Pretty Space SuperChicks (and Man) Fight Villain & Company !
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hi ! I'll drone on a little while, or you can let my Review Title sum things up !!I'd first like to say, apart from Wendy Crewson and Michelle Beaudoinne as two of Deep Space's Most Heavenly Bodies, ESCAPE VELOCITY shines as pleasant, sit-back / surrender-to-Suspension-of-Disbelief Happy Happy Joy Joy.Sure, here -are- a heap o' lil' hysterical idiosyncracies to giggle over, but ESCAPE VELOCITY, as before I've noted, is a FUN flick you can leave your Cerebellum OFF-hook for. So, curl up next to your Sweetie and indulge each other in her favorite snacks and beverages, Men !!Beautifully TRUE to Tradition, ESCAPE VELOCITY boasts a Pistol Packin' Space Mama holding off the Baddies *singlehandedly* whilst her Nubile, Goodie, At-LAST-I-Can-Drink! Daughter take turns fritzing out between bombs and bullets, Carol Lynley / POSEIDON ADVENTURE style.Where, for you uninitiated, is Our Loving But Tough Step Dad / Commander in the meantime ? Why, CALMLY - and I mean, CALMLY - removing some outerwear so as to most -comfortably- tank-up the (Archaic) Fighter Craft rapidly falling into Gravity Well Hell. ....... there's even a "Wet T-shirt Contest" ...... but you must bum or buy ESCAPE VELOCITY to see WHO the Lucky Lady (or is that us Men ?) is !!This is DEFINITELY the Kind of Movie you *and* your Girl can get into, Age Irrelative. Frilly FUN -- NO Final Exam !!"
A Classic Case of Missed Opportunities
Peter | San Francisco, California United States | 12/24/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"From glancing at the film summary, the general setting of Escape Velocity- an enormous, scarcely populated Cygnus-style space station precariously close to a star on the verge of transforming into a supernova apparently equipped with some extraordinary anti-gravity device to safeguard its perilous position- invites comparisons to an updated version of the Black Hole. However, it becomes increasingly clear during the film that Escape Velocity is much closer to an intergalactic version of the thriller Dead Calm. Notwithstanding the obvious discrepancies in setting, there are numerous similarities between these films: both feature a homicidal killer unsuspectingly picked up (and in the case of Escape Velocity, awoken from hibernation) by a small crew of good samaritans, who briefly befriends his gracious benefactors before abruptly turning upon them in order to utilize the capacities offered by their ship. Likewise, the maniac expels the husband or male patriarch (Sam Neill and Patrick Bergin in each film respectively) and terrorizes the wife (and her daughter in Escape Velocity) in the meantime until the captain returns and with uxorial assistance, kills the heartless assailant.
Apart from these divergent details and sequences, overall Escape Velocity and Dead Calm are remarkably alike- unfortunately except in terms of production and execution. Whereas the latter film is tautly made and edited, Event Velocity plods in pacing and suffers from abrupt and clumsily executed plot changes.
Doubtless the most awkward moment of Escape Velocity is where the assailant, Nash (Peter Outerbridge) having failed to apprehend Billie (Wendy Crewson) and Ronnie (Michelle Baudoin), implausibly proceeds to resurrect his minions, who, like himself, have also been in hibernation for fifteen years. Although the film did previously indicate that Nash escaped from the penal colony along with his cohorts, it is assumed that they must have died during the voyage since Billie and Cal (Patrick Bergin) never observed, let alone mentioned, that other passengers on Nash's ship likewise lingered in suspended hibernation. Surely such a critical factor could not have been ignored by a purported eminent scientist like Cal. In addition to needlessly complicating the action, the resurrection of these minions throws the whole storyline off balance. Ironically, instead of augmenting the odds against our beleaguered heroines, they actually diminish them as Billie is able to overpower all of them (except, of course, for their ringleader, Nash) with relative ease. (While their incompetence could stem from disorientation engendered by hibernation hangover, the fact the film overlooks this notion entirely makes these characters more pathetic than threatening.)
Unlike the Black Hole, which made deft use of panoramic sets to simulate the majestic interior of the Cygnus as a wondrous space city, in Escape Velocity the space station is unnecessarily large and its size never reflected in the cloistered, claustrophobic sets which supposedly depict its interior. As the filmmakers did not have to go through the ordeal of constructing an ornate ship model as in the Black Hole, it seems that the ship here is enormous essentially to exhibit the handsome computer simulation. (Since it's not a cargo ship, what is all that extra space used for, extra reserve fuel to escape the gravitational pull of the red giant?)
It is also contrived that the red giant is continuously stagnant throughout the film and should only explode at the very moment when Nash is pursuing the crew. (Isn't a red giant supposed to be continuously swelling in size before swiftly contracting on the verge of a supernova?) Moreover, although Cal's space dingy becomes alarmingly proximous to the red giant (thanks to Nash's tampering with the controls), the absence of scenes depicting Cal experiencing any sweat or his ship's hull being charred from the star's immeasurable heat fails to provide basic suspense as well as to stupefyingly defy rudimentary laws of astronomy (obviously viewers don't watch these cosmic flicks for scientific accuracy, yet some adherence to common sense sure could have provided some much needed credibility which would definitely have enhanced the film.)
Given these inconsistencies it is no surprise that incontestably the best (as well as the only decent) part of the film is the twenty minutes which elapse from our introduction to the space station's crew to Nash's backstabbing ploys against them. When we first meet the crew, we encounter an ostensibly tranquil yet emotionally frustrated menagerie with each individual possessing foibles which are promising vehicles for strong character conflict: Cal's disappointment with the stagnant development of the erstwhile red giant, Billie's haunting by her husband's death and her ignominious discharge from the military (an intriguing backstory sadly never adequately explained), and her restless, sexually-starved daughter Ronnie feeling the cumulative toll (pehaps a form of cosmic cabin fever) of prolonged isolation due to the voyage. When Nash is discovered and revived, the stage has effectively been set for his arrival to intensify the tension which already exists among the crew. The tragedy of Escape Velocity is that all of these potentially intriguing character angles are effortlessly scuttled once Nash psychotically turns upon the crew, whereby the film sadly degenerates into a pedestrian cat and mouse hunt with the space station's innumerable compartments providing ample labyrinthine sets for several contrived action scenes.
Escape Velocity stands as a classic case of a film which, had concerted efforts been made to allow the characters to freely develop and not fall into regimented stereotypes of the hunter and hunted, could have become a cut above the standard direct- to- video space thriller. Unfortunately, neglect of these considerations place it squarely in this largely undistinguished film subgenre."