The Last Starfighter (review recommended by reader Thomas Archer)

Release Date: 7/13/1984 – Rated PG

Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart (Night of the Comet)

Plot Summary:  “Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-dan armada.”  That’s what the arcade game says every time Alex Rogen inserts a shiny quarter into it.  Our friend Alex just got turned down for a college loan, but that’s cool, because he is the coolest kid in his trailer park (which is kind of like being the coolest kid in your special-ed class).  He’s not sure what he’s going to do with his life, so he’ll just play this game for the 471st time.  After getting a new high score, he is confronted by a man is a futuristic car.  The man calls himself ‘Centauri’ (repeatedly, the man is all about referring to himself in the third-person), and says he is the inventor of Starfighter, and has a proposition for Alex.  But first Centauri introduces Alex to his associate named Beta, who has a shocking firm handshake.  Alex gets in the car and they speed away, leaving Beta at the trailer park.  We soon find out that Centauri’s ride isn’t a car, but a spaceship; and they zoom off to a distant planet called Rylos, where everyone speaks gibberish and has a haircut like Lobot.  Upon hearing the news that he is actually going to pilot a fighter in the upcoming war, Alex freaks out and wants to go home to mommy.  He returns home to find that Beta is living his life as him, and they are being hunted by smelly intergalactic hunters called Xando Xans.  After calling Centauri to take Beta back with him, Centauri is shot and Alex has no choice but to go back to Rylos; where he finds that the star base has been destroyed, and that all of the other starfighters have been killed in an attack.  So now it’s up to him and his navigator Grig to take on the whole Ko-Dan armada by himself, since he is the last starfighter (see what they did there with the title?).  Of course they save the day and the galaxy.

Alex’s Thoughts:  This has always been one of my favorite 80’s movies.  What kid hasn’t had this dream a hundred times.  Being the pilot of a spaceship and getting the bad guys? Come on.  The effects are a little dated for today’s youths, but they should be able to look past that.  There are some really good spaceship designs and original aliens that they will probably enjoy and much as I did, and after watching this again… still do.

Tim’s Thoughts:I love this movie now as much as I did as a kid. Yeah some of the effects a bit old, but who cares. This movie is so much fun, especially considering that this came out when there were so many Star Wars wanna-bes and the studios were desperate and churning out crappy sci-fi in hopes of cashing in. This movie still holds up and I was more than happy to watch it again, even though I could have done this review without a refresher. The Last Starfighter is awesome, and don’t think I have met anyone who disagrees, so rent this and have a great night.

Final Thoughts:  A good fun movie for the whole family.  So when you’re mom say ‘nothing good can ever come from those video games of yours. Now put that away and come eat your meatloaf.’, you tell her to watch this movie and shut her yap.  Then tell her that her meatloaf takes like dog turds!

Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim Rates This Movie 9/10

“Teriffic. I’m about to get killed a million miles from nowhere with a gung-ho iguana who tells me to relax.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue