Time Runner Reviews
It goes like this. The future's not set. There's no fate but what we make for ourselves. Oops. Sorry that was a GOOD movie. I'll start again. It goes like this. Reedy McRetard (Mark Hamill) escapes from a space station that is being bombarded by a Star Destroy ... uh ... by a space ship that is basically a star destroyer. He escapes by getting into some kind of experimental time ship that just happens to be sitting around that no one though of to use before now. He blasts out of the exploding station and I told my friend that the station would explode right after he left and sure enough it did. How cliche. Then he gets shot at a bunch by the star destroyer thing and he opens up some kind of time vortex to escape back to the year 1992.
Once his ship shows up in 1992 it quickly crashes but somehow Marky Mark is mysteriously missing. WTF? Where could he have gone? Oh, that's right, when you travel back through time you always end up in empty barns. I forgot. My bad. Anywhoosle Mark the time travelling jedi wakes up from his dirt nap and walks into a farm house. He looks right at a calendar that says 1992 and starts holding his head like it's gonna explode. By this point I pretty much felt the same way he did. Then the farmer sees him standing there and pulls out his pistol. QuickyFast ActionMark takes him out and demands that he tell him what day it is. YOU WERE JUST LOOKING AT A CALENDAR! He tells him that it is October 6th 1992 and he gets this whoa look on his face. He then has some poltergeisty vision about his impending future at a diner and leaves?
Michael Raynor shows up at the very same diner he had a vision about and just when it looks like the scenario will play out as it did before he saves a waitress from the clutches of a power mad government nutzoid named Colonel Freeman. At that point he heads for the back door and, I'm not making this up, a Cavalier RS screeches around the corner and the passenger door flies open. With power mad Peetie right behind him he has no choice but to get in. My first question is. HOW IN THE WORLD DID CAVALIER DRIVER LADY KNOW RAYNOR WAS THERE? There is no way she could have known since Freeman, who is actively hunting Raynor, didn't know he was there until he stood up from the diner booth. Whatever. So this turns into a car chase which ends when Raynor and Rae Dawn Chong (that's her real name) find an airplane and take off just over top of Freeman's Pontiac Grand Prix. Freeman and his cronies get in a few good shots though and one of them ruptures the fuel tank.
So our hero is happily flying through the sky, chatting away with his new buddy about the future and whatnot when none other than Gordon Tipple (yes that's his real name) wakes up from his nap and pokes his head into the cockpit. Where did this guy come from exactly? Either way, he heard their entire conversation and wants to help them out. How convenient. He starts by pointing out that they're out of gas. So, miraculously, Hamill lands the plane exactly where they wanted to go just as they run out of fuel. Only in the movies. Then they all pile into Tipple's 350 4 barrel pick up and head for the air force base where Raynor's ship is being housed.
We then go back to the future where we see WORLD PRESIDENT NEILA (played by Brion James) trying to talk down some really pissed off rebels. It seems that they're not fans of world domination at the hands of aliens so they use their 1337 hacking skills to remotely rig up some nukes in Kiev. But the Pres does not approve and you can hear the alien shock troops marching down the street. He pleads with them to surrender but they hold him at gun point while they "track down the launch codes." Huh, I didn't know you could just get online and look up launch codes to remote fire Russian warheads. You learn something everyday it seems.
Meanwhile our heroes waltz right past all of the base security and immediately find Raynor's ship. They take a few heavily armed scientist dudes out but forget about one of them who gives Hamill a hard time. So Raynor decides to grab the flight recorder and set the ship to self destruct. They GTFO right before the place goes up in a monstrous fireball. Then they go back to Rae Dawn Chong's place and try to access Raynor's black box. They manage to get the last few recorded seconds off and transfer it to "laser disc." They then decide to take this info to future president Neila in the hopes that he can stop the madness.
So they show up at one of senator Neila's pep rallies. Hamill manages to get past all of Neila's security and grab his arm. He pleads with Neila to believe him and Neila takes them back to his subterranean bunker of politicking. It is there that we learn that our beloved Neila is actually, get this, an alien. OH NOES. It turns out the aliens look just like us? Isn't that fun. Right about then Hamill has another poltergeist moment and they all see his mom getting Walther PPK'd. Neila is like, hey that's a good idea so he goes to send someone off to kill Raynor's mom WHO IS STILL PREGNANT WITH RAYNOR. Here is my question about that. If Neila hadn't seen Raynor's vision of the future would he have even thought of killing Raynor before he was born? What possible purpose did that vision serve? In the end it doesn't matter because Raynormom gets PPK'd anyway but not before she births herself a Skywalker. Little sky baby isn't crying though for some reason. Huh.
The ambulance with our heroes is taken to a warehouse where Neila is waiting for them. They are just about to bite it when Gordon Tipple action hero steps in with his blazing M16. Then Hamill shoves Neila over a guard rail and Neila lands back first on a rather nasty looking spike. This of course turns future Neila into a floating lens flare who quickly disappears. THE END -- RAE DAWN CHONG!
