Knight Rider

february 18, 2008

So, I was kind of wary going into the Knight Rider movie last night. Knight Rider was one of those shows that I loved as a kid. As a naive kid 25 years ago, everything in the show was cool. A lot of the stuff in the show did not make sense (I will come to this later), but as a kid it was just cool: The Hoff with his thumbs up, KITT the talking car, etc. The return of Knight Rider is reminiscent of the return of Battlestar Galactica. I wasn't a fan of the original Battlestar Galactica, but I am a huge fan of the current BSG. Why? Because the new show chose to reimagine the universe of BSG. The new BSG chose to bring BSG into the future -- not make a direct sequel and try to hang onto all the old stuff. Unfortunately, the people behind the new Knight Rider chose to hang onto the old and not bring it forward. Sure, the timeline in the show is now. The characters have all moved on. But, the show is basically a direct sequel to what happened in the 80s version of Knight Rider -- I am guessing that it is because the producers and writers felt that they had to appease the old fans. And this route they took, instead of reimagining the show, was an unfortunate choice. The whole show was an advertisement for Ford vehicles. If we lived in the world that the new KITT lives in, everyone would be driving some sort of Ford vehicle. How unfortunate for all of us. Yes, the show really did make the Shelby GT500 KR look nice -- but after the fiftieth time of seeing the Cobra logo, or the spoiler, or the low profile tires, or the car flying past the camera, it all wore thin: We get the idea, Ford sponsored the movie, now move on. The new KITT (Val Kilmer) is about the best actor in the whole show -- and that isn't saying much cause he's just a car. The rest of the cast was terrible. The "new" Michael is horrible. Deanna Russo is horrible. Sydney Poitier is horrible. Bruce Davidson is just there collecting a paycheck. The worst of the actors is Greg Ellis who is the head baddie in the film. His emotional range is limited to one emotion: Mad. His facial expression is limited to one expression: Scowl. The man was a walking robot throughout the film. There was no acting in this movie. The script for the film was just as bad. Plot holes abound -- and some strange way of explaining the new Michael. There are "twists" that could be seen for miles away (Gee! Is "old" Michael going to show up?  Holy crap!  Are you telling me that was a body double?  What a minute, that dude was working for the baddies?  No way!) So, instead of reimagining, the producers felt they needed to keep all the silliness of the 80s in the show. Here're somethings that really bugged me:

Anyways, the producers, writers and director could have reimagined the show to be a lot better than this. Instead they went down the 1980s road and just updated some of the stuff for now. How unfortunate. There is talk that this movie is a backdoor pilot and the producers hope that there is enough audience to get the show approved for a new season next year. I hope not. Lets put KITT back in the garage and let him be.