(After the intro for the Spoony Experiment, we cut to Spoony in his room)
Spoony: I've done a ton of reviews on games from that ill-fated era when CD-ROMs were new and chock full of crappy full motion video, and there's been a lot of reviews with good reason; almost all of those games were disastrously and hilariously bad. The extremely rare exception to that rule being the Wing Commander series.
(Clips from Wing Commander 3 are shown)
Spoony (vo): Which remains to this day the greatest and most immersive space sim and interactive movie experience ever created.
Spoony: And after playing Wing Commander, it was pretty easy to see why most other FMV titles failed. Once you put it in, you quickly realized you weren't playing a very good game and you weren't watching a very good movie. By and large, those titles had no budget and no star power, silly stories, and their gameplay design was inferior, no matter how impressive seeing full motion video might have been at the time.
(Clips from Wing Commander 4 are shown)
Spoony (vo): But the Wing Commander series did everything right. It was a basic but well told space epic that looked and felt like a classic science fiction movie. The gameplay was excellent, fast-paced, customizable to the player's comfort level and exciting. It had an intense and memorable musical score, and best of all, it was loaded from top to bottom with an ensemble cast of recognizable A-list actors. Like Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies, fucking Biff from Back to the Future (Thomas F. Wilson), and you got to play as Mark fucking Hamil! That's like every kid's dream!
Spoony: It was one of the greatest ensemble casts in science fiction history, with two great games with plots easily adaptable into the big screen, so when the news broke that there was gonna be a Wing Commander movie, I was ecstatic! (holding the DVD of the movie) I couldn't see how they could possibly screw this--(he then looks at the dvd and goes into a screaming fit. After a test screen, we cut back to Spoony, facepalming and sad) You know that old saying, "never judge a book by it's cover?" Well fuck you, that's books, (holding the dvd) not movies, and I don't think you could've found a better poster to scare an audience away from a theater if you had covered the building in a plastic sheet, and set up a half-mile military perimeter warning people of an anthrax attack!
(The poster of the movie is shown)
Spoony (vo): I don't think I've seen a poster inspire less confidence in a movie than the three headed monster of Freddie Prinze, Jr., Saffron Burrows, and the crown fucking jewel, Matthew Lillard, the skin peelingly annoying jackhole from Hackers.
Spoony: What is wrong with you!? You had a group of amazing actors, titans of science fiction, two excellent scripts used in the game that I could've easily adapted into the big screen in about ten fucking minutes. Hell, you probably still have the costumes and sets from Wing Commanders 4 and 5 laying around somewhere. And instead of casting (cupping his mouth) Mark Hamil, you replace everyone with the main actors from (poster of...) She's All That? How do you fuck that up!?
(A shot of Luke Skywalker holding a lightsaber is shown)
Spoony (vo): You replaced Luke Skywalker with fucking (picture of...) Fred from Scooby-Doo? (panning to the right to show Matthew Lillard as Shaggy) Oh shit, Matthew Lillard was in that, too. It's like these two chuckleheads are joined at the hip!
Spoony: Wing Commander--Fucking Freddie Prinze, Jr. couldn't command fucking wings at a KFC. Nobody saw this piece of shit because it sucks! It sucks harder than a black hole made of sucky games! It's the singularity of suck! Do you have any idea how sad it is when the best part of this movie was the premiere trailer for Star Wars Episode I?
(Clip of the poster again)
Spoony (vo): It's amazing how pissed off I get at the dvd packaging alone. The tagline on the cover says "An Action-Packed Thrill Ride!" This line is so generic, it's almost invisible. It says nothing. I defy you to come up with a more forgettable box quote. For bonus points, use the words (the quote is now replaced with "A movie where things are happening!") fast, furious, roller coaster, and tour-de-force. (a shot of the back of the dvd) Oh, no-holds-barred, I forgot that one. The synopsis on the back has the balls to call this movie Starship Troopers meets Top Gun.
