Prototype X29A

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Review by Morbus Iff

I have a weakness for opening voice-overs or title cards: those moments of introductory exposition that say “before you start the movie, you simply must know this backstory to appreciate the majesty of what you’re about to see”. If it worked for Star Wars, its gotta work for the incredibly-named Prototype X29A which has not one but two screens of text, right?

You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking so. We start off with a baldie, an Asian, and a rugged guy defending some ruins against the heavily armored Prototype X29A, who keeps missing unless someone yells out “AaaaaAAHHhhhh!” and gets it right in the chest. Then we get an awesome “20 years later” notice and we just know that it’s gonna be goo... wait, where’d the explosions go?

See, twenty years later, the remaining civilization has forgotten everything about the Prototype X29A and its mission to route out the rogue Omegas (who are just regular ol’ humans with a spinal jack). Instead, we get wheelchair-bound Hawkins (Robert Tossberg, who looks just like Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell) wishing for a better life and having virtual sex with T. Lord’s Red Light Software (which starts with “Fondle and Touch” and ends with “Necrophilia”; it really is dystopian out here folks). His favorite fantasy involves “let’s just stay friends” Chandra, a girl who also happens to be the last Omega, though she doesn’t know it.

Meanwhile, a Dr. Zalazny gets permission to investigate the “long” dormant Prototype X29A project and, in so doing, kills the preserved original. Fate intervenes and next we know, the handicapped Zack Morris is strapped into the suit and juiced into hunting down Chandra. If Saved by the Bell: B3LD-NG’s Revenge ever existed, this would be it.

But Kel... er, Chandra, isn’t defenseless: she was left with a few A.C. Slater-type Protectors who stand silently by while the new X29A shoots and misses (it’s not dystopian without screaming, jeez). When they’re not doing that, they’re engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the super-suit, where every hit is synced up to the sound of a four square ball on tired asphalt. They even try to mystic kick him in the cybernetic junk!

While the ending is pretty entertaining to chuckle through, Prototype X29A suffers by adding far too much story to a film that could have just gotten by with more guy-in-a-suit action. The bulk of it saw us pausing every so often to try to make heads or tails of the plot, and forced-letterboxing causes lots of computer screen output (and breasts) to disappear off the edges. Still, it’s the only movie I know where New Kids on the Block graffiti remains frozen in time and most of the technology is controlled by upside down keyboards.

Death and sleaze index

Death by: 1, 2, 3: gun; 4: strangulation; 5, 6, 7, 8: neck snapped; 9, 10: gun; 11: gun, explosion; 12: broken back, bear hug; 13: neck crushed; 14: suicide. Sleaze by: 1: breasts; 2: nipples through clothing; 3: breasts, sex.

Image gallery

Automatically generated and alphabetized; expect disorder, but automation preferred.