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Wing Commander


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Starship Troopers" meets "Top Gun" in this no-holds-battle for the future of mankind. A vicious alien race, the Kilrathi, has discover the coordinates to Earth and is heading our way with plans of the total destruction. Now it's up to two young hotshot fighter pilots to blast their way through the Kilrathi's defenses and save their planet from this new breed of enemy.

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Video games are interesting because they're interactive, and movies because they aren't. In a video game, you're the actor; moviegoing depends on your connecting with those people up on the screen;. There's really no easy crossover.

That's the problem with Wing Commander, based on the bestselling computer game series created by Chris Roberts. Roberts helms the film, too, having previously directed "cinematic" sequences for the game, starring Mark Hamill from Star Wars, no less. But a feature-length story is something else again. Maybe gamers will find something to enjoy here, but that sets the rest of us adrift.

There's war between the Terran Confederation and the evil Kilrathi, who are so evil they want to destroy the whole universe. (They probably aren't thinking that through very clearly. But then they're evil.) They've stolen the Pegasus Navicom A.I. device that enables them to "jump" behind enemy lines and destroy the Earth part of the universe. Freddie Prinze Jr. stars as Blair, a Pilgrim, which means he's hated by everybody for having this film's answer to the Force. His pal Matthew Lillard plays Maniac (his usual role). So you've got two guys with a Top Gun complex, bent on preventing the Kilrathi from destroying Earth. You'd expect lots of action from these combat-ready flyboys. But there's scant little of that, and lots of static dialogue scenes, including one cinematic quote of Howard Hawks's classic Only Angels Have Wings to explain how pilots handle the death of one of their own. Presumptuous. All it would have taken to make this film a success is a series of action set pieces and a thin plot to hang them from. What director Roberts needed was a Navicom device to help him "jump" behind Hollywood lines. That and a decent script. --Jim Gay


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows, Tcheky Karyo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 1999
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305475822
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wing Commander" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

DVD transfer and sound excellent.
J. Matlock
And I won't say this movie is bad because it's not exactly like the games; That doesn't have anything to do with whether it is good or not.
Dralthi5
A fun action film with pretty good special effects.
Proteus77

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Captain Hornblower on March 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Unfortunately, "Wing Commander" has gotten blasted quite a bit by Hollywood critics and many viewers for a lot of reasons. The Hollywood people don't like it because its not Shakespeare. Many of the viewers didn't like it because they were players of the Wing Commander game and the movie is different from the game.
However, when judged on its own merits, "Wing Commander" is a decent space adventure film. So what if it is not Shakespeare and so what if its different from the game? This film combines fantastic special effects, great battle sequences, and rather compelling characters and character conflicts. We have Lt. Blair who must deal with his half Pilgrim heritage. We have Lt. Marshall who's recklessness gets him into trouble. We have Lt. Commander Deveraux, a woman who's cold exterior is her defense against loosing friends to the war. Then there is Taggert, a wise space pilot who has a hidden identity.
All of this makes "Wing Commander" a space adventure film worth seeing. If one does not nitpick the film to death, "Wing Commander" is a fun and enjoyable film for science fiction fans. Don't listen to the critics and the disgruntled fans of the Wing Commander game. If your looking for a fun scifi film, get "Wing Commander".
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Deprima on June 19, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
I'm really surprised that there aren't more reviews of this film. It's actually a decent movie. Do not judge it by one bad review from an individual who left before the story was over. Make your own decision!
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "jalenross" on December 12, 1999
Format: DVD
I played all Wing Commander computer games and i consider myself a fan of the series. And i congratulate Chris Roberts on his long-time dream, to bring Wing Commander to the big screen. Roberts may not be a Hollywood director, but he has something, many others lack: Vision. He created the hole series. And his passion definitly flows through the movie. His various allusions to Homer's Odyssey are also a nice addition. The music score is absolutely fantastic. The themes have been composed by David Arnold, who also composed the epic themes from Stargate and Independence Day. The special effects are really great. Roberts own company Digital Anvil created some effects that are on the same level as ILM effects. But the movie also has its weeknesses. The biggest one are the Kilrathis. The look rather dull compared to the computer game series and they appear only in two scenes. Too bad! The storyline also has its flaws, but it is never boring.
The actors are very good. Matthew Lillard really gets on ones nerves and Jürgen Prochnow gets another chance to play a naval captain. (Greetings from Das Boot!).
All in all, the movie is fun. Every SciFi fan should watch this film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andy Wui Keung Chow on January 24, 2009
Format: DVD
Please keep in mind the movie was produced in 1999.

Video Quality: The film is crisp and clear. Wide Screen format. Aspect Ratio of 2.35:1. English Subs only.

Sound Quality: Good, clear. Available in 5.1 Surround or Dolby Surround.

DVD: 1 DVD

Time Duration: 100 Minutes

Summary (WARNING: May contain Spoilers):

This film was made after the game series of the same name. I like how they present the intro, the glowing regions on the space map representing human colonization. The CG are nicely done. Space combat is well presented. The only problem I had, were the actors; hence why I gave it 8/10. I think Freddie Prinze JR could have done a better job. I felt I couldn't take him seriously throughout the movie. Matthew Lillard had some character. Tcheky Karyo did a fine job. I would recommend this film to anyone who's familiar with the game.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carsten König (C.A.W.Koenig@t-online.de) on September 15, 2000
Format: DVD
This part of the review is for the veterans:
I have played every Wing Commander game so far (including every add-on disc) and I can recommend this movie to everyone, who blew the Kilrathi across deep space, too. Although the story takes place before the first Wing Commander game, it is not that much of a problem that Chris Roberts mixed a few items from later WC games into this movie (like the Snakeir battleship, Admiral Tolwyn or the Skipper Missles). Okay, the special effects are better than Starship Troopers or even Star Wars Episode 1, but why was it necessary to change the look of all the capital ships and fighters that much? The Tiger Claw (why not Tiger's Claw???) does not look like the Bengal-class carrier to me, but more like a battleship that happens to have a few fighters on board. Anyway, although some people might miss an actor resembling Colonel Halcyon, Jürgen Prochnow and Tcheky Karyo are doing a good job as the good guys (ever noticed that the Kilrathi ships were PINGING in order to find the good guys? - "Das Boot" must be around somewhere - especially with all those torpedo battles during the movie). What is REALLY fascinating about this movie is the soundtrack! Honestly, I have never EVER heard anything better since Star Wars (especially "The Imperial March" of "The Empire Strikes Back") or Dark Star. So, if you know the games, and liked them, the movie is a DVD/VHS that is worth being had. Enjoy!
This part of the review is for the rest of the world:
Okay, okay! I know that even uninhabited asteroids would have been better actors than the "young heros" of the movie. I know that everyone, who does not know the games, does not understand the story.
Read more ›
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