Spoony: Oh come on now, seriously? Shame on you. You could not have written that with a straight face. You wish you could make a movie half as awesome and gay as Top Gun. It cannot be done. And now you're making me picture a Paul Verhoeven movie with a Kenny Loggins soundtrack. Eugh!
(Showing the cast liner notes)
Spoony (vo): The cast bios in the liner notes are so depressing. The best actor listed by far is Tcheky Karyo, buried way at the bottom only with one small problem: That's not Tcheky Karyo! That's Jürgen Prochnow. The incompetence here is stunning.
Spoony: Well, let's get on with it. The movie that took my favorite video game series out behind a wood shed and beat it to death with a shovel, Wing Commander.
Spoony (vo): Oh no, are we seriously gonna roll with the Russian furry hats? We're not even gonna let 'em start with a shred of dignity? Well, the movie opens with the base of the Terran Confederation being attacked by the Kilrathi, (a clip of the game version is shown) a warrior race of space tigers.
Spoony: Alright, when I say it out loud, it makes the whole thing seem kinda silly.
(The Kilrathi are attacking the base in force)
Spoony (vo): Anyway, the Kilrathi bomb the base in their very loud spacecraft. (The ships are heard buzzing in space as they bomb the base) Seriously, these are the loudest spacecraft I've ever heard. Sound carries better in space because their isn't any air to get in the way, you know. The Kilrathi invade the station and attempt to capture their navcom computer.which would spell the doom of the human race because it contains all of their navigational data and would lead them straight to Earth.
Admiral: Destroy the navcom AI.
Spoony (vo) The Admiral attempts to activate the self destruct, but it malfunctions. And apparently so does it's spellcheck because it can't even seem to spell "security breach" properly. (the picture zooms in on it being spelled "breech," the proper spelling shown underneath. The Admiral takes a gun and opens fire on the glass containing the navcom, but it doesn't break. Even after he tries bashing it in with the gun) Oh yeah, stand back everyone, here comes Admiral Hercules. That did a lot of good. After the bullets failed, I thought he'd just plow right through. Anyway the Kilrathi capture the navcom and it becomes a race while Admiral Tolwyn here orders the Fleet to return to Earth. But they're too far out and they won't make it before the Kilrathi do. so he orders the one carrier closer to Earth, the Tiger Claw, to go collect recon data and slow the enemy down. And since I'm a huge nerd, I may be the only one alive who noticed they misspelled Admiral Tolwyn's name, Towlyn. (showing that it's spelled Towlyn instead) And while I'm at it, they misspelled Col. Devereaux's name, too. (showing it's spelled Deveraux instead)
Spoony: I just don't get it. The director of this thing was Chris Roberts, the guy who created the Wing Commander series. He wrote this whole thing. How do you get the names of your own characters wrong?
(Suddenly we're interrupted by Terl from Battlefield Earth)
Terl: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Stupid man animal! While you were still learning to SPELL YOUR NAME, the Kilrathi were being trained to conquer galaxies!
Spoony: Oh god. Terl? I thought you were--
Terl: Dead? Ha! I'd expect such ignorance from a stupid man animal, but no. As your Chief of Security, I'm provided with a number of Psyclones.
Terl: No no no, Psyclones. Psy clones. Get it?
Spoony: Yeah, yeah I-I get it. It's just--
Terl: It's because I'm a Psyclo, and a clone. A Psyclone.
Spoony: I get it!
Terl: Oh bite me, it's fun.
(Back to the movie)
Spoony (vo): Meanwhile our heroes Lt. Blair and Maniac are headed to the Tiger Claw to replace some pilots on a supply ship. Blair's a nice, white bread guy descended from a group of people known as Pilgrims, and he faces endless prejudice from his peers because the Pilgrims are feared and suspected as traitors and saboteurs.
Lt. Cmd. Jeanette "Angel" Deveraux: You have a problem I should be aware of?
Lt. Ian "Hunter" St. John: Yes ma'am, I do. I don't fly with Pilgrims.
