixing it up between the stars. We follow the good guys the entire film, Freddie being the only Earthling (and in only one scene) that faces the aliens eye to eye.

Though stretching probability, I did enjoy the spacecraft / U-boat motif. The battle cruisers float in space like submarines -- firing missiles at each other. A major character, Tarrent, is a captain Ahab re-incarnation, navigating with medieval style maps. Not completely consistent with this mix in time, but nonetheless fun, the jet-like crafts cut through the vacuum of space making "air-like" sounds shooting at each other with virtual Gatlin guns.

I also had a good laugh when a chunk of wreckage was shoved off the the runway of the cruiser -- it dropped like a rock (but where? and why was there gravity to make it fall?)

Back to the review: I think kids will love this picture ... kids from about 6 to 14. And to tell the truth -- I enjoyed myself, half the time drawn into the film, half the time laughing at it.

Cast: Jürgen Prochnow, Freddie Prinze (jr.), Mathew Lillard, Tchéky Karyo, Ginny Holder, David Suchet, Saffron Burrows and others.

Adult's Grade .................... B-
Kid's Grade ...................... A-

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:50:07 PDT