Slipstream - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Slipstream Reviews

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June 27, 2017
Bizarre sci-fi gubbins that is only really watchable for BILL PAXTON (RIP) and MARK HAMILL looking like ANTONY WORRALL THOMPSON presenting THE CRYSTAL MAZE.
½ February 12, 2017
it was watchable, but woefully not up to the caliber of actors in the film. some of the dialogue was as if written by a script writer on their first film. a good B Movie, nothing more!
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2016
Cool title, great poster, but what does it all mean? Well in this dystopian future there has been some sort of global environmental disaster that has somehow made all the Earth's jet streams (or one?) gravitate down to the surface. Basically, although unexplained, the Earth's weather systems have been well and truly fucked up, thusly the surface of the planet is now racked with tremendously fast winds destroying everything, leaving small pockets of human life surviving in extreme ways. Apparently travelling on the ground with vehicles is a no no because of the atmospheric conditions (eh?), so many travel in the skies with small aircraft (such as the Edgley Optica) and ride the slipstream. Basically navigating the intense high velocity winds, which seems more dangerous to me but whatever. There is also an added element of mystical fantasy within the story as the remaining humans speak of a land beyond the slipstream where no man can survive, down to the atmospheric conditions...apparently.

So quite simply, civilisation has been destroyed leaving few behind. Those left alive live in caves, underground or in valleys to presumably escape the high winds and apparent nasty atmospheric conditions. While some people have regressed back to a primitive state (for some reason), others still live as if nothing happened, with technology. Due to these atmospheric conditions on the surface, some skilled people have adopted a life in the air with small aircraft which has also led to some groups living high up on or about cliffs, above the slipstream. Yes I know what you're thinking, this is indeed [i]Mad Max[/i] in the air, just as 'Waterworld' was [i]Mad Max[/i] on water...only this has some major pesky atmospheric conditions apparently. this plot has some major, [b]major[/b] questions marks hanging over it. For starters what actually happened to the Earth to cause such horrific weather conditions? All the slipstreams have been completely displaced, or is it just one? not sure, but somehow they are now flowing across the Earth's surface and this has destroyed everything? But would it? would it really? sure it would cause massive damage and make life very hard, but end all humanity? hmmm. Yet this has reduced many people to living in caves like prehistoric man, whilst at the other end of the spectrum others still live in luxury and within actual does that work out? Then there is the vehicle issue, how exactly is flying safer than using ground transport? Sure you can fly above the winds but surely taking off and landing would be bloody risky. Wouldn't using cars still be effective? oh and is fuel still an issue here? I'm guessing not because the characters never have any issues. And while I'm on the subject, where exactly did these grunts get these aircraft??!! and how come they keep popping up at really convenient moments out of the blue.

The movie starts off on a poor note, literately with the atrocious score, good lord what is going on with that?? Its a full orchestral piece which is fine, but it sounds like something from a cheesy early 80's sword and sandals/barbarian type flick, it instantly felt completely out of place with the imagery. What's even more bizarre is the vast difference in music during the movie, it literately swings from one end of the spectrum to the other. You get many moments of orchestral pieces trying to convey a serious, grand, epic science fiction vibe, then shit outta the blue you get 80's pop group [i]Then Jericho[/i] and [i]Big Area[/i]! All of sudden it goes from trying to be an intelligent movie, to your typical goofy action-esque popcorn flick for teenagers. Lots of sweeping shots of this tiny light-aircraft as it dips and bobs through this canyon, the pilot (Bill Paxton) trying to be all ice cool as he laughs off his air acrobatics calmly...kinda. There's also a couple of songs from artists in the 60's which I've never heard of but I can see why they were used at certain points, but overall its still a weird collection.

