Friday, April 25, 2014

Movie Review: Jason X

So, Sean S. Cunningham, still trying to go through many drafts of a unfinished Freddy Vs. Jason project, still wanted to keep the spirit of Jason fresh into the people's mind. So he recruited writer Todd Farmer and Son Noel Cunningham to conjure up some new ideas for yet another Friday The 13th. There had been many concepts such as Jason terrorizing would-be victims in a winter storm or Jason in a far away island, far much better conceptions than the one they eventually came up with.
My question with this is.....why? Why would they put the series in this direction. The films before this that put horror movie characters in space was considered horrible with the examples of Hellraiser: Bloodline and Leprechaun In Space. Again, why put Jason in this predicament?
So to go further into this, the film was a production mess and even had trouble getting distributed. Judging from the final product of the movie, I can see why. The acting is bad, the special effects are bad, the overall plot is bad, and the directing had some potential  but for the most part, I felt like a was watching a crappy Sci-Fi original movie. I also think that the filmmakers didn't care at this point. Why put Jason in space? It just doesn't fit well with the whole Jason mythology. Well, whatever the cause it was, the filmmakers didn't care how stupid the movie would turn out to be, as long as it was going to make money at the box office. Once I realize they trying to capitalize the series with such a shallow attempt, it's a testament of how New Line is putting this franchise way down in the gutter.

The Cast is.....questionable. Like I said with the filmmakers they just didn't care, including the actors. But at least they knew what movie they were in I guess. From what I gather, there were only three actors that gave decent enough performances.

Lexa Doig was actually good at what she was given but by the middle half of the movie, her character pretty much fades into the background and there's not much to say about her. However, her character is the basis of the plot, which is a somewhat interesting aspect of her. She is a scientist that works for a crystal lake  research facility. She tries to warn the government of how dangerous it is to keep the notorious serial killer Jason Voorhees under their watch, but project leader Dr. Whimmer (played by David Cronenberg) is so intent on doing research on the undead killer because he has the ability to regenerate(.....more on that later....). So of course, all hell breaks loose when Jason tears free from his chains and kills the science project group, along with Dr. Whimmer and a few soldiers. He chases Rowan to a freeze capsule, trapping them both, and wounding Rowan in the process. 455 lightyears later,  Rowan is found by a group of students going on a field trip led by an arrogant professor. They also unravel Jason....and a lot of bloody deaths ensue.

There's really not much of a plot for me to elaborate on really. The movie tries to set up Rowan as this Ripley-type but it never pays off. She's all brain but no brawn basically and pretty much the rest of the main characters are the ones that face Jason off. Which leads me to the real star of the movie:

The android Kay-Em Played wonderfully by Lisa Ryder. Lisa Ryder brings a blend of cute quirkiness and awesome badassery to the role. She is very charismatic and you want to root for her in the end. And let me remind you, you have Jason fighting against a robot. You gotta see it to believe it. It's so awesome:

Kay-Em is the one who pretty much receives the final girl status. And could totally see why ,even though  her head is the only body part she has at the end.

Sergeant Brodski played by Peter Mensah is another one of the three actors that take this movie seriously, even through the cheesy dialogue. Every time he is on screen, you actually feel that you're watching a much better Sci-Fi movie. Yes, he's that good of an actor.  It's quite fulfilling that he is in critically acclaimed TV shows and movies after this. Sergeant Brodski is so badass, in fact, that made the other characters useless by comparison. But hell, it's not like they were useless to begin with. It is him who ends up being the one defeating Jason at the end and he sacrifices his life by doing so. He is probably the best character in this movie.
Which leads me to the supporting characters, who I think are pointless and are just machete fodder.  They don't have any prominence like the aforementioned characters.

First, there's Tsunaron, who is a stereotypical fast-talking nerd who is very unfunny and annoying. But here's one side of the character that bothered me.

He is the one who build and programmed Kay-Em. The only reason, however, is because he wanted the perfect girlfriend. I don't know...something about this is just so....sexist. Kay-Em wasn't build to be an artificial intelligent or indestructible warrior, instead she was made to be someone's sex toy. This makes me dislike this Tsunaron character even more. And guess what? He lives! *sigh*

Then you have Janessa, who every fan claims to be a comic relief. I did not find this character funny or engaging for that matter. To be quite honest, I find her really annoying. I actually didn't care if she lived or died when she came on screen, mostly because the actress was terrible and the jokes she says always comes out at the wrong place at the wrong time, which didn't help either.

Then you have sexy couple, Stoney and Kinsa. From the very first scene they're in, they couldn't keep their hands off each other and once they finally have sex, it wakes up Jason for some reason, Cause Jason just hates pre-marital sex (I'll discuss later).