Here are some things I learned from watching Time Runner.
1. I have owned some pretty sweet ass rides in my day. I know this because I have owned a Cavalier RS and a Grand Prix, the same cars they used for the stunt work in this movie.
2. Our society is capable of electing someone as weird as Brion James to run the entire world. James reminds me of a misguided workout show host.
3. Every time you travel into the past you end up in some guy's barn.
4. Shamelessly stealing sound effects from popular games and movies is perfectly fine since no one played Doom or watched Star Wars anyway.
5. If your infant self dies then you die too. So don't go running around with your infant self in your arms because if you trip and fall it's all over! And whatever you do don't punt yourself like a football.
6. Visions of the future aren't set in stone and they look a lot like the movie Poltergeist.
7. It is possible to make a perfect 10 landing in a grass field in a plane with no fuel.
8. Slow motion is the best way to keep the attention of the audience.
9. If you want to kill someone, go back to the past and kill them before they know who you are.
10. If your parents die it has little to no effect on your upbringing.
11. It is possible to betray the entire world and immediately regret it.
12. If highly advanced space aliens show up and start kicking ass and taking names the last thing you want to do is use a time machine to warn the past.
13. It is possible to take someone out with a shotgun when they have a clear line of sight and an M16.
14. It is wise to have extremely porous security when you are an important public official.
15. If Mark Hamill's character is 30 in this movie then I'm the son of a Bolshevik brick a brack salesman. OH YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT. HE WAS 42!
16. Mark Hamill ages faster than any other human alive. In a few more years he will look exactly like Vader without his mask.
17. Sometimes random dudes sleeping in the back of stolen airplanes mean the difference between the destruction of the human race and it's survival.
18. This movie has almost as much Diner carnage as Trancers.
19. The US military should look into phasing out the M16 because it's powerless against a shotgun.
20. In the future no one can aim and they've apparently outlawed grenades.
21. If you make your movie aliens look like people then you don't have to bother with costumes or makeup.
22. If you're present when your infant self is born then your infant self won't start crying until you go back to the future.
23. Nukes are the answer to every problem.
This movie blows pretty hard but it doesn't really rank up that high on the "hurt" factor. It's on Netflix instant watch as of when I wrote this so I say check it out if you're a die hard Hamill fan.
He shoots a few of the men, who turn out to be aliens of course, then runs out the backdoor and is rescued by someone who offers him a ride, someone who could not possibly have known he was there, that he needed help, or why it would be important to rescue him. As he leaps into the woman's car, the passenger window is shot out by the baddies. No matter, it's intact again in the next scene.
Then eventually, Mark Hamill and the woman are chased through a town, and being the intelligent ones that they are, they drive down a secluded country road and into a field, where a guy just happens to be prepping his small plane for launch. They take over the plane and fly away from the scene. The plane's owner hides inside the plane behind them and overhears Hamill's explanation as to who he is, and what will happen in the future. He has to warn the world that the aliens are among them and will attack in about 30 years. The guy in the plane has no real personality or character, his purpose is to show up whenever Hamill's character needs help and shoot nearby baddies, or give him a lift in his truck. On ludicrous scene has Hamill leaving a house and jumping onto the guy's truck as it drives by, when it is utterly impossible for that guy to have known where Hamill was or that he needed help, or that he would be coming out the back door at that exact moment. There is absolutely no logic to the film at all.
Then there is a subplot about Hamill's character being born that very day in the past, and the bad guys try to kill his mother before she can give birth to him. And the alien leader is some senate candidate named Neila (which is "alien" spelled backwards, clever huh.) who is destined to be elected World president in the future, which Hamill knows, although he doesn't know that he is the alien leader. Just a phenomenal waste of time with no believable characters, action scenes that are by turns confusing and sloppily edited, and perhaps the most ludicrously over-directed scene I've seen in a long time.
The woman who helps Hamill is one of the scientists who is studying his shuttle that has crashed on earth. Then we see a group of helicopters fly over the scene and descend to the land. In slow-motion we see soldiers jumping off the copters and their boots landing on the ground, we see them carrying guns, looking very serious and running toward someone or something. This goes on for what feels like two minutes, slow motion shots of boots landing on the ground, soldiers running around somewhere, it really isn't explained where they're running towards. Late night HBO soft core porn isn't this overdirected. Then the insanely dramatic music stops and the leader of the soldiers walks up to the head scientists and tells them something like "We'll take it from here." That is just a preview of the incomprehensively directed scenes that will follow later in the film. It might make a good episode of Mystery Science Theater, but on it's own, it sucks about as hard as a movie can.
This was made 15 years after the original Star Wars, and looks shockingly cheap by comparison.