A teenager, who lives in a trailer park, is a
wiz playing the Last Starfighter video game. When he sets a record
for top score on the game, a fast-talking alien shows up to hire
him as a pilot in a real, interplanetary space battle.
When the teen leaves Earth, a humanoid robot look alike is left
behind. In space, the teen proves to be a great, though reluctant,
space jockey. Using a unique spinning-while-firing maneuver, the
teen eliminates the remaining enemy space ships, making the universe
safe once again.
Back at the trailer park, the teen and his alien/lizard buddy
land in their spaceship. After getting her parent's permission,
the teen and his gal pal blast off for new adventures in outer
Director Nick Castle's THE LAST STARFIGHTER is a great Sci-Fi
film that's as much fun as "Star Wars", though not so
vast in scope.
Director Nick Castle, working from a Screenplay by Jonathan Betuel,
milks the maximum amount of fun possible out of the story premise.
It helps to have dynamic performers like Dan O'Herlihy, as a lizard-like
co-pilot, and the late Preston, along for the ride, to keep the
energy level high.
Lance Guest (TV's "Lou Grant"), under Castle's steady
Direction, is quite winning as a talented young man, who really
doesn't want to save the universe. He holds his own in scenes
with old pros like Robert Preston ("The Music Man"),
and O'Herlihy, ("Robocop"), which is quite a feat.
Catherine Mary Stuart ("Nightflyers" & "Night
of the Comet"), is a delight as Guest' girlfriend. She is
cute, and perky and nice. Where were girls like this when I was
going to high school?
My favorite scene in the movie is when robot Lance and an unaware
Catherine Mary Stuart go on a double date with another teen couple.
The robot's dubious attempts to fit in are a hoot.
The computer generated spaceships are nice change from the usual
model work. The fact that their appearance is not entirely "realistic"
does not hamper the fun.
THE LAST STARFIGHTER is so entertaining, that it will be highly
watchable by any Sci-Fi fan with a heartbeat.
If you liked THE LAST STARFIGHTER you will enjoy STAR
WARS and NIGHT OF THE COMET.