Escape Velocity (1999) Poster

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If the daughter is 18, then I'll eat my space helmet...
Paul-b-118 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Another of my delves into the bargain bin, this film actually does have some genuine points of merit. The special effects are actually quite well done, and by and large the acting is quite good.

In brief, a scientist lady and her bloke along with her 18 (ho ho) year old daughter rattle around in an over-sized spaceship playing galactic "chicken" with stars which are about to explode, supposedly collecting scientific data. Escaped loony psycho turns up, gets himself invited on board and takes over ship. Scientist lady (who used to be a cop) turns into Rambo and duffs up loony psycho, rescuing daughter and bloke at the same time.

I found it difficult to believe that the "18" year old girl was actually 18 (I think that the actress who played her was in fact 23 at the time) - even when the psycho loony turned up he commented on how she looked older than 18. I also had difficulty with the whole business of them hanging around stars until the last moment before beating a hasty retreat - would any parent want to take their teen-aged daughter on such a dangerous mission?

The psycho loony seemed to be indestructible, resisting numerous attempts to rub him out. Sadly, he didn't exactly exude an air of menace (such as you would have got from, say, Oliver Reed or Anthony Hopkins); instead he came across as an annoying little tick who just happened to have a gun, and certainly did nothing to deserve his indestructible status.

In all, I quite enjoyed the film but wouldn't go mad on it - it has succeeded in avoiding my "for the car boot sale" pile for a couple of years now, so it can't be that bad.
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Corridors In Space
Red-Barracuda9 February 2006
On a distant planet a psychopath is saved from execution by a space monk. He releases a few fellow inmates and breaks out of the prison in a spaceship. They dock onto a ludicrously enormous spacecraft that is orbiting a supernova star. This massive craft is populated by only three people, presumably because the budget of the film did not extend to hiring many actors. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the three goodies end up in a game of cat and mouse with the baddies.

The psychopath in this movie is curious in that he is annoying. 'Annoying' is generally not a term one would use to describe a lunatic - unhinged, frightening, dangerous maybe but not 'annoying' but he is. The three people manning the giant ship are seriously unconvincing as warranting such important roles - this ship is practically the size of a city! Considering that the film is set approximately 50 years in the future, it is somewhat optimistic that such a huge man-made craft could exist, never mind the fact that it is used for such a relatively mundane task. Despite the vast size of the spaceship, the crew all have appallingly kitted out, tiny rooms and the dining room consists of what appears to be a plastic table and chairs. But there are a lot of corridors.

The film is fairly well acted and it works as an averagey sci-fi thriller. But nothing great.
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Very odd mix of good and bad stuff
Alan Deikman (Alan-40)9 January 2002
Don't let the fact that this is set in a space station orbiting a star about to go nova fool you. This is a low tech story. Their ship is huge, but for no apparent purpose other than to provide a lot of corridors in which to play cat and mouse. The conflicts are solved with 1980's vintage firearms and in some cases a knife.

This movie bounces between some great parts and many that make absolutely no sense whatsover. I like the characters; the actors are excellent at making them work. But what kind of mom thinks its the right thing to do for a 16 year old daughter to get over her fathers death is to spend nearly two years in an isolated space station? No contact with anyone but her mom and stepdad-to-be. By the time a guy shows up the poor kid is so horny that she damn near mounts him even before he comes out of cryo-stasis! (This happens on her 18th birthday, which mom forgot about.)

The inevitable fight sequences is where the movie works best. Enjoy it for that and forget the rest.
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Wendy Crewson is great, even though the movie is not
iamluvd28 July 2003 this movie and just have fun! There are a lot of things that the audience could pick apart - like the ridiculously long space ship, or the countless meaningless shots of empty corridors, or the sometimes 'campy' dialog. AND...I can't leave out the irritating character of the daughter, Ronnie. She whines and whines and ...ok, you get the picture. BUT...Wendy Crewson is great! It is such fun to see her as the tough gal with a gun! It proves again, that this fabulous actress can turn just about any role into a gem. She is gutsy and sexy, and even manages to be convincingly maternal with her whiney daughter. That alone should have guaranteed her an academy award nod! Don't expect "Aliens"...just expect an evening of entertainment. This little film can deliver that.
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A poor psychotic madman film set in space.
MordredW10 July 1999
A pretty average scifi film. The plot was more or less obvious from the start. Although the acting was reasonably good, the writing seemed very cliched, using ideas taken from numerous films.

The basic plot: Scientists working on a deep space research platform rescue a fighter from crashing into the red dwarf that they have been orbitting. Onboard they find a stasis pod, which coincidently malfunctions at that very moment. After 2 or 3 minutes of the man in the pod waking up, you realise that he is a complete lunatic. Something which totally escapes the 3 person crew of the research ship...

After that it becomes a rip off every other film involving a psychotic madman terrorising innocent victims, overall I think Speed 2 was a better exploration of the subject matter, which I didn't consider to be a good film either.

Not a good film, get Aliens out and watch that again.
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reinhard_borchardt3 April 2000
This movie was poor. And that's being kind. Predictable plot obviously written for mass consumption by a passive suburbanite audience forever looking for that happy ending. Sounds familiar. Please. The story was disconnected without any shred of creativity. It wasn't so much that the actors were bad as they had nothing to work with. They sure didn't seem convincing. Stay away from this dog.
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Hostages in Space
George V10 August 1999
This movie re-uses the Dead Calm premise of hostage taking except sets it on a research space ship with a crew of 3 - the The role of the bad guy is played by Peter Outerbridge, who seems to be really coming on as an actor. His performance is not a typical cliche and really works . Interesting special effects sequences. Michelle Beaudoin is also good as the spoiled teen stuck with her parents who turns to the Outerbridge character for some interest.
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Comically poor writing
arcturus95 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Getting lost in space frozen for 15 years, that's unlikely. Falling into a star... improbable. Falling into it the day it goes supernova and explodes... ludicrous. Getting rescued by a ship just then... priceless.

No, it's not Zaphod Beeblebrox's Heart of Gold to the rescue. It's also not the Parent of the Year awardees. After sentencing her daughter to two years' solitary confinement on an abandoned spaceship, the mother encourages her to get drunk and wander off alone with the strange man they've picked up. This foreshadows their prowess in hand to hand combat, which makes up most of the film's action. Combat highlights include for example the psycho talking close up face to face with one woman while blindly pointing the gun behind him at the other about six inches away, who obligingly simpers in the line of fire.

In the end, the family of three abandons the metropolis-sized ship they were planning to use to observe the supernova until the last instant because it is too slow to escape the blast wave, instead using the psycho's fighter ship which they've refueled in one minute with 1600 pounds of gas propellant from a 0.7-kiloton missile. You have to love those hard sci-fi statistics!

As long as Hollywood treats writing as an irrelevant frill, they'll continue making movies not fit to run at 3 am on the Sci fi channel.
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Scifi action- drama with good performances
Alan-11210 August 1999
The plot is familiar - small group of people being held hostage by crazy bad guy. However, the acting is good, and the story works. Set in space, a family is terrorized by an escaped convict that they have rescued. The daughter naturally falls for the good looking visitor (afterall, she is bored and stuck in space with her parents). Soon, the whole family is in trouble, but in this one, it is the mother who pulls off the save of the day - and quite believably as well. Good performances all around.
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Character driven sci-fi with good performances
Anne W10 August 1999
This film is like a Deep Calm in space.A family of research scientists find themselves trapped and terrorized by an escaped convict who they are trying to help. Good performances throughout, especially by Peter Outerbridge playing Nash, the escaped convict. Worth checking out.
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