Spoony (vo): Maniac is an insuferrable little mugging jackass who's descended from a group of people known as fucking retards, and he faces endless prejudice from his peers because he's a sack-crushingly annoying shitstain on the underpants of humanity.
James "Paladin" Taggart: You shut up!
Spoony (vo): This is made obvious the moment we see him when the captain orders him to take an uncharted shortcut and he immediately screws it up by going too fast.
Taggart: That beacon is marking a gravity well. One cubic inch of it exerts more gravitational force than the sun.
Spoony (vo): Well gee, that might've been something useful to mention to the stoner fuckhead named Maniac! But on the other hand, how the fuck did Maniac not see this!? And he never thought to question the wisdom of flying directly into it at top speed? They need to activate the jump drive to escape, but conveniently their computer goes offline at a critical moment. Seriously, their navcoms crash so often, it's like they're running [Windows] Vista. But Blair saves the day when he enters a mystic trance and bashes out the mind-boggling and complex calculations on the fly by typing them by hand on the keypad. It's a Pilgrim thing. Maniac spends most of the scene doing this. (Showing him screaming) It's an imbecile thing.
Spoony: Yeah, and get used to the Pilgrim shit because it's the one and only defining character trait Blair's given the entire movie.
Taggart: They embraced space and for that, they were rewarded with the gift of a flawless sense of direction. They could feel magnetic fields created by quasars and black holes.
Gate Keeper: The blaghole.
1Lt. Christopher Blair: Like a navcom AI?
Taggart: It's a navcom recreation of the mind of a single Pilgrim.
Blair: Then why did the war start?
Taggart: They found themselves superior to man. They chose to abandon all things human. Some say they believed they were gods.
Spoony (vo): It's just completely distracting and out of place. It has nothing to do with the games and it introduces a bizarre mystic power in a setting that until now has managed to avoid psychics, Jedi and supernatural bullshit.
Spoony: So now we're expected to believe that the original human colonists spontaneously developed a supernatural gift for sensing warp paths through gravitational fields. I mean, as far as supernatural gifts go, it's really kind of...amazingly lame. These people thought they were gods because they could navigate starships without computers.
(Clip of Star Trek V)
Kirk: What does God need with a starship?
Spoony: I mean yeah, it's impressive, I guess, being able to navigate a starship without a computer. Although I think most starships have computers, so...godlike? Buy a fucking calculator.
(Terl butts in again)
Terl: Worship me, rat brain, for I am a god!
Spoony: What? Oh you are not!
Terl: I am, too. Because you see, I have the innate ability to sense how high above sea level any place on the planet is.
Spoony: Well, couldn't you just check Wikipedia for that or something?
Terl: Yes, but only a stupid man animal would need to. I can do it all in my head.
Spoony: Bullshit you can.
Terl: Quiz me.
Spoony: Okay. Um, how high is Mexico City above sea level?
Terl: Feet or meters?
Spoony: No, meters.
Spoony: Whoa! Disneyland!
Terl: Oh please, 157 ft.
Spoony: (awed) Truly you are the King of Kings! (praying) Forgive me lord! (Terl puts his hand out so Spoony can kiss the ring) I did not know!
Spoony (vo): Blair and Maniac don't exactly find a warm welcome on the Tiger Claw because, well, Maniac. Blair immediately pisses everyone off by asking about a pilot named Bossman who died recently, not knowing the pilots have a weird policy of claiming dead pilots never existed.
Angel: We're all going to die out here and none of us need to be reminded of that fact. So you die, you never existed.
Spoony (vo): Because that's a great way to honor the memories of your dead comrades: bitterly deny their existence and start fights with anyone who says otherwise.
Maniac: You got a problem with my friend, Mr. Hunter?
Hunter: Yes I do.
Maniac: Good, that means you have a problem with me.
Hunter: Is that so?
Spoony: Oh look out guys, Matthew Lillard's got his back. I'm sure no one wants a piece of that.
Angels: You ladies don't stand down you got a problem with me.
