4.26.2008

Jason X (2002)

Director - Jim Issac

Starring -
Kane Hodder - Jason Voorhees
Lexa Doig - Rowan
Peter Mensah - Sergeant Brodski
Lisa Ryder - Kay Em 14
Jonathan Potts - Professor Lowe
Chuck Campbell - Tsunaron
Melyssa Ade - Janessa

Year - 2002

Score - 2.5 Howls Outta 4




When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up. One of those things was to be an astronaut. Yeah, I wanted to fly in a shuttle and visit space. I wanted to see the planets, moons, and stars up close. I wanted to meet extra-terrestrial lifeforms. I wanted to get chopped into pieces by a deranged hockey-mask wearing serial killer. Ya know...every boy's dream? But that dream didn't come true, as life had something else planned for me. After watching Jason X, I'm glad it did.


PLOT
It's 2010 [someone's ahead of themselves] and Jason's (played by Kane Hodder again for the final time) under custody since 2008 by the government. They sentenced him to death, but they're unable to kill him, as they realize that Jason has regenerative powers that keep him in the land of the living [I guess he isn't a zombie anymore?]. A group at the Crystal Lake Cryogenics Facility, lead by the beautiful Rowan (Lexa Doig), wants to freeze his ass and shelve him away for the rest of existance. The government, always protrayed in the nicest of ways, wants to examine Jason for his regenerative capabilities. The government wins out of course, but Jason escapes, slaughtering everyone but Rowan. She leads Jason into a hibernation chamber and traps him to be frozen. Jason, however, uses his superstrength to shove his machete through the steel door, wounding Rowan and leaking the freezing process to the entire room, freezing both himself and Rowan.

We move to 2455, where the Earth is pretty much dead. An archeology professor and his students explore what's called Earth 1 [there's an Earth 2] and discover Jason and Rowan. They bring them back to their ship, using technology to revive Rowan. As she tries to get a grip on what just happened to her for the past few hundred years, the professor wants Jason for his monetary value. Rowan warns him of how dangerous he is, but the professor doesn't listen. Of course, Jason wakes up on his own and does what he does best: kill innocent, stupid people. The entire spaceship is at risk with Jason on board, especially when something happens and he's turned into the Terminator of all Serial Killers, Uber-Jason. Will Rowan help these people from the future survive Jason's onslaught? Will Jason take them all out by using one-liners like "Hasta La Vista, Baby," or "I'll be back"? Can I get my own android woman for s...um, nevermind.

REVIEW
I may get hazed for this, but I really liked this film. Is it a good movie? No, not at all. But it's one of those movies that it's so bad that it actually turns out good as you watch. It's not meant to be taken seriously. As a matter of fact, Jason X seems to be spoofing the past nine films, as well as the movie Alien with its sci-fi backdrop. If you're gonna rip off a sci-fi classic, Alien is probably the best choice. I thought the whole "space" thing was actually a neat and interesting approach for the series. Where were these characters gonna go? They were stuck on the spaceship. Okay, the whole spaceship thing is pretty corny, but at least it's a change from the damn woods, or that damn toxic waste crap. I mean, it can't get any worse after Jason Takes Manhattan, can it?

I thought the direction was very well done. James Issac, who was a special FX man for David Cronenberg [who directed the excellent The Fly remake in 1986 - he dies in the beginning of this film too], does well creating atmosphere and action sequences. It's very stylish and the colors appear to be more than they are, giving a freshness and a liveliness that has been missing in the past F13 sequels. He doesn't bother building tension as much because this isn't a horror movie anymore, except at the end [last good 10 minutes by the way]. It's a psuedo-comedy and it worked for me.