Once Stoney is killed off, We are left with Kinsa, who spends the movie, whining, screaming, and acting stupid. Then it all comes to this big ball of idiocy when she recklessly goes on a cargo ship, accidently presses the wrong button, and blow herself up, causing everybody to be trapped in the main ship. Wow. Just wow.

Lastly, we have Professor Lowe, who is the most arrogant and most unlikeable of the cast. He thinks he knows everything because he's the Professor and he pretty much belittles anyone above his logic. Plus there is a really weird sex scene between him and Janessa that made me want to throw up.
The rest of the characters aren't worth mentioning. The stoner is a stereotype, the electrician guy is a failed attempt at comic relief, and the armed soldiers are just as useless as the main supporting characters.

And now we come to this. The indestructible Jason Voorhees or Uber-Jason as a matter-of-fact. Kane Hodder again does what he does best, morphing into the Jason character splendidly. There is one thing that bothered me in the whole Jason mythology, is his "mysterious" powers. Now, let me go through three films using this so far. In Jason Takes Manhattan, He has the ability to teleport. In Jason Goes To Hell, He has the ability to body surf. Now in Jason X, He has the ability to regenerate. Regenerating? how stupid is that? But I guess it explains Jason never-ending immortality, so I'll just run with it or whatever. The other thing that bothered me was why didn't anybody pulled out weapons when danger was afoot. They're in fucking outer space for Pete's Sakes! They finally get a clue when they send out Kay-Em to fight off Jason. Whether or not why they would all just fight him themselves is beyond me but if she's a mechanical android it works right? So once they think Kay-Em has finally defeated Jason, dues ex machina find it's way into Jason's DNA and he becomes......

Uber Jason. Uber Jason? Really? What about Intergalactic Jason or Android Jason, why Uber Jason? it's just sounds so...lame. To be honest, I didn't mind the Uber Jason look and it did fit well into the movie's theme. It's less cheesy than expected is what I mean.
Now to the special effects and directing. The special effects are a mixed bag for me.

There are the good ones like Adrienne's death and the attack on the soldiers sequence as shown here:

Then there are the really bad ones like Jason floating in space and the dreadful holographic simulation scene in the climax. Speaking of which, let's talk about that.

What I don't like about this particular scene is how it is making a parody of itself. Believe it or not, the movie series wasn't about teens having sex, doing drugs, and general fucking around to be killed. It was about how the people at their upmost attempt to keep opening camp crystal lake and Jason, honoring his mother's legacy by stopping it also for people to keep off his damn property. I know Jason Goes To Hell did it with those three campers, but this scene is an insult to the whole series. The actors didn't take it seriously, the writers didn't take it seriously, and the producers didn't take it seriously. And the movie makes us the audience not take this seriously. They just want us to brush it off like some stupid slasher franchise, when it really could've been something more. The only person to be taking this movie and otherwise the franchise seriously, is the director. He really tried hard to capture the gritty, grimy feel of Aliens or Event Horizon but I guess the film execs were on another mindset. And here's another thing, New Line as a whole, doesn't give a shit about the Friday franchise and pretty much put a nail in the coffin in the series with the exception of Freddy Vs. Jason and The Remake.
Trivia Time! Lexa Doig and Lisa Ryder starred in the Sci-Fi TV series Andromeda which explains their spot-on performances.

Writer Todd Farmer has a cameo in this movie. Like I fucking care....
Now let's get to the real juice of trivia time shall we? The first draft of the script. I actually like the first draft of the script better than movie itself. The characters were less annoying, there was a much more coherent story and the main female character actually had something to do. I don't know why they choose the shooting script over this. I get the feeling that New Line had something to do with this.
The movie was a box office flop, making it the third lowest grossing Friday The 13th film. The blame was put on by the internet. The film was available for download before it's release in theaters and that's what hurt the film's box office sales. But you want to know the real truth? the fans had enough. Putting Jason in space was the last straw and they, including myself, knew it was a bad idea.
I guess I already said my thoughts on this film. Some people think that is a so bad, it's good flick but I just don't see that. I was rather bored. It picked somewhat in the first half but it became dull and uninteresting in the second. It was quite repetitive actually. It's a bunch of characters acting stupid and running away from a big scary monster. I have seen stuff like this before. Some people think this a step up from Jason Goes To Hell, which I do agree to some level, but on the other hand, this movie almost killed the franchise.
Again, this movie is a parody of itself and not in a good way. The sequel that did it better was Jason Lives because while it takes jabs at the slasher genre, it still took the formula seriously. Jason X is just a F-you to the Friday The 13th legacy and New Line just sat back and let it crumbled up into the train wreck that it is.
My last word: Please do yourself a favor and just watch Alien or Star Trek. If you want to watch something stupid, give it a roll.

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