Much like the rest of the film the cast is also off kilter and just plain odd choices, much miscasting methinks. Firstly the main star is obviously Mark Hamill as Will Tasker the lawman or bounty hunter of sorts. Now Hamill was obviously hot off [i]Star Wars[/i] success even though he hadn't done shit since RotJ. The opportunity for using Luke Skywalker was too great to turn down, but the producer Gary Kurtz probably had a little bit to do with that, being the producer on the first two [i]Star Wars[/i] movies. Now I agree utilising Hamill was a good choice, at least looks wise, he looks uber cool as the rogue lawman Tasker with his bleached blonde, slick backed hair and blonde beard, he even had that cool name...Tasker. His outfit was really decent, it had a WWI flying ace vibe about it with the long dark brown trenchcoat, scarf, dark cargo pants, a cream fisherman's jumper thingy, black boots and some kind of utility belt with cool things attached. Actually he looked a bit like Rik Mayall in 'Blackadder Goes Forth'. Unfortunately his character is a bit pants frankly, he does nothing of note despite looking cool. But he's not alone, the other main lead Owens, the hero, played by Bill Paxton is a shockingly bad piece of miscasting, mainly because Paxton just doesn't fit the role. Hot off the success of 'Aliens' and 'Near Dark' and with clear cameos in 'Commando' and 'The Terminator', Paxton had cemented himself as a badass character actor of action and sci-fi, yet here he plays this goofball with a terrible mane of scruffy hair. The real problem is Paxton just acts badly, real badly, you'd think he was an amateur, how the hell did he get his part in 'Aliens' is what you'd be asking yourself.

The other main cast members don't really add anything to the action...action? Tasker's partner played by Kitty Aldridge is merely the female foil to the manly Tasker. She flirts with men, usually their prey so they can be taken down easier, naturally she falls for the hero in the end, its all very predictable. The other strange casting and subplot is Bob Peck as the android Byron who has superhuman powers such as strength and general invincibility. Now this guy sure does look like an android I'll admit that, he even wears a smart suit just like any android butler would because of course. But again the acting is pretty dire, bordering on amateurish again, I just wasn't sold by...any of these people! it just felt like a cheesy science fiction TV show. I like how the director appears to try and copy or homage 'North by Northwest' at the start of the movie with a long shot of Byron running away from Tasker's Optica plane as it comes up behind him from a distance. Well that's the impression I got anyway.

Basically Tasker and his token female sidekick were after Byron the android because he killed his owner, can't remember why, not even sure if that was disclosed, meh. But at a stereotypical manly bar for pilots (Ricco Ross cameo), Paxton's character kidnaps him in order to avoid getting arrested for selling contraband. Thus kicks off the whole chase element of the movie with the bounty hunters after Owens and the android, and Owens wanting the reward for the android, but of course he ends up befriending him on the adventure. The only problem is I'm genuinely still not sure what the adventure actually was, what it was about, where they were headed or what they were actually trying to do. I kid you not, there doesn't actually seem to be any sort of plot goal here, other than avoid the bounty hunters. The whole thing ends when they reach some fancy pants museum were people live very comfortably having big parties and sex...or something. Where do they get all their fancy clothes, food, drink, heat etc...? All I know is that they must have been important and clever people because Ben Kingsley and F. Murray Abraham had small roles in those scenes.

Seriously I've not come across a film so jumbled and weird for some time, I still don't know what was supposed to have happened! The main duo spend their time simply travelling from one bunch of spiritual, wind worshipping weirdos to the next. Some are friendly, some are a bit aggressive, but most are poor and apparently mainly minorities (white folk are apparently better off in this world...ooOoo, racism). Most of this takes place in cave dwellings or cliffs tops or near caves and cliff tops...ugh! At one point some natives tie Byron to a huge kite and fly him in the night sky because...I really don't know, I had given up by then. This is all interspersed with some bits of flying, bits of the bounty hunters, a Robbie Coltrane cameo, and then they all end up in this swanky museum, the end. Oh and Tasker has a deadly finale face-off with Byron...kinda. Most of the effects are poor bluescreen shots, no action!! the locations are generally drab, the weather is generally poor making it even more depressing and boring, the plot makes no sense, acting is terrible, way too much emphasis on the small aircraft for some reason, yet they aren't thrilling, and freaky religious hokum just to make things that little bit extra worse. Sure I can see how this might have become a cult over the years, I can admit that. Its definitely got that unique, one-off thing going on, its pure crap but...yeah sure, whatever.
½ January 1, 2016
Uneven and dull, with bad editing (scenes are drawn out far too long) and mediocre effects. I was not rooting for the protagonist(?) but it's got a talented cast that makes parts of it worthwhile.
½ August 31, 2015
Needed more Mark Hamill.
July 7, 2015
20% on the Tomatometer? Fuck you! It's got something special. Three stars.
½ April 5, 2014