Spoony (vo): (imitating Angel) All 70 lbs. of me.
Spoony: Dear Lord, a bar fight with Matthew Lillard and Saffron Burrows. This is gonna be the whitest, boniest bar fight ever filmed. There's not 200 lbs. between 'em.
Spoony (vo): Actually Maniac manages to make friends a little easier than Blair does. Not even Angel likes Blair because the first thing he did was piss her off by sitting in Bossman's old star fighter, and Angel and Bossman were an item when he died. Although I'm not sure how he died since his ship is sitting fully intact on the flight deck, but whatever. The XO, played by Jürgen Prochnow is the typical angry dude who blames everything that goes wrong on Blair. He's a broken record about the Pilgrims being traitors. Pretty much every scene he's saying the same thing.
Cmd. Paul Gerald: Pilgrims don't think like us. (cut to another scene) It's well documented that Pilgrim saboteurs have been responsible for much of Confed's problems in this war. (another scene) Maybe he knew something we didn't.
Spoony (vo): But I think he's just in a bad mood by being typecast in this Das Boot rip-off.
Gerald: What, do you think I'm going to let my men be flown into combat by a rogue and a half-breed?
Spoony (vo): Seems to me that Blair is not their biggest problem right now since Maniac's one apparent mission in life is to be a danger to himself and others. He's like a 4-year old with ADD climbing on furniture while the ship is going to a dangerous warp through a fucking pulsar.
Maniac: Todd "Maniac" Marshall at your service, ma'am.
Spoony (vo): And they let this jagoff fly something with guns?
Manaic: Hey, I'm trying to be Mr. Sensitive guy. Just, aah!
Spoony (vo): (looking over the ships) Great ships, guys. I'm sure the rivets make 'em real spaceworthy. (Maniac is then curled up in bed with Rosie) Maniac manages to--(Spoony gets sick at the scene before him) Oh, I'm sorry. I just threw up in my mouth a little. I never wanted to imagine Matthew Lillard nude and thrusting. Let's just say he manages to, like, uh bond with the one other person on this ship as hopelessly stupid as he is. And they spend most of the b-plot engaged in an unbearably unfunny pissing contest to see who the biggest jackass in the galaxy truly is. By seeing who can survive the most suicidal, full afterburner somersaulting crash landing on the runway.
Flight controller: Shit!
(Maniac speeds up to the Tiger Claw at full speed while doing a barrel roll. As he lands, the ship slides forward before stopping just inches before a flight crew member)
Spoony: (laughing at Maniac's stunt) Oh, that Maniac! He is a card!
Spoony (vo): Crashing expensive starships indispensible to the war effort. Destroying the flight deck and running over helpless technicians for fun!
Spoony: He cracks me up!
(Meanwhile Rosie tries the same stunt, only to end up crashing hard)
Spoony: (laughing again like it's supposed to be funny) She's horribly burning to death in a pool of jet fuel! I guess that means Maniac won!
Maniac: (running to Rosie's ship) Get me a medic! Get me a medic! Hey, can I get a rescue crew? Get me a rescue crew! Get me a medic!
Spoony (vo): Man, watching Matthew Lillard try to act is like watching someone with no thumbs trying to use chopsticks. (Clip of Wing Commander 4) Tom Wilson stole the show as Maniac in the video games, but even he couldn't have saved this movie. The script completely botches almost every character from the games. Angel's now English when in the games she's French, or actually Belgian. That's why her name is Devereaux. Paladin's now Turkish speaking French when (showing John Rhys-Davies as Paladin in the games) in the games he's Scottish. And Maniac is supposed to be the best pilot alive. (Clip from Top Gun) He's supposed to be a lot like Maverick from Top Gun; brash, cocky, arrogant, and anxious to prove that he's the best. He's dangerous, aggressive, out for himself, yes, but there's a difference between a guy who buzzes the tower for kicks and the guy who crashes into it!
Tom Wilson as Maniac: Sounds like you memorized that speech. Good for you.
