Wing Commander (PG)
Director: Chris Roberts
Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr, Saffron Burrows, Matthew Lillard, Ginny Holder, Tcheky Karyo, Jurgen Prochnow
As anyone who has sat through Mortal Kombet, Super Mario Brothers or even Pac Man : The Movie will readily tell you, films based on video games are about as worthwhile as novels written by supermodels.
Wing Commander is the latest example of this game-over genre, and does precious little to improve it, let alone maintain its lacklustre standards.
It is the year 2564, and Earth is locked in a non-stop battle for space supremacy with the Kilrathi, and unpleasant bunch of warrior aliens with the rather pointless ambition to destroy the universe.
The future of all human life rests with two young pilots, Chris (Freddie Prinze Jr) and Maniac (Matthew Lillard), and their attractive female boss (Saffron Burrows), and a few disposable cohorts who are either much older (Tcheky Karyo and Jurgen Prochnow), or not all that relevant to the plot (Ginny Holder).
The 100 minutes of action coughs and splutters its way towards a predictable end.
A trillion and one Kilrathi perish courtesy of well-aimed Earth artillery, while our side loses only those unlucky enough not to be listed near the top of thefilm's opening credits.
Only a few noticeably numbskull plot flaws truly grab the attention.
Computer technology some 565 years from now doesn't seem to have advanced all that much. Microsoft, Apple and IBM should be worried about their futures.
The deep space within which the heroes of Wing Commander fight is exceptionally noisy, defying the notion that our universe is mostly a sonic vacuum.
The spaceships of tomorrow also suffer from poorly lit interiors.
Does this mean our descendants will have lost the recipe for making light gblubs?
WING COMMANDER (PG)
Underwhelming deep-space battles between Earth and a bunch of alien warriors. Based on a video game, which probably sums up its prospects, really.
Rating : * 1/2