Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Last Starfighter

Originally uploaded by jessewillis
I actually watched this movie in April but just realized that I did not review it. I felt the need to correct that now.

Alex Rogan is wants out of his life, he wants to be away at college and gone from the trailer park he helps his mother maintain. His one escape is a video game called Starfighter. On a particularly trying day Alex beats the game and gets his highest score; that night Centauri appears and takes Alex into space where they rendezvous with an alien battle fleet that is working on protecting the galaxy and through the video game Alex is the new recruit. Alex must decide if he wants the prestigious position as a starfighter or if he should go home to his family and mundane life.

Probably the first thing that leaps out to me about The Last Starfighter is that it is very much a product of 1980’s cinema. Not only is it dated, but it smacks of Star Wars, Superman, and Back to the Future. Like Luke Skywalker, Alex wants a life far away from home and the main space ship itself looks straight out of the George Lucas handbook of alien crafts. Like Superman you have the protagonist that wants an exciting life and discovers a set of “powers” he wasn’t aware of, the main credits of the film also look shockingly similar to the Richard Donner credits. Finally, from the sense of humor, Centuri’s car, etc. all smack of Back to the Future. None of this makes The Last Starfighter a bad movie, but it is unsettling for a little while if you are familiar with the other films.

There have been rumors floating around that the studio wants to remake The Last Starfighter and I have to say it is one remake I would probably be a fan of. While this is a good movie, technology has improved so much that taking another pass at the film and updating it to look less pre-CGI and 1980’s would be a great thing.

I remember liking this movie as a child and I have to say that I still like it today.

Director:Nick Castle
Writer: Jonathan R. Betuel
Alex Rogan: Lance Guest
Maggie: Catherine Mary Stewart
Centauri: Robert Preston

Centauri: The amusing thing about this, it's all a big mistake. That particular Starfighter game was supposed to be delivered to Vegas, not some fleaspeck trailer park in the middle of tumbleweeds and tarantulas. So it must be fate, destiny, blind chance, luck even, that brings us together. And as the poet said, the rest is history.

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