Movie Review – “The Last Starfighter”

We’ve got some real cornball up for review today and
tomorrow. Next up: The War of the Worlds.
If you have any preference for what comes after that
(which probably won’t be Thursday), let me know.
Stuff on this
will get reviewed faster.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Lance Guest as
Alex Rogan
O’Herlihy as Grig
Robert Preston as Centauri

Catherine Mary
Stewart as Maggie
Dan Mason as Lord Kril

Norman Snow as
Chris Hebert as Louis

Written by
R. Betuel
Directed by Nick Castle

cast and crew
information is available at this IMDB
We’ve been asked to include a list of
language options
for reviews of DVD releases to benefit the readers
for whom English is
not a first language. This
DVD release

includes both English and French language


A video game in a trailer park is secretly a
recruitment device for an
interstellar war.

High Point

The first drive with Centauri. Not only is Robert
Preston in fine
form, but they actually remembered the Doppler

Low Point

Xur’s escape. Could it have been more obvious that
they wanted to
make this a franchise?

The Scores

This is by no means original. Apart from
the method of
recruitment, we’ve seen it all before. I give it 3
out of 6.

The effects may be a minor landmark in the
history of CGI,
but they aren’t and never were convincing. I give
them 3 out of 6.

The story is like everything else about the
deliberately corny. It’s so predictable, they even
put spoilers in
the title. This is the basic good versus evil, and
nothing more. I
give it 3 out of 6.

The acting has two levels. On one level,
you have Lance
Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart (who is admittedly
better here than in
Weekend at Bernie’s), Norman Snow, and Chris
Hebert, who
read their lines in a variety of inexperienced and
unconvincing ways.
On the other level, you have Robert Preston, Dan
O’Herlihy, and Dan
Mason doing some excellent work (taking the script
consideration), even under heavy make-up.
Unfortunately, most of the
screen time is given to the inexperienced individuals
in the cast. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was higher than it
should have been
for a movie this poorly assembled. Yes, it’s corny;
yes, the stars are
bad actors; yes, the effects are convincing; yes, the
plot is
incredibly predictable. It’s still a fun movie to
watch when you want
to relax. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is pretty utilitarian. The
camera rarely
moves in live action sequences, the timing is off in
a lot of the
editing, and the trailer park is too colourful and
brightly lit in its
introduction to really let the audience feel the
desolation and
boredom that Alex feels. It gets the job done, and
nothing more. I
give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a fun Saturday afternoon
timekiller, but I
wouldn’t go out of my way to track it down. I give
it 4 out of 6.

In total, The Last Starfighter receives 24
out of 42.

6 replies on “Movie Review – “The Last Starfighter””

  1. while you may be right…
    I personally LOVE this movie. mostly for nostalgia…but when I was a kid, this was just the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. caught it on TV one saturday afternoon…pretty much single-handedly opened the sci-fi door to me. I’ll be buying it (when I have the cash) as soon as I can.

  2. And a weird coincidence…
    This is probably OT, but take a look at the assasin alien (with the mouth between the eyes) and this car . Am I the only one who sees the similarity? I loved the movie as a kid, and when I saw the Ford contour, I noticed the similarity right away.

    But maybe I’m just crazy…

  3. Geek out
    For Trek geeks, let’s not forget this bit of trivia; the cameo by Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat of DS9) as the alien assassin (before he changes form anyway).

  4. yay
    Loved this movie when I was a kid. Even bought the book which was adapted from the movie(yeah, it was bad). It even made me play hard as ****k games like gradius and 1942 constantly in the hopes that it was a recruitment game for some alternate dimensional war. Ahhh the memories.

  5. I Had a Video game on my Atari 800
    I had a video game on my Atari 800 of this. Not sure if it was ever officially released, got it from a guy that ran some shady little shop when I was a kid.

    Played it to death. Fun game.

    I was entertained by the movie, that’s all one can ask for. I sure played the heck out of the star wars and star trek vector graphics games for a while after that :)

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