Spoony (vo): Anyway the Tiger Claw hides in a moon crater to escape detection by the enemy fleet, launching a decoy to draw their attention.
(The Kilrathi fleet take the bait and follow the decoy launched out)
Falk: They're following the decoy! They've missed us! (the crew starts cheering before Gerald silences them)
Gerald: (whispering) Quiet. There's a Destroyer hunting us.
Spoony (vo): (whispering) Oh, sorry. They all have to stay very quiet or the Destroyer will hear them. This is straight out of a submarine movie. You can tell Jürgen here's having serious u-boat flashbacks.
Spoony: You know, there's suspension of disbelief and then there's insulting my fucking intelligence.
Spoony (vo): You don't need to be a scientists to figure out that ships wouldn't drop off the runway in outer space. Why should they be afraid that people outside the ship are going to hear them? Sound doesn't carry in a vacuum! They could have Slayer performing in the galley while shoving a cat in a garbage disposal, and nobody outside the ship would hear anything!! Naturally at this point in Das Boot, the Destroyer above them starts dropping depth charges, so the jig is up.
Gerald: They're nuking every crater. Methodical bastards.
Spoony (vo): The Tiger Claw launches fighters and attacks. Blair, despite being a fighter pilot, is sent along with a squad of marines to board the enemy Destroyer. God forbid the hero of this movie commands any wings, you know? But the XO of the ship is going, too, so hell if I know what's going on.
Paladin: He really is a good guy once you get to know him.
Spoony (vo): Apparently the 8-foot tall bipedal space tigers really like tight, cramped, difficult to navigate corridors choked with smoke and flooded with dull green light. I would've expected more scratching posts, but whatever. Blair shoots some vague shadows I assume are supposed to be Kilrathi and this is so ridiculously convenient I can't believe nobody brings this up. He finds the captured navcom. Of all the ships in all the universe it had to be right here, right now on the one ship these guys tried to board. And even luckier, it's programmed with the exact entry coordinates for the Kilrathi invasion fleet.
Spoony: One wonders why if there was such monumentally important navigational data on the computer the Kilrathi didn't try to destroy it to prevent its capture. Or, like, you know, encrypt it?
Spoony (vo): This new data could turn the tables on the entire war, although it never enters their mind it could be a decoy. But they can't send a message to Admiral Tolwyn because of all the damage they sustained in the attack. The only way to reach them in time is to send a starfighter.
Gerald: Impossible. There are over a thousand single areas in that quasar. To jump it would be suicide without navcom coordinates.
Spoony: Damn, you're right. The only people who could possibly calculate a jump that crazy would be one of those stupid, scum sucking Pilgrims--(acts like he just had an epiphany) Hey, wait a minute!
Paladin: You have the gift.
Spoony (vo): Paladin gives Blair a heroic peptalk and says he has faith in him and reveals that he's a Pilgrim, too. So why doesn't Paladin go along if he has this mystic gift as well. (Imitating a French accent) "I'd go with you, but I'm really tired" (normal voice) Angel flies on Blair's wing to go deliver the message, but she gets almost diverted immediately when she detects a cloaking torpedo inbound to the carrier.
Angel: Got it. A Skipper missile. Dead on course for the Tiger Claw. (Angel shoots at the missile) Oh shit! (she turns out of the way at the last minute to avoid being blown up with the missile)
Spoony (vo): How is it possible the graphics in this movie are worse than the video game? Well, she manages to destroy the torpedo just in the nick of time, but the explosion cripples her ship and Blair is forced to abandon her with only an hour of air remaining to go complete the mission. But first she activates her distress beacon and Blair radios her position back to the Tiger's Claw--
Spoony: Oh wait, they don't do that because THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING STUPID!!!
Spoony (vo): Blair engages his jump drive but unbeknownst to him a Kilrathi capital ship spies him leaving.
Kilrathi: (subtitled) He's probably going to warn the Fleet of our jump coordinates.