"Man against nature, and we lost. I could have told them that up front, but nobody asked me."-Matt Owens (Bill Paxton)
March 5, 2014
A pilot takes an android prisoner to collect a bounty in a future where the earth has been devastated by pollution. Lumbers on without enough clarity in the story for too long. I'd recommend sticking to the Italian made post-apocolyptic themed films over this British offering, they seem less disappointing.
January 2, 2014
Cheap-looking Blade Runner rip off which bankrupted the original producer of the Star Wars movies.
September 21, 2013
British sci-fi effort seems to have the proper effort behind it but falls well short of its billing as a 'science fiction spectacular' thanks partly to never divulging the full backstory. Was a flop everywhere and never even managed a theatrical release in North America. By the time it makes an effort to connect with the viewer, it is far too late.
April 13, 2013
There were strange moments, but it was worth watching...
½ April 7, 2013
Strange Sci-Fi flick, with an interesting cast - from the director of Tron.
April 5, 2013
gets better every time. only watched it twice so far. Ben Kingsley is in it for about there min. why is he credited as the main actor on the box lol
½ February 1, 2013
I really didn't think it was that bad. The plot is a bit stale, slow at some points, and a bit long, but not really too boring. There's a lot of known actors that haven't been in a lot of films, so the acting isn't awful. There are some confusing moments and lots of plot holes, but it's an enjoyable little sci-fi film with likable characters and good moments. The ending could of been a bit better though.
January 31, 2013
This should have been so much better because the underlying premise is so intriguing and the actors are of high calibre, but as it is the philosophy is somewhat hampered by a few rather campy scenes and music production. If Cameron Crowe had directed Blade Runner it would probably have ended up like this.
January 28, 2013
what did I just watch?
½ December 23, 2012
At first I thought it would be a dud but after watching it I liked it. Very well done airplane scenes and lots of action. A little hammy at times but a solid storyline.
July 29, 2012
Pretty interesting plotting, but somehow slipped under the radar.
May 3, 2012
Saw this movie quite some time ago, came across this recently and had to watch it again. It's not very good but I find it rather interesting. Bad dialogue frequently, and the story is inconsistent but the visuals were rather cool. The landscape was possibly the best part of the movie. Hammill sucked, his character was awful, Paxton was crap for the most part but got slightly interesting in the end. Very much enjoyed Peck's character, found him interesting, but don't expect a lot form tjis flick.
½ April 30, 2012
For some reason I often return to Slipstream. It's a movie I loved as a kid and the older I get the more I realise what's wrong with it. It's stodgily told and a lot of the production values have depreciated over time.... but something lures me back time and again. I love the aesthetic and the setting. It takes place on a post apocalyptic Earth where a global catastrophe has rendered the planet almost uninhabitable. All thats left are rugged ridges and windswept canyons. A bounty hunter kidnaps a murderer from police for a large reward and much of the film is about being on the run. Some great themes and the concept it original. This was the follow up film for director Steven Lisberger who has just made Tron at the time. Expectations were high and you get the feeling that he was out of his depth. The cast are good with Bob Peck, Bill Paxton, Mark Hamill, Ben Kingsley & F Murray Abraham (how's that for a lineup?) but the movie ultimately never really gels.... nevertheless it remains a simple treat that I go back for. Its one of the rare instances then I would suggest the benefits of a good remake. This deserves to be done well!
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