Slipstream

slipstream02

slipstream_movie_1989
1989
Who’s in this?
Bill Paxton as Matt Owens. A shaggy haired cross between a surfer and a cowboy in attitude who is part conman and part adventurer I guess. Poor Paxton is the main character but gets billed behind Hamill and Peck in the credits. Once you witness his “acting” you will think he should have been bumped further down the list.
Bob Peck as Byron a fugitive who wears a suit. After a while you’ll guess the truth about him before it’s revealed.
Mark Hamill as lawmen Will Tasker. Ironic isn’t it that not long after this Hamill’s Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford would play a fugitive in a very good film while here Hamill is going after a fugitive in a shitty movie.
Kitty Aldridge as Belitski. Hamill’s partner who can’t decide if she’s tough as nails or totally in need of a man.
Susan Leong as Abigail who falls for Byron.
Other notable people who are in this film-
F. Murray Abraham and Ben Kingsley both got roped into small parts in this film.
Then in one scene Paxton returns home to get some gear and goes past some friends all sitting in a bubbling pool. You will recognize one of the people in the scene cause holy Hagrid in a hot tub it’s a fairly young clean shaven Robbie Coltrane. He later gets rubbed out by Hamill and his partner in perhaps the worst futuristic shootout ever.

What’s this about? I’m going to try and make this short for you because it was long and tedious for me. In the future man has damaged the earth and created a giant powerful group of winds called the slipstream. Unfortunately we don’t see a whole lot of this idea. Instead we just follow a bunch of chowder heads flying after each other in planes and annoying everyone they run into. Hamill and Paxton are full of hot air in this film, but the slipstream itself only comes into play in a few parts. So Byron is wanted for murder and Tasker and Belitski grab him. Then Paxton comes in and spouts off rotten pick-up lines and lame dialog all over the place. It’s like the writers of this film picked up unused dialog from the most clichéd 80’s films they could find and just shoved in where they could in between the “plot”. Paxton sees dollar signs and steals Byron from Hamill and his partner . Then he goes off in his plane travelling along the slipstream or just so the film makers can pad this film with some great views of locations from the sky. Now we get into a long stretch of nothingness that just floated around taking up time. Byron is revealed as a healer. Hamill is a heartless, obsessed killer and a terrible freaking actor. Paxton stumbles around spouting off stuff like “you’re the kind of guy who gets out of the shower to take a piss” and “who made you a doctor-the grim reaper?”. Oh, my I half expected him to say “dude” or “chief” when he talked too. I guess the shaggy hair and the hard rock and AOR that came on didn’t exactly convince me this was a future setting either. Eventually we learn that Byron is an…….android, but you likely guessed that 20 minutes before Hamill reveals it. I guess we should have known he was because who else could hear Paxton spout off that crap and keep a straight face? So Matt starts to be friends with Byron. Byron takes up with a red haired woman who leads them to an underground place occupied by educated people of culture. This group is lead by F. Murray Abraham who does more than everybody else in this film with the few lines he was given and he has to be thinking “ how did I end up in a film like this?”. Hamill shows up determined to get Byron this time because they aren’t going to make a joker out of him, get it Joker oh nevermind. So Byron’s new girlfriend gets killed by Hamill and the android who doesn’t even have yellow eyes goes after Tasker because he’s mad as heck and this film is in sore need of some action. He even jumps into the airplane with Tasker trying to kill him. Man if he’d been this aggressive with those Raptors he may have made it to a sequel. Back to this film I think Red Leader calls in with some orders, wait yet another wrong film. Byron is unsure about killing or so it seems for a second and then SMASH the plane goes into a mountainside like a Wile E. Coyote in a failed roadrunner quest. Tasker likely turned to little bits, but Byron walks away with just scorch marks. He gets a new set of duds he and Matt say good bye. Matt and Belitski are now friendly so they take off in a plane and go past some hot air balloons because Matt had mentioned at some point his dream was to run balloons so blah,blah,blah. Game over, man and role the credits.
Stats-
Number of bad lines Paxton spits out- 95% of them
Number of human size kites that Byron is strapped to for determining if God likes him or not (seriously)- 1
Number of bath toys that shirtless Robbie Coltrane plays with in the hot tub-two I think
The negatives? Paxton and Hamill seemed determined to prove who was the worse actor. I’m still still not sure who won, but it sure wasn’t anyone who watched this. The movie starts out with some promise but falls apart quickly.
The positives? This was filmed in Turkey and the locations are fantastic and they make fairly good use of them as well. The planes, costumes and weapons were all good enough. F. Murray Abraham has a tiny role at the end with gobbledygook to say and still delivers it like he means it 110%.
Who should see this? This film has some fans but Hamill being a sort of sci-fi film is probably the main reason people give this a chance. If you are a fan of his you may want to check it out once just don’t expect much.