Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

If it wasn’t for the Maverick Entertainment flaming horse running across the screen after I slipped this movie ‘Star Quest: The Odyssey’ into the DVD player I would’ve thought that I had just gotten a hold of a really long, super ambitious ‘Star Trek’ fan film, right down to the Star Trek font, as opposed to an actual regular movie. But, as it turns out, ‘Star Quest: The Odyssey’ is a regular movie, more or less, paying ‘homage’ to Star Trek I suppose. We’re not going to compare this particular movie to the J.J. Abrams super mega budget ‘Star Trek’ motion picture that came out this past summer, especially considering that the costs of the berets in Zoe Saldana’s hair probably tripled the budget allotted for this movie, but I am thinking you’re going to have to be pretty darn desperate for some Star Trek style Sci-Fi entertainment if you’re going get some enjoyment out of this particular movie.

Our film has a very promising start as there is a well realized opening sequence detailing with the history of the space program up until what we are familiar with at the present and continuing on into the future. Apparently we have space fared on out to other galaxies and beyond, thanks to fancy hyper drives which travel faster than the speed of light. Somehow all of this advanced tech resulted in a war between normal humans and some race of cybernetic war like humans and this is where the nicely realized stuff kind of stops. Now we zoom in on a fist fight between hard assed human Captain Jack Tanner (Adam Rini) and his bitter mortal enemy Commander Hargoth (Shane Stevens). The war is over with the regular humans winning but apparently these two deleted those emails and continue to fight to the death. Tanner would’ve polished Hargoth off too if it wasn’t for Tanners meddlesome girlfriend Dr. Jessica Vox (Katherine Stewart) who did her man a ‘favor’ by blasting him with a laser gun right before Tanner was about to put the coup de grace on that ass.

Fast forward a few years into the future where peace is all settled in now and Tanner finds himself being called to the office of smarmy space bureaucrat Commander Lucas (James Ray) who will be dispatching Tanner to ferry a high ranking diplomat on a special peace mission to earth on his ship The Odyssey. Unfortunately this high ranking diplomat is the hated Hargoth. Worst still for the super angry Captain Tanner is that his ex girlfriend who shot him with the laser will be the ships doctor on this journey. She tries to explain to the angry dude that she was just trying to keep him from screwing up his career but he’s not hearing any of it.

On board the Odyssey, which despite the fact it seems like a really, really big ship judging from the crappy external CGI, it apparently only has a crew of about five people. In addition to Tanner and his ex-girlfriend we have semi-African American communications officer Tya (Davina Joy), A Sulu-esque Asian American serving as the ships pilot and some British / Scottish dude named Troy (Kevin Tye) serving as the ships engineer. So with his crew in tow Captain Tanner and his guest Hargoth and Hargoth’s hyper violent assistant Dertax (Aaron Ginn-forsberg) all set forth into space for all kinds of thrilling adventures. Theoretically at least.

Man, making a movie is hard. Making a movie with almost no loot at your disposable is doubly hard. For this reason alone we here at the FCU admire the hell out of what director John Bonnell and his crew were attempting to do with ‘Star Quest: The Odyssey’. However this does lead us to our third supposition, that being that while making a ‘good’ movie is extremely difficult under normal circumstances, making a good movie with no money is almost next to impossible. It has been done, and I’ve seen it done, it just wasn’t accomplished here.

For starters you have your typical problems with a sci-fi flick that has concepts that outdistance its budget such as the extremely suspect special effects. I don’t know much about computer generated imagery but I’m guessing if one is shooting its live action at around 24 frames per second or thereabouts, it doesn’t help the whole believability factor if the space ship sequences look as if they running around three frames per second. And not that I’m telling anybody what to do or anything but I personally would’ve opted to CGI a slightly smaller ship, say like the Defiance in DS9, as opposed to the super scale battle cruiser they had in this movie, taking in consideration the microscopic crew they had available to run this super sized battle cruiser.

But chintzy CGI aside the main thing that sinks this movie are the same things that sink any crappy movie, that being the uniformly spotty acting, erratic pacing and an unfocused narrative. This is less a movie and more like three or four TV episodes complete with a cliff hanger ending and Lord only knows when the next Star Quest is going to be made to close out that cliffhanger.

I do admire the effort put into getting this movie made but all the admiration in the world isn’t going make ‘Star Quest: The Odyssey’ any more entertaining or any less crappy. Still, when the crew does scrape up the spare change to get their sequel made guess who’s the glutton is that’s going near the front of the line to check it out?

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