This almost never happens to me. I mean I tried to watch this obscure film for the intent to review it, but something very unorthodox occurred that made me stop watching the film. I had enough. I reached the limit of my tolerance to bullshit. My suspension of disbelief broke down. So why did Space Warriors, of all the flicks made me consciously press stop and made me say: “right, enough of that fucking thing” during the third act?
I had no previous knowledge of the existence of Space Warriors. I mean I knew nothing except that Josh Lucas was in it. When the film started, there was like twelve production company logos presented and one amongst them was Walden Media.I thought “Walden Media…the studio that made Bridge To Terabithia and Narnia, right? So that would mean that this is a family-friendly movie…oh fuck, it’s SpaceCamp, isn’t it?”
And sure enough, it was. Only without Kelly Preston, Tom Skerrit and Joaquin – sorry, Leaf Phoenix. “Okay, I can deal with this”, I said, not knowing what I was in for. Thomas Horn plays Jimmy, a kid who is passionate about space and NASA. He writes an essay which earns him a golden ticket (no, seriously) to Space Camp, a sort of a summer camp for science geeks. His mother (Mira Sorvino) forbids him, so he cheats her that he’s gonna spend some time with his dad (Dermot Mulroney) fishing. His mom, not double checking this with his ex-husband, okays this and lets Jimmy go on his merry way.
After recruiting a team of super-nerds, Col. Roy Manley (Josh Lucas) pits the kids in a competition where the main prize is a seat in a real space flight. Jimmy insta-crushes hard on Lacey (Ryan Simpkins, cute as a button), a girl who is the master of drone-flying. And it’s weird to see their fifteen-year old characters written like a pair of twenty-somethings when they engage in a flirtatious dialogue. The writers obviously have no idea how kids talk. Lacey says lines like “careful writer, you’re edging towards becoming interesting”, or my personal favourite “All my life I’ve always had everything that money could buy, really I’m just a simple girl”. Those five screenwriters really outdid themselves.
Of course the other team is led by an asshole fuckweed who is bullying the team. But he’s so one-dimentional that I’ll stop talking about him now. The movie makes sure that it does every single cliché there is. What clichés, you ask. Here, I’ll make a list.
-There’s training montages. A lot of them.
-The team fails to work as a team, and tension rises amongst them.
-The opposite team messes with their food in the cafeteria.
-The Chinese boy is a rocket scientist. At the age of 15.
-Jimmy makes wacky excuses about the absence of his father when having conversation with his mom on the phone.
-His dad worked on NASA, and Jimmy’s instructor has a history with him.
-A disaster in space happens very conveniently that only the kids can solve (I’ll get to that later…)
-There’s a race where the asshole fuckweed rams his vehicle forcing the hero to careen off the road.
-The hero loses all hope, until he gets it back right before the climax.
-Jimmy makes an impromptu late-night dinner by the moonlight and his date happens to say “lasagna, my favourite”. In this day and age, lasagna is a huge fucking gamble, my friend. Also, the scene really needed “I don’t wanna miss a thing” by Aerosmith.
So you’ll get the point. But what drove me off the edge? Why did I stop watching? So, there’s a space station malfunctioning and three astronauts are stuck there with diminishing air supplies. Jimmy’s plan is to use a remote-controlled space-robot to fix the malfunction outside the space station.
Okay…I’m not going to point out the obvious that why can’t those three astronauts go out and do it themselves? Earlier in the film we saw them do exactly that in their space suits. No, my beef with the film is not with that HUGE GLARING PLOTHOLE (although it should), but the best is yet to come. When the Commander of NASA (Danny Glover really got too old for this shit) shows skepticism about using a plan concocted by adolescent kids -valid point, I might add- , Jimmy needs to proof himself to him. When commander says the NASA crew is going to lose their connection with the astronauts, Jimmy solves this problem as well. And here’s where I totally lost my shit. What does Jimmy do? Jimmy presents a ham radio to the Commander. And this is the line Danny Glover says out loud:
“Pretty good, son. How did you know that a ham radio could connect to the space station?”
Never mind that, Commander. How did your people NOT know that a ham radio could connect to the space station? This is something I cannot accept. My finger automatically pressed STOP and I looked at the blank screen feeling a void forming in my soul. My life is altered. Everything I know is a lie. I would not see the world in same way again. I don’t know how the film ended. I don’t know if the three astronauts survive or not. I don’t know if Jimmy’s plan worked. I don’t know if Josh Lucas embarrasses himself further in the film (his moonwalk dance is probably why his career ended). I don’t know if Jimmy gets the girl or not…although Thomas Horn is the least hetero boy actor living today, so it might be that no more copy-pasted Nick And Norah Playlist dialogue for Lacey. I don’t know if Jimmy gets to visit space.
But I don’t care about any of that.
I don’t care about Space Warriors. I don’t even care about movies, myself, or even life itself.
Because for the rest of my life I will always keep asking that one piece of existential and crucial question that crushed my understanding of the physical universe and reverted me to the very beginning of time and space:
How did not NASA know that a ham radio could connect to the space station?