Spoony (vo): (noticing the movie versions of the Kilrathi) Oh come on. Seriously? That's the Kilrathi? I've seen better fucking animatronics at the (Clip of the...) Country Bear Jamboree. They're completely hairless except for the goatees. They're hairless cats with goatees! (looking at a picture of one on the movie liner) It looks like someone shaved the (picture of the game version) puppets from the video game.
Spoony: You based your whole movie off of aliens that would've been laughed off the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Hell, it wouldn't have passed muster next to the (picture of) Carrot Alien from It Conquered The World.
Blair: I made it! She held together! I love this baby!
Spoony (vo): (Noticing Blair's outfit) Okay, I can't ignore this any more. These costumes are god awful. He looks like a 10-year old kid in that dorky helmet.
(Clip from The Phantom Menace)
Anakin Skywalker: I'll try spinning, that's a good trick. (and he spins)
Spoony (vo): Meanwhile, the Tiger Claw is locked in a pitched space battle with another enemy Destroyer hoping to buy Blair just enough time to alert the rest of the Fleet.
Gerald: Mr. Falk, gimme a target.
Spoony: Did he just call that guy Mr. Fuck?
Gerald: Mr. Falk, gimme a target.
Paladin: Broadside missile battery prepared to fire.
Spoony (vo): Now we've gone from submarine movie to pirate movie as Paladin actually orders a full broadside of cannons at the enemy Destroyer. What, no astronauts swinging onto the deck of the other ship with grappling hooks? Once the battle's finished, Paladin announces that he's going off alone to look for Angel's escape pod.
Paladin: If I'm not back in two hours, make the jump to Earth.
Spoony (vo): Blair makes it back to Earth and transmits his message, but he has an entire battleship hot on his heels. But luckily, again, he manages to be within spitting distance of the enormous ship devouring gravity well that almost killed him at the beginning of the movie. I wonder how nobody noticed the space anomaly with a gravitational pull several thousand times the power of our own sun in the middle of our solar system. That...is not...possible!
Kilrathi: That's not the Confederation Fleet! Reverse all engines! Hard to port!
Spoony (vo): (sarcastic) No, really? This isn't the Fleet? Why do we keep mistaking enormous, star sized, glowing, gaseous astral bodies for fleets of ships? I mean, is our radar completely worthless or what? What the hell is the matter with us?
Spoony: Come on! Why do people keep flying into this thing? Do these people have no concept of scale, distance or time? And I'm talking about the assholes who wrote the script, not the Kilrathi.
Spoony (vo): Look at the size of this thing! How do you accidentally fall into that? How does anyone mistake a black fucking hole for a fleet of battleships? I've seen more scientifically acurate episodes of Gilligan's Planet!! (summing it up quickly) Oh, blah blah blah, coordinates, David Warner blows up the bad guys, humanity is saved and Matthew Lillard continues his quest to find an even dumber (poster of In the Name of the King) video game movie script. The Tiger Claw arrives and Blair gets word that Paladin just managed to return in time with Angel and he's calling for a medical crew. He should be calling for a coroner since he told the Tiger Claw to depart in two hours, and Angel only had an hour of air remaining so by my math, she was breathing vacuum for a little over sixty minutes--oh wait, she's fine. Nevermind.
Spoony: Oh come on. The only way she could possibly be dead is if she were holding her breath to appear in a sequel to this space turd. If Super Mario Bros. was the first nail in the coffin of movies based on video games, then Wing Commander was the last, because believe me, nobody took ever took video game movies seriously again after this complete and utter ruination of gaming's best original sci-fi saga. They should've just saved themselves a heap of trouble and put some kid's Let's Play of (holding the disk case for...) Wing Commander 4 in theaters. Would've made a lot more money. (after thinking about it...) Johannesburg, South Africa.
Terl: 5,751 ft.
Spoony: Scientology is the one true religion!
(And we come to credits)
Remember: Pilgrims are people, too. Stop the hate.
(One last clip of Terl, though in front of a green screen)
Terl: I'm bigger than Jesus.