NBC’s Knight Rider Remake (a Review)

Well, it wasn’t bad at all. This is not your dad’s Knight Rider… sort of. I was 10 to 14 during the original series and loved it until the final season. I am very pleased that modern television has gotten away from the ‘standardized plots’ of the 80s. After a while, things got boring when nothing in the series ever changed. OK, KITT got a new ability, big deal, but the stories didn’t change, the characters never really grew. It got stale fast.

Team Knight Rider tried to revive the stale 80s, but in the late 90s with pitiful results. The concept was excellent, but the execution was poor at best.

This latest Knight Rider movie was something of an improvement, but something of the stale old ideas too. I think they’re planning a series, some material doesn’t make much sense if they aren’t.

First, they kicked up the theme music, which was really nice. It got the blood pumping. In fact, the music as a whole was pretty good.

The technology behind KITT is fantastic. I think they really hit it with that aspect. Nanotech repairing damage, instead of just being bullet proof is great. I was really pleased when they shut KITT down and the car didn’t repair damage. I think they could push the tech a bit farther though in some areas (like fuel consumption). Stealth mode (i.e. hiding as a plain Mustang) is really cool to.  Again, KITT stole the show, the other characters are really just foils for the AI.  Thank goodness there wasn’t a Turbo Boost… the ultimate weapon in the original series.  There wasn’t anything that couldn’t be solved with a well timed turbo boost.

The part that killed it for me was the long intervals of character development with no real point behind it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for character development, but 20-40 (sequential)  minutes out of a two hour movie with just night driving and dialog is pushing things. The actors were OK, but there just wasn’t any spark between them. Sure, the girl is cute and the guy is reasonably good-looking, but it wasn’t like a Josh Whedon show.

The scene with Michael Knight bugged the hell out of me. Knight is the new kids dad… a little parental interest might be in order. A “hey, I had to go save the world and keep you from becoming a hostage” statement would have gone a long way to making me happier. It would have made me unbelievably happy to see a black Trans-Am in the background. I was also, wistfully maybe, expecting the new kids mom to be Bonnie.

Finally, if they do make this a series, give the ex-Ranger a gun. Even the FBI has guns. Michael Knight had a car… as a precision instrument for protecting one’s self, a car leaves a lot to be desired.

I’d give it about 3.5 stars as my expectations are much higher than when I was 12. It was better than the original, but (sadly) much the same. Glen A. Larson had some fantastic ideas, I wish he could find people that could implement his visions. [That’s a hint, I’d be willing to direct something, but it would have to be done right. Think Firefly rather than A-Team.]

I’ve an idea for a new story. It will never come of anything. But maybe a revamped TKR story. A little edgier, a little more real… hmmm….

I could use some help with a plot though.

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~ by OgreMkV on February 17, 2008.

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