The world is waiting...
Quick Blast Review:
It's the "future" (2015, which must have looked a long way away in 1999), and NASA is planning a mission to the new space station, Skyhook. On the trip will be space veteran J. J. "Jim" Hendricks (Daniel Baldwin, ) Russian cosmonaut Capt. Previ Federov (Frank Zagarino). Hendricks keeps failing the pre-flight test scenarios and is grounded, which he reacts to by resigning. With a space on the launch freed up, NASA takes the opportunity to get some repairs done to the space station by sending up Amanda McCord (Teri Ann Lin, Pure Danger). And a guy from Family Ties (Scott Valentine) is the ground commander.
Federov and co. make it to the space station and Amanda soon discovers that the computer on the station isn't broken, it's been sabotaged. That's when Federov and the Russians already aboard unpack some weapons and take over the place. He demands that Russia pulls back their invading army from his home country of Tajikistan or he will blow up world cities with satellites he now controls, thanks to the space station. This is despite the fact that NASA is an American organisation and has no sway over Russian politics, but whatever, this is a TV movie. Who's gonna save the day? Why that's freshly discharged "Jim" Hendricks of course, who will fly the experimental X33 shuttle - that launches like a regular jet plane (!!?) - along with a team of soldiers to infiltrate the station and take it back from the invading Russians.
This is decent but unremarkable, and chock-a-bloc full of stock footage. For two bucks I'm not complaining, and if you catch it on TV (where it belongs) then give it a go. The action isn't in massive quantities but its worth the price of entry alone to hear Zagarino's hilarious Russian accent! His true Zagarino accent shines through constantly, though he is still better than the Scottish-Russian abomination Sean Connery flaunted in The Hunt for Red October. Baldwin is okay enough as the Bruce Willis character, though action is not his forte. He sneaks around a lot and doesn't crack any good one-liners. He's pretty generic, overall, but serviceable. He should have gotten angry and thrown something, I would have cared a bit more.
The science is lame but it's the future, so they can get away with that; magnetic boots for gravity, though nobody's hair stands on end etc. There is still the special toilet with the hose pipe though. The opening act is ripe with dialogue such as "If you didn't have such a chip on your shoulder, you wouldn't have such a crack in your record."
The Final Fifteen:
Hendricks has snuck on board and freed the captive American astronauts, including Amanda who has been trying to send messages back to Ground Commander Family Ties using random bits of circuit she found in their holding cell. They manage to turn the life support power off to the station which co-incidentally gives the exact same amount of time to stop the satellites auto-firing their payloads - fifteen minutes.
Cue some wrestling and gun firing to and from Federov and the other Russians until he's finally taken out by Hendricks. The power is restored and the payloads aborted with, you guessed it, one second to spare. But that's not all; now Hendricks has to overcome his failed attempts during the opening acts' training scene and land the damn shuttle. Oddly the voiceover says "Catastrophic failure", fades to black, and then everyone is on the ground hugging and cheering at their safe return?!
My bargain-basement two buck shop RAAM Multimedia DVD. Picture was fine though overly compressed, so in fast scenes it was a little messy. You get what you pay for!
The only trailer I could find was in German, which makes Zagarino's Russian accent even more hysterical!