Thursday, February 21, 2008

Knight Rider!

Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.
The Hoff
I can't believe they made a new Knight Rider. Neither does the world. It's not all that bad, about average. And while the lead lacks the charm of The Hoff, and Val Kilmer's voice has nothing on William Daniels, who was also Dr. Craig on St. Elsewhere at the time. Val was great recently as Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is apparently getting too chubby and has moved to voice acting. Big shoes to fill, but he does so decently.

The original intro for a li'l 80's nostalgia.




The 2 hour pilot is about an hour too long, only has one good chase scene, and is a lot better than Knight Rider 2000 or that horrible late-series era where KITT had to try to be a Go-Bot for some reason, to entice more kids to watch the show. I remember when Bloom County had the temerity to say Knight Rider was a kid's show. It's about a talking car, for fuck's sake. Duh? I guess Magnum P.I., where Tom Selleck had a non-talking car, and Hardcastle and McCormick, where he had a custom non-talking car, were oodles more mature. Stupid 80's shows were all essentially kid's shows, and "Three's Company" was specifically written so even people of below-average intelligence could get the jokes. It's not like Lost and Battlestar Galactica require a college degree to enjoy. Besides, we found out what made KITT tick, good luck on learning what the black smoke is.


The new show's trailer.


First of all, KITT is now a Mustang because the Firebird isn't produced anymore. The Camaro is coming out again in a year or two, and the Trans Am will surely follow, but they have lost the coveted mantle. Unfortunately they decided to rice KITT up, starting with a GT500 and putting a retarded ricer double wing on the back. The car is now has a shell of "nanobytes," so can self-repair, change colors, but can't tint the windows. "Hey, that blue Mustang with the people we're looking for in it... let them pass. We're looking for a black Mustang."

The new douche driving the new KITT

The car's healing powers only work when KITT kisn't being hacked by guys wearing horn-rimmed glasses. You'd think KITT would have used ZoneAlarm or set his wireless router to block by MAC address, but he's not quite that advanced. He probably has a Mac for brains. Which explains his niftly titanium case, that can repel bullets:




It can also repel SUVs, like this Ford Expedition. The only good guy in the truck survives because he's wearing his seatbelt, and because of the Passenger side air bag, and because it's a Ford! All the cars are Fords now. In the original show, Fords were the bad guys. They sent red '84 Thunderbirds after him with missile launchers in the grill. It was a two-part episode, and we were all very worried for poor KITT. Now he can shrug off a collision as long as his "nanobytes" are active.

The plot involves bad people who want to steal the Prometheus Project, which apparently is the rediscovery of fire. They steal the white-haired scientist's hard drives and need his password. We know he is a scientist because he has white hair. He has KITT in his garage, who leaves him to die so he can save his daughter. Michael "more like Poseur" Traceur is an ex-Ranger ex-boyfriend that KITT has been tasked with finding to protect the daughter.

He's the son of Michael Knight, maybe he'll use the right name later. Oops, spoiler. Like you didn't see it coming! The Hoff shows up for his cameo, looking good enough to beat the shit out of this pretender and star in the show himself. Years of German Fraulein fangirls and the accompanying favors haven't been too rough on the guy. The funny thing is that he is standing by this pond when he suddenly appears, and slips away just as stealthily. I know he's a man who does not exist, on a shadowy flight through a dangerous world, but he rises from the waters like Excalibur and inexplicably seems to return to the pond from whence he came.

Hasselhoff looks somewhere between Mickey Rourke and Jan Michel-Vincent with a dash of Ray Liotta, bloodied but unbowed.
KITT has some serious design flaws. First is the double rear wing that you get at Pep Boys for your lowered Corolla with his fart-can muffler and blue light-up washer nipples. The second is his serious set of eyebrows over the headlights, which make him look like he's upset or someone stuck a potato in his tailpipes.
Michael, pardon me but would you happen to have any Colon Blow?

Another new edition is they got rid of the black semi-trailer that could sneak them all over the country. Now it's a cargo plane, because the hard drives are in Dubai, so you can expect KITT to be tearing ass in the Dakar Rally and turbo boosting over one of their custom-made islands.
The distinct lack of the terms Turbo Boost and Micro-Jam were refreshing. Now they just say "hack" and KITT cannot do Dukes of Hazzard jumps at all. The technology, despite having "nanobytes," is a little behind. The ear mikes everyone has are from an 80's prop depot. Not quite as bad as this cutting-edge Cellular Mobile Phone and Digital Floppy Drive Camera, but close:
It's pretty funny that a car that can change colors and stuff doesn't have bluetooth, fercrissakes. The technical reality is around "24" level where you just need to open a socket to the node and download the satellite to your cel phone. Anything is better than what Knight Rider eventually became, right before it drove away to where 80's childhood dreams go to die. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a cool Knight Rider based driving game, and was sorely disappointed that they never made an arcade or 8-bit computer game based on it. Or on Whiz Kids. Stupid 80's.
The Go-Bot version. Shark has been jumped, Michael.

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