Mike Traceur a bitter former Army Ranger and failed race car driver, just got a new lease on life, neither he cares for or wants this chance to make up for his past failings. FLAG wants a new driver, but he is hesitant to join this mysterious group and doubts this super car or he can make a difference. He's got problems, he's in debt and people want to kill him. The choice is all too obvious for him and the Knight Industries Three Thousand (K.I.T.T). Written by
I wanted to like this more than I did. Unfortunately, after viewing this "re-boot", it looked more like a 1-hour movie that was really, really stretched to fill a 2-hour slot. It really seemed like this was produced, then shelved until NBC started to run out of content. Was the now-settled writer's strike the only reason this got on the air?? Re-boots of old series have mixed results, but there have been some encouraging examples on both TV (the new Battlestar Galactica) and film (the new Bond). Story lines are more complex and characters are more developed. The new attempt at Knight Rider did not achieve this status.
One thing that I found distracting and maybe it's just me was that with one exception, all the vehicles in the show were from the Ford family. This included Mustang, Focus, Edge, Taurus, even Volvo. I find that not only distracting (no road is full of one corporation's products), but also a not-so-thinly veiled attempt at a 2-hour Ford commercial. Only in the final chase sequence did the bad guys switch to a GM-type SUV (with the front grill badge removed).
The "supercar" technology just didn't translate to 2008. And with all the advances, it still had the "cylon" front end with the sequential lights. I had hoped the writers would have taken the 1983 ideas and evolved them further than they did. In many ways, the new car was simply a supercomputer on a very fast platform.
As far as the "bad guys" were concerned, their motivation just never seemed to be plausible. The "Blackriver" tie-in to Blackwater may have been an unnecessary jab by some Hollywood politico, but even if it was unintentional it detracted from the story. A good story line should not be topical, but deal with more timeless conflicts. The bad guys in this movie just didn't display the necessary motivation.
On the positive side, the choice of outfit for Mike Traceur was a subtle nod to the old Michael Knight ensemble. Instead of the red shirt and a black leather jacket, it was a very dark red t-shirt with a dark jacket (maybe leather). Close, but not obvious.
It was also nice to see David Hasselhoff, if only at the end. What spoiled it for me was the fact that he had a starring credit in the beginning of the program. That removed any sense of surprise. In fact, I watched the show waiting to see in what role he would show up in.
The Hoff shows up as, of course, Michael Knight, father of Mike Traceur. Possibly the least emotional meeting in history, at least in the way it was depicted. If the producers are determined to make this a series, it would make internal sense for the Hoff to have a recurring role, but now serving in the same function as the previous Devon Miles character. Heck, he might even see some action again.
All in all, the new Knight Rider was like a visit from an old college friend. Nice to catch up again, but not something you want to make a regular part of your life. Unfortunately, this re-boot needs a re-boot.
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