Title: Wing Commander
Play time: 1h 40min
Director: Chris Roberts
Screenwriters: Chris Roberts
Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows
Game Based: The Wing Commander Film
I can see the pitch to studio executives now: “For your consideration, here’s a magnificent idea: let’s make a movie based on a video game, and let’s have the guy who made the game direct the film! Won’t that be so original and entertaining? Get it? The guy who made the game directs the film!” Yeah, I’m getting visions of fairies and sugarplums as we speak. Wing Commander is just that: a film based on a hit video game that is directed by the guy who created the video game. And the result is truly horrendous.
Wing Commander reunites Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lilard (last seen together in the teen comedy She’s All That) as young hot-shot pilots recruited (by whom?) to fight a intergalactic war (with whom?). There they meet a pretty wing commander (Saphron Burrows) who displays tough love towards the two young-uns so that she can whip them into shape for the journey on which they are about to embark.
The Script Written by Chris Roberts Totally Fails
Some films sacrifice plot and script to display some cool special effects or to give us some suspenseful action sequences. Wing Commander seems to have sacrificed plot and script just for the hell of it. The sad truth is that this is not really a movie. As a matter of fact, it comes too damn close to all-out mockery of cinema. It has to be a sin to release a motion picture with no script, no plot, awful effects, cheesy acting, a hokey soundtrack… I could go on. This is a film where people actually say things like “I can’t do it. I have no faith,” and where computers can “insist”. It’s a film where a spaceship has a port and a starboard side, where vacuum can carry sound. It’s a film where nothing makes sense and the filmmakers don’t care.
The Cast Doesn’t Even Try to Deliver Performance
Freddie Prinze Jr. is an extremely likable actor that has brought energy, sweetness and wit to some of his previous endeavors. Here he’s dull and lifeless. He seems to be making no effort, probably because he knows that the script is a total botch. His faithful sidekick Matt Lillard has a role so unfocused, unfunny and trite that I was ready to take shots at the screen. But to be fair, Wing Commander is a movie where actors are not given any sort of opportunity to strut their stuff or to make their characters interesting. The script makes them boring by nature.
There is no background on the villains or on the good guys. We literally don’t know who either side is; only names of the federations are mentioned. The bad guys actually look like overgrown hamsters and the heroes have, among others, half-breed mutants who look like Freddie Prinze Jr. And because we’re never sure of who we are seeing on the screen, the film’s action and shoot-em-up sequences become truly irritating (as well as dull and unexciting) because we see no point for them.
Don’t Waste Time To See it!
I honestly have no clue how, on this planet, in this day and age, any studio executive (at FOX, no less) could possibly have been convinced that Wing Commander had any chance at success, either critically or commercially. It is a clunker from start to finish. I hated it, I hated watching it and I hate thinking about it now that it’s over. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I feel angry that I have wasted a perfectly good Friday night watching something this completely worthless. Wing Commander is so bad, that I almost feel guilty picking on it because it’s just so easy. Almost.