So I watched the “Knight Rider” back door pilot last night…

… and you can call me unimpressed. Warning: This review is fairly spoiler intense.

Maybe it’s because I’m older and thus have more refined tastes, but this movie didn’t grab me the way I remember the original series did. It was two hours long and it felt even longer because there was a whole lot of nothing happening, other than driving and lame exposition, for the vast majority of the show. The whole thing felt like a desperate corporate commercial disguised as TV show from Ford Motor Company trying to capture some of the benefit General Motors got from the Transformers movie.

Is it just me? Or are nanomachines the new Sci-Fi magic wand capable of doing anything and everything? The new car is near-industructable because it supposedly has nanomachines, but those nanomachines only function while K.I.T.T., the on-board computer, is powered up. Best I can figure is they came up with that bullshit line so they could explain away why you see the car taking damage during a scene where it attempts to knock a Ford SUV off the road. An SUV, by the way, that must have weighed a good three thousands tons or something because it didn’t even flinch from having a Mustang ramming it repeatedly on the side. Leading up to the show NBC hyped how the car had the ability to change shape by “morphing” thanks to the nanomachines, but aside from the ability to repair itself instantly, the only other things the nanomachines did were to reshape the car somewhat by adding or removing a spoiler from the back and changing the paint color. That, however, was enough to befuddle the bad guys into losing sight of the vehicle despite the fact that even though the car was a different color it was still the only Ford Shelby Mustang with a GLOWING CYLON EYE EMBEDDED IN THE HOOD in the area.

Turboboost was completely absent and not a single ridiculous car jump was to be found in the entire episode, which was, let’s be honest, the only real reason we watched the original show. K.I.T.T. has become the ultimate hacker it seems as he was able to tap into top secret live satellite feeds, private security systems, and even unlock a casino security door remotely, but he was vulnerable to being hacked himself by one of the villians in the show. He had some ridiculously long range sensor abilities as well that would’ve made the crew of Star Trek’s Enterprise green with envy, but from an action standpoint that’s all pretty boring plot-device stuff. The only really cool special effect was when the hero uses the car as a form of immovable object to stop the SUV resulting in a smash up that should’ve killed everyone in the SUV (let alone everyone in the super car, but we’ll ignore real-world physics for the moment). Yet, somehow, K.I.T.T.‘s creator (who was in the SUV) stumbles out with just a small cut on his forehead and a dazed expression as though he’s trying to figure out how he let his agent talk him into being in this travesty of a remake of a show that wasn’t all that great the first time around.

Ultimately the show felt like it was trying very hard to feel like an action show without actually engaging in any real action. The hero, Michael Traceur, who just so happens to be the son of Michael Knight from the original series, is an ex-Army Ranger who knows how to handle himself in a fight, but K.I.T.T. has become some kind of a pacifist pussy intent on keeping the amount of physical violence to a minimum. A total of three people die as a result of the villians though only two of them are shot (one dies of a heart attack of all things) and only one of those shootings is onscreen. The one person we see get shot is a minor character (Traceur’s mother) who dies so soon after being introduced that we don’t really give a shit that she’s dead. I felt worse for the poor kid manning the front desk of the hotel who got shot simply for being a witness. The whole thing felt very low-budget and you got the sense that all the Ford vehicles were on loan because it seemed like they went through a lot of trouble not to damage them.

The biggest criticism I can offer, however, is the following: During the course of the show some of the commercial breaks were for Ford’s newest Focus model with Microsoft’s SYNC system in it. The commercials told a mini-story of Michael Tracer trying to spend a night out with a date while being stalked by K.I.T.T. the entire time. That mini-story was way more entertaining than the entire two-hour movie it was woven into. That’s pretty much sums up how bad the movie was.

13 thoughts on “So I watched the “Knight Rider” back door pilot last night…

  1. As soon as K.I.T.T was shown to be a Mustang I knew the show was going to be shit. Thanks to your good review, I’m not even going to bother watching it.

    Fox’s Terminator series was a surprise though. I figured it was just going to be another crappy spin-off but once I watched a few episodes I found it is really quite good.

  2. Why would you put a supercomputer in a Mustang in the first place.  If you can afford AI why not put it in a Ferrari?

    I guess the movie was about as good as the original Knight Rider movie when all the guns in the world were outlawed.

  3. What a load of shit,

    Although largely solar powered, KITT does use gasoline; with energy recycling, he averages 167 miles per gallon

  4. Only if your American.  If you want a decent car you put it in an Aston Martin DB9. Obviously. (If its good enough for Jezzer, the Hampster and Captain Slow, then its good enough for me)

  5. Michael Traceur, who just so happens to be the son of Michael Knight

    “Tracy do you know what the baby will be called yet”
    “Errr dunno”
    “Usually it takes the fathers name”
    “Okay Tracy after me, Michael Tracer”
    Dr hits head on table.

    Is it true the Hoff isn’t in it, because the Chest Wigs agent refused to sign?

  6. The Hoff had a brief cameo near the end of the movie. He shows up to inspire his “son” to become the new driver because the kid refuses at first. It was supposed to be a touching scene, but it came off lame as hell.

  7. I’m ashamed to admit it…but I liked it.  The constant shilling for Ford annoyed me and the show was remarkable only in its predictability.  I feel like it’s the establishing sequence and that if they wanted the show to be a kind of updated continuation of the original this “movie” is a reasonable beginning.

  8. RickU, you’re not alone. At least one of my coworkers says he liked it too and continued to insist it wasn’t horrible even after I pointed out all the bad parts.

    We all have our guilty pleasures. Mine is Roger Whittaker so I can’t really judge.

  9. It’s not nearly as bad as Flash Gordon was in the beginning, or the Star Wars prequel movies. That being said…

    My problem is that A. The guy voicing Kitt sucks. He sucks really bad. and B. Apparently everyone in the series can act a little, except for THE GUY THEY PICKED TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTER. Sheesh. If they have any balls they’ll kill off Micheal Traceur in a touching, poignant fireball fairly quickly and turn the show into the spunky, hottish professor chick rides around and fights crime show. It’s the only way I can see it working, and if they’ve got the idiot main character contracted or something then let HIM do the voice of Kitt. He can’t be any worse.

  10. That “crappy” K.I.T.T. voice is Val Kilmer, lol.

    BTW – Did you know Val is a composer as well as an actor.  I didn’t until googling his name to make sure I spelled it correctly, lol. None of the samples on his website really impressed me, but he does compose (and apparently sing) them.

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