|Index||7 reviews in total|
I thought this movie, and the series as well, was better than the previous
reviewer gave it credit. For being made in 1994 it presaged the movie
Matrix in a couple of ways; notably the term used-the "Matrix" (though it
referred to different things) and the long coats worn by the stars. I
thought it was technologically a pretty good production, and the sci-fi
stuff was pretty cutting edge. I thought Shatner did a better job than he
otherwise is given credit for. And the sets were nicely done. All in all,
it held my interest, got me involved in the stories, made me like the
characters, kept me wondering how things would turn out, and had me
the entire series. And after they were all done, it made me wish they had
continued the series with more episodes.
So I gave it a 7.
The TekWar franchise managed to support a long series of books, comic
books, TV movies, and a TV, yet I never really met anyone who professed
to be an actual TekWar fan. Instead from most people I got the vague
sense that the series had been solely made and supported on the
strength of being associated with William Shatner, so I figured this
premier TV movie was as good a way as any to see if that was fair.
TekWar is stuffed to the gills with elements that are hopelessly hokey, yet it remains a curiously very watchable ninety minutes. In essence, this is a noir story of wrongful accusation, transplanted to the setting of a drug war in a cyberpunkish future. The fixation on virtual reality (that's what the drug Tek amounts to) is very dated to this time when VR was the technology fad of the day, just about every element of the bright, blippy production and design is cheesy to the point of laughable, and the dialogue is saturated with gangster-movie phraseology. But the basic story of a future cop wrongly convicted and pulled from cryogenic freezing years early (though why is cryogenic freezing considered an equal punishment to prison if one cannot perceive time passing?) is good material.
The budget doesn't seem to have been huge, but serendipitously that means some of the modified props have a genuine "a few years into the future" look to them. While a lot of the representations of technology look very 18994-trying-to-be-cutting edge, many of the concepts about where technology was going are actually quite sound.
In fact, the whole thing could have had its best side brought out if it were streamlined a little bit. Cut out some of the longer scenes that just show Tek working or show a visual representation of people hacking the future computers, cut out some of the more involved guesswork and intrigues that detract from Jake's personal story, and you could have a pretty strong SF drama with the suspense of a man trying to clear his name and the human interest of his trying to find his lost son and the wife that betrayed him.
Shatner's direction, though, if it does one thing, keeps the story moving despite sections that could easily bog down. He gives himself a supporting but important role, and is quite believable stealing some scenes as a powerful, manipulative politico/businessman. The rest of the cast is mostly adequate, with Greg Evigan putting a lot of energy into his lead as Cardigan but not really handling his big emotional moments. Torii Higginson stands out as Beth Kittridge.
TekWar doesn't escape the more ludicrous trappings of its status as an action-oriented TV movie from 1994 and set in the future, but beyond that's there's an interesting story in there. No concept is huge enough to make TekWar forever memorable, but the genre combination of noir- detective with cyberpunk-drugland is enough to be interesting. I can see why the series would have continued, but I can also see why it didn't generate a huge amount of real enthusiasm either.
OK, I was expecting the worst, when I first heard
about this on the Sci-Fi channel (when it first
came out in 1994, I must've been hiding under a
rock or something). I mean, based on the Shatner
novels, it even has Shatner in it, I was expecting
But I was pleasantly surprised.
Mind you, it's *not* a classic, nor is it destined to become one. But it's actually pretty good entertainment. Lots of action, lots of cool techno gadgets (the scene of 'jacking in' to the Net, a' la Neuromancer, made it all worthwhile), the acting is fairly good, and the premise is interesting. It managed to hold my attention. Hell, I can even tolerate Shatner's occasional guest appearance -- his character, Bascom, is a sort of enigma -- you never know if he is really "the good guy", he has a LOT of secrets and things going on behind his back, etc., an interesting change from Shatner's most famous role as the "do-gooder" Captain Kirk.
In summary, I wouldn't go out of my way to buy or rent this title, but if you happen to catch it on the Sci-Fi channel (or have a friend who has it on tape, etc.) it's pretty good way of spending the evening.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tek apparently is a futuristic term meaning "boring".
"Tekwar" is a major snoozefest for anyone except hardcore sci-fi freaks who still insist "Logan's Run" was a good movie. Based on the series of novels ghostwritten for William Shatner, somehow this film got picked up as an equally unwatchable series.
Shatner himself can usually be counted on to deliver up a show saving hammy performance, is unfortunately way too restrained in this. Greg Evigan was okay in the lead (though there is definite evidence that he's following Shatner's direction closely--just look at the way he moves and acts) but not good enough to save "Tekwar". You get the feeling after awhile he'd welcome the appearance of Sheriff Lobo and the Bear.
I had a difficult time getting to the end of this one.
I don't know how the books are compared to this movie, because I never
read them. I hope their better though.
The basic plot of the story is Jake is a former cop who supposedly killed his teammates when they were trying to stop a drug lord. As a result, he's framed and sentenced to be cryogenically frozen. The character, Bascom, grants him early parole so Jake can stop the Tek drug from becoming an epidemic.
Although that plot sounds interesting on paper, it didn't work as well as I thought when I was watching it on YouTube. It wasn't given much praise by critics anyway. Here are some problems I had with it: The book setting is supposed to be portrayed in the 22 century. The movie setting ends up being a 90's semi-futuristic B-movie.
The acting and plot are okay, but fall short and become boring after a while.
The 90's B-movie tech and special effects often become a distraction from the acting and plot.
Being that this was a TV movie, its typical that it didn't have a big budget. However, I don't know if having a bigger budget would've saved it. Maybe if Hollywood decided to make this a stand-alone feature film, they could make it well enough that it becomes an A-movie and finally saves this franchise.
This movie isn't outstanding in any way but it's OK entertainment if you just want something to pass the time. Followed by the superior "Tekwar: Teklords"--this movie does set up a number of things that factor into that film as well.
I really loved this! The effects was pretty good, and the ideas was fresh enuff. I may be some years old (and it shows, if not *that* much), but still really worth a look (and maybe a purchase). RECOMMENDED!
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