Knight Rider (2008)
If you’re a younger person, you probably never heard of the old show Knight Rider from the 80s starring David Hasselhoff. It involved a man and a talking robotic car and the two of them would go on adventures solving crimes. It was a favorite of many kids my age and also popular with adults. I still remember staying up and watching the old show.
This 2008 film has continuity ties to the first show, but ignores the TV movie Knight Rider 2000 and show Team Knight Rider. That’s not to say they didn’t happen in the current universe, they simply didn’t refer to them.
The film, that is a backdoor pilot for the upcoming series, is loosely the same plot as the first show. A talking car and guy named Mike Traceur meet up and try to stop some villains from stealing government secrets. And that’s pretty much the story in a nutshell.
The movie has a lot of flaws, but there are some bad-ass moments that elevate this story above just another shitty TV film. But, I can’t help shaking my head with all the problems with the story and characters. At times, the movie is just plain boring.
For one, the villains are stupid. They come across as being a bunch of IT students that attempt to come up with witty cool remarks, but fail miserably. They make more mistakes and do stupid things that you can’t help but feel sorry for them. The main bad guy feels like he stepped out of a Charlie's Angels film and seems out of place with the rest of the film. The dialogue between the villains is also annoying.
Then the love story angle between Mike Traceur and Sarah Graiman is out of place and seems like the producers were tying to get the WB crowd with this nonsense. When you have a cool car that drives fast and talks, you don’t need to get the 18-25 female demographic group.
The main character has a comedic relief sidekick that seems more like a Jar-Jar Binks type than anything else. It doesn’t even make sense why he’s even involved in the story or the Knight Foundation at the end. For the most part, he isn’t a problem because his role is very limited.
So, what did this film get right?
1. The feel of Knight Rider was there: The interaction between the KITT (3000) and Mike were nice touches.
2. David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight: Yeah, his cameo was a nice touch, but I would have loved if we saw him hop into KITT (the old one). It would be neat to know that Knight and KITT were still on the road.
3. A small bit of the Knight Rider theme song at the beginning: But, I hated the guitar riffs.
4. The car is just plain cool: Just slap that Cylon laser on the front and its cool. Val Kilmer does a good job as the voice of KITT, and this show should keep him busy enough from singing on his Myspace.
There are many problems with the film, but some of that charm from the 80s show is there. With a bit of retooling, this show could be a great one. Just get some better villains