Monday, April 13, 2009


SUPER POWER GAINED FROM WATCHING THIS MOVIE: The Ability To Channel The Rubberfaced Hamminess Of Jim Carrey And Somehow Get Away With It.


Max Headroom the Mutant Mutilator; a busterific Emma Frost; Groundskeeper Banshee; Angelo Stretcho the Mexi-Melt; a not-so cherry Jubilee; a discount Cyclops; Mighty Morphin' Blackies, a body-shamed Buffy, and Nightmare on 21 Mutie Street.

More details here.


Evil Dr. Tresh (Matt Frewer) is conducting experiments on super-powered teenagers for a nameless company, but he is thwarted by the government which learns that his lab specimens are in violation of the Mutant Registration Act. Tresh is kicked out of the corporation and nearly ruined but five years later, he's back to his old tricks hunting down teens with special powers for some arcane purpose. Meanwhile, the mystical Emma Frost (Finola Hughes) and the Scottish loudmouth Banshee (Jeremy Ratchford), members of the Xavier School for the Gifted, recruit and/or rescue troubled teenaged mutants including a sarcastic light and fire emitting Jubilee (Heather McComb) and Angelo (Agustin Rodriguez), an Eric Estrada-esque homey with stretching powers. They meet up with their teammates at the Xavier School which include X-ray-eyed Kurt (Randel Slavin), indestructible Mondo (Bumper Robinson), super-powered wonder M (Amarilis), and vaguely powered Buff (Suzanne Harris). Jubilee and Angelo quickly learn that most of the team is made of outsiders with their own unique brand of cynicism, distrust of authority, and prick-itude. The team struggles to get along, attempts to learn the ins and outs of the Cerebro computer system, and fights with the local townies fearful of the mutie freaks. Angelo, aka “Skin”, learns the secrets of Cerebro and taps into a machine that allows users to manipulate and enter other people’s dreams. This creates a security gap that Tresh uses to infiltrate the team’s dreams like a TV movie Freddy Krueger in order to get even with Frost after she narked on him and to capture mutants’ ability to control minds to mass market corporate crap. So in the end, Generation X has to get their self-involved keisters in gear, pop their zits, put down the Mountain Dew, and confront Tresh in the dreamworld to save the world from an overacting future zombie doing shtick from The Mask.


Marvel Comics’ attempts to bring their characters to live action TV over the years have been mixed (Spider Man), depressing (Incredible Hulk) and downright dull (Dr. Strange). And before the big budget extravaganzas of the X-men trilogy, they tried to bring the beloved mutants to life with Generation X, one of multiple spin-offs of the popular X-men comics that tried to embody the pop sociological and corporate marketing tag’s spirit. In the comics, the Gen-X team was created as an antithesis to the X-men - somber, moody, and cynical heroes caught in a world that doesn’t want them with powers they never asked for, in other words – they were irritating Emos. The comic ran for a couple of years under one creative team, but when that team left, the series floundered and eventually was cancelled. So it’s kind of mild surprise that Generation X made it to screens before X-men, and what’s equally mildly unsurprising is that this TV movie isn’t very good. The team is made of cookie-cutter teen characters, each with their own bland brand of mall-bred angst, which made for mutant-powered boredom. The Saturday morning TV set design and routine camerawork make an episode of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers look like a Zhang Yimou period piece. Frewer hams it up with the force of my eight-year-old nephew high on Froot Loops and crank. The rest of the adult cast are stilted and look uncomfortable and there’s only Hughes’ average cleavage to distract us from cheesey superhero theatrics. Although some of the teen actors such as McComb and Rodriguez approach the material with some interest, the rest of the cast of can’t quite rise above the teen soap opera level that the script is mired. It’s a head-scratcher to realize that this unexciting movie was directed by veteran Jack Sholder (the crackingly good The Hidden, the underrated thriller Alone in the Dark), as the film bursts on the screen with all the energy of a tubby comic book nerd strung out on Now ‘n Laters. Generation X doesn’t come close to capturing the atmosphere of mid-90s superheroics, nor was it meant to in many respects because like its namesake, it doesn’t even try.

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