Joseph Mazzello, Richard Gilliland, Corinne Boher
Remembering that this movie only got a quick release in
it being a kiddie movie, I was initially hesitant in renting this. But
I couldn't find anything else "unknown" in the new release section, so
I reluctantly rented it.
My fears were unwarranted; Star Kid is
indeed a kiddie
movie, but done with enough style, pace, and intelligence that even
forced to watch it with their kids will find it adequate. A smattering
of genuine wit that doesn't insult the intelligence of a viewer of any
age is the frosting on the cake. The only reason why I think the movie
didn't do better is because of the bland title. Why didn't they keep
movie's original title, The Warrior of Waverly Street (which
still appears in the closing credits)?
In a present present time ago...in a galaxy far far away
technology enabling travel to be faster that the speed of light,
aliens (Broodwarriors) attack the home planet of the Trelkins, aliens
look like a cross between Yoda and E.T.. In an impressive looking
scene, the Trelkins get bloodlessly slaughtered by the invaders (adults
can secretly picture the Trelkins as Ewoks). With the invaders at their
doors, Trelkin scientists place their new prototype combat-enhancement
suit in a rocket, and blast it away from the invaders' reach.
Meanwhile, on Earth, we meet Spencer, a boy who has a
lot of problems.
His father is too busy to spend any time with him, his big sister
expresses standard big-sister hostility to him, and the school bully
has sighted him for prolonged harassment. Worst of all, he has a crush
on Michelle, a girl in his class who shares his love of comic books,
he's too scared to talk with her. In a scene which will get a chuckle
of adults, Spencer's teacher gives him some advice which is obviously
lesson of the movie: "If you run away from the things you're scared of,
it doesn't get any easier." Not very subtle, though any kid can tell
that running away might just be less scary than (gulp) talking to
of the opposite sex.
That night, looking out his window, Spencer sees the
rocket crash into
a nearby junkyard, and immediately runs over to see what landed.
he finds the suit, and is amazed when "Cy" (his nickname for the suit)
speaks a request for "biotic host" to enter the suit. "Oh well, my life
can't get any worse," reasons Spencer, and enters the suit. Initially
out and disoriented by the confining and awkward suit, his feeling turn
for the better when the suit happens to mention that it's
Overjoyed by his new powers, Spencer then spends the required next few
minutes performing amazing acrobats in the junkyard, then going to
house to exact gleeful revenge. I ask you now: what kid couldn't resist
the premise of this movie?
Not everything is perfect. Cy takes everything
Spencer says literally,
including cooling the interior of the suit when Spencer exclaims
and trying to climb in a refrigerator when a hungry Spencer says he
to "look around in it". And Cy clearly doesn't understand all of
when Spencer spies on Michelle at a carnival, Cy states, "Biotic host
to mate with female Michelle." ("Mate?!? I just want to talk with
The situation isn't helped when Cy sees someone in a Barney-like
calculates it's an enemy invader and starts firing. And to further
matters, a Broodwarrior lands nearby, seeking to reclaim the suit.
immediate reaction after encountering the Broodwarrior and narrowly
away is to abandon Cy, but then realizes the mistake he's made leading
to a fairly expected ending, though Turbo is thrown into this sequence
in an unexpected development.
What really saves this movie from mediocrity is the
characters and the
dialogue. Yes, the special effects and action are also good, but they
would just be a hollow shell without a heart. Spencer is a smart kid -
no Einstein, but his actions in every situation are believable and show
intelligence. Most importantly, he's portrayed as a kid - not an adult
in a child's body. Coto (who wrote and directed) clearly remembered
it's like being a kid, and how they act. And not just Spencer - the
of other children portrayed in the movie are realistic, even Turbo's.
get hints midway through the movie pointing why he grew into a bully.)
And even Cy is believable; though he clearly has some artificial
he is more computer than human, leading quite logically to the
he makes. The dialogue between him and Spencer is frequently priceless,
with Spencer racking his brains to figure out how to communicate
and Cy never quite understanding what Spencer asks of him. How do you
a computer that you need to urinate - in computer talk?
I've heard that they are making a sequel to this movie.
If this is true,
I sincerely wish that they'll remember to put the emphasis on
and dialogue once again. Kids and adults may see constant no-brainer
movies, but it's the movies that also have likable characters and smart
dialogue that will bring them back to a movie more than once.
Also reviewed at:
Cold Fusion Video
Check for availability on Amazon (VHS)
Check for availability on Amazon (DVD)
Check for availability of soundtrack on Amazon (CD)
See also: Secret Agent Club,