The special effects aren't so bad here either. The biggest budget for any Friday The 13th movie and it shows. From androids fighting each other, to space ships exploding and crashing into things, it's not too shabby. Some of it does look cheesy, like those bug thingys that regenerate tissue and skin, but it doesn't hurt the film too much. If you like the special effects in those Sci-Fi shows like Andromeda, Mutant X, and Battlestar Gallactica [which you should be watching!], you'll like the effects here. I personally loved the Uber-Jason upgrade, with the steel armor and the red eyes...that was badass. And they used him just for the end, which was the best thing to do - showing him as little as possible made him more effective - thumbs up. Plus the whole VR scene where they trick Jason into thinking he's back on Crystal Lake in the early 80s...impressive and funny stuff. Good use of the budget overall.

The acting...well these movies are not known for fine acting, are they? It's pretty bad here, but it's laughable bad, where it doesn't annoy you because you can't take any of these people seriously. I wonder if they were told to act badly or they're just really bad...I guess I'll never know. There are a few standouts, like Lexa Doig as Rowan. She was a rip-off of Ripley from the Alien quadrilogy [no where near Sigorney Weaver's caliber of course], but she didn't do a bad job. I actually liked her alot, with her take charge attitude, bravery, and brains. Finally a heroine who fits all of the qualifications! Plus she was hot, and that always helps. I also liked Lisa Ryder as Kay-Em 14, the smartass and fighting machine cyborg who kicked Jason's sorry ass. Once she was upgraded to a fighting machine, she was decked out like Trinity from The Matrix, and starting spouting these ridiculous one-liners with a snarky tone to them. It was so ridiculous to watch and hear, but I couldn't help but laugh at it all. Melyssa Ade as Janessa was cute, though she wasn't a great actress. But she played the slutty airhead role pretty well, and had some cute one-liners as well that made me chuckle. Loved the hoochie outfit too. Didn't know Britney Spears was still in style 400 years from now. Peter Mensah as Sgt. Brodski, the man in charge of the military on the spaceship, was pretty awesome. He's the badass of the cast and pretty much the only dude who's a worthy foe for Jason here. Plus he knows how to make an exit, as he rides with Uber-Jason out of the spaceship through the solar flare on the way to Earth 2. I was convinced by this dude. And then there's Jason himself, Kane Hodder, who probably did the most as Jason here and did it really well. He looked more human [what was up with that?], but he still slaughtered with the best of them and looked pretty intimidating as Uber-Jason [yeah he looked cheesy on film but if you were in front of him in real life, you'd be shitting in your pants]. Loved the shots of his eyes too. Probably showed more of Jason's emotional state [usually anger] in this film than in any other and I liked it.

And it's nice that it took them three movies to finally figure out a logical way to explain why Jason can't die. None of this teleportation or demon crap I've been fed for 2 movies. He simply regenerates tissue. Was that so hard to come up with? It's plausible and makes more sense than any other theory or bullshit story they tried to pass on to us in the previous films. I wish they would explained more of how he came to have that ability, but when you're dealing with a poorly written script, you're not gonna get an Einstein answer. Maybe next time.

Kills and gore...28 people get killed in this film. That's a record for any Jason film. Hell, he kills like 7 people within the first 10 minutes of the film [good times]. Plus we get some interesting kills here, like freezing a girl's head and then smashing it against the table to shatter her skull. Or what about the screw kill, where a soldier literally screws himself to death? Plus the indirect kill, the Janessa sucked into a fan/vacuum scene. Man, that must've sucked. And during the VR scene, we get a re-enactment of the sleeping bag kill. Always funny no matter when it's done. We never have to wait for people to get killed either, which speeds up the film a bit. Jason can't be reasoned with or bribed. He just wants to kill without any remorse...that's the Jason we love and missed since The New Blood.

THE FINAL HOWL
Jason X is not meant to be scary. It's a hybrid of horror, comedy, sci-fi, action...a film aware of its own cheese. That's why it works better than it should. It's not a great film or anything, but it's not a film I hate or even dislike. It's a fun movie that really has nothing to do with the other movies and it's definitely worth a rental. A genuinely entertaining movie - the perfect guilty pleasure.

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