Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Movie Review

Wing Commander

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references and sci-fi action/violence.

Reviewed by: Tim Emmerich
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Science Fiction
Length:
99 min.
Year of Release:
1999

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Saffron Burrows, Matthew Lillard, Tchéky Karyo, Jürgen Prochnow, David Suchet, David Warner | Director: Chris Roberts

In 2654, a couple of rookie space fighter pilots, fresh out of training, are en route to their first assignment when tragedy strikes. Alien enemies known as the Kilrathi deliver a fatal blow to an outpost in the sector, leaving them and the TigerClaw (a space carrier for their first assignment) the only humans left. The bad news is that the Kilrathi has obtained the computer navigation device that aides in space jumping. The Kilrathi are using it to head towards Earth! The main part of the human fleet, called the Confederation, is trying to return to Earth to intercept them while you and the crew of the Tiger Claw need to slow the Kilrathi down.

Specific offenses to Christians include strong sexual innuendos with one couple seen in bed, apparently after a sexual encounter (they were clothed). The female further pressed for another round only to be interrupted by an alarm for pilots to go to their ships. Of course, the language was poor. There was also a silly “game” of saying for someone that died “didn’t exist” as a way to deal with the pain. At least this was partially addressed within the movie. Another unusual idea had the main character, Blair (Freddie Prinze Jr.) being the son of a parent who was known as a “pioneer”—a character trait of being able to feel the stars and space-time. This was a source of conflict, but weird in the different way characters described it (genetic gift, chosen, etc.).

The cinematography was poor. The action scenes will make you nauseated. Apparently, someone thought special effects for space flight was violently shaking the camera, trying to simulate the engine and ship dynamics! Further, the plot was extremely thin. And only a portion of the humor, what little there was, could be classified as clean.

“Wing Commander” followed somewhat closely from the computer games series. Some of the characters were the same. A lot of it seemed very different from the game play. It is interesting that the computer games (starting with “Wing Commander 3”) tried to crossover to films by using Full Motion Video cut scenes and now an attempt was taken to port the game to the big screen. Not necessarily a bad idea, just poorly executed. Also, the computer game creator, Chris Roberts, was the director for the movie. Perhaps the differing requirements for PC and big screen should be more thoroughly researched?

In short, not a good movie for Christians. Actually, a movie that can be avoided altogether. If you are interested in a space fighter-type movie, go rent “The Last Starfighter” again, even with outdated graphics, it is a much better movie.

Viewer Comments
“Wing Commander” is an above-average sci-fi movie (as compared to “Super Nova” and its like) and an above average movie in general (compared to “The Omega Code,” “Superstar”, and those sorts). One will enjoy the movie much more if one has played the excellent Wing Commander games from Origin Systems. The only connection to Christianity are the Pilgrims—a religious group that was the first to explore space (thus evolving over the centuries to be able to sense spatial disturbances). They eventually became convinced of their innate superiority against the secular Confederacy and declared war on it. The Pilgrims were all but annihilated, and there is still lingering resentment toward them. The special effects are pretty good, although the sets are not. The plot is excellent and the acting is decent. My Ratings: [3/4]
—Kyle Graba, age 19
“Wing Commander” is an average, if not exciting, sci-fi roller coaster that will take you on a journey through space with rookie space pilot Chris, played by Freddie Prinze Jr, and his buddy Todd. I really enjoyed “Wing Commander,” and anyone who likes sci-fi films should too. There is some Christian content, such as a space crew called the Pilgrims, who were kicked out of the space program because of their religious beliefs. Some of the current crew are now prejudice against all Pilgrims, including Chris, who’s mother was a pilgrim. The evil Kilrathi are about to take over the spaceship, and from then on, it’s non-stop action and special effects. Unfortunately, within the moral material, there is some foul language, none of which is too bad, some scary aliens and battle scenes, and an implied sex scene between Todd and his new Friend Rosie. However, this movie is one that Christian viewers should not take too much offense to, and will enjoy.
—Dustin Foree