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Wing Commander (1999)

Freddie Prinze Jr. , Matthew Lillard  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)

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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: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305475822
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,011 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wing Commander" on IMDb

Special Features


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.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Much Underrated Space Adventure Film 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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An under rated film June 19, 2013
By Deprima
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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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good movie for SciFi fans December 12, 1999
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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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent sci-fi; non-fans stay away. August 11, 2000
For someone who's not a fan of the sci-fi genre, evaluating Wing Commander is pointless. As a sci-fi it's very good, even for people who aren't familiar with the popular computer game series that spawned the movie.
What's nice about this film is that the story is everything. The acting is all right--not bad, but in general not fabulous either. But what this film delivers is essentially a classic World War II submarine/carrier story set in space. It's got action moments and tense waiting game moments, but the story focuses mostly on the fighter pilots (for obvious reasons) so there's plenty of gunfire and stunt flying to go around.
The effects serve the story here, not vice-versa. Bullet time was thrown into one pulsar-jump sequence, following its brief success in Lost In Space and before it was used so extensively in the Matrix; previews sadly made the movie seem like an excuse for that effect, but the movie stands up just as well without it. Nothing looks especially CGI or goofy. Not too much flash, not too little.
The music is plenty good, the story is plenty decent, and the effects don't smother everything else. It's good sci-fi, which is rare enough to begin with, and worth your time if you appreciate the genre.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wing Commander Review (Score 8 out of 10) January 24, 2009
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.


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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only for Wing Commander "Veterans" September 15, 2000
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A FUN movie.
A great "thrill ride" !!!
Published 3 days ago by R. Colletti
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Aspect ratio is small
Published 4 days ago by R. Benitez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Kinda cheesy but a good rainy day watch.
Published 6 days ago by Ginger Snap
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like the lady lead in the move she played in deep blue as well with Sammy jackson
Published 17 days ago by William Starostka III
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Davey Barnette,
3.0 out of 5 stars In the Best of the B Flix Grade
You'll Laugh. You'll cry. You'll kiss 90 minutes goodbye.
It's campy fun and spot on special-fx production makes it well worth a go.
Published 1 month ago by Matthew Peidl
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun action film with pretty good special effects
A fun action film with pretty good special effects. Not as thought provoking as many shows in the Star Trek Universe. But, it's fun. Some adult content.
Published 1 month ago by Proteus77
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cult movie
Great cult movie, now in true anamorphic widescreen! The original release was not anamorphic and only covered about 1/4 of a modern 16:9 screen! Read more
Published 2 months ago by LWAldridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pretty decent movie. I used to play Wing Commander years back. I think Maniac is from Scooby Doo movie.
Published 2 months ago by Ziggy Zacklar
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Roberts, Star Citizen, the narrative space epic master!
Go Chris Roberts! You have had my undivided attention since the video games, but the movie was the visual epic part to your continuing saga! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Caius
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