Thursday, August 07, 2014

Crossworlds (1996)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Some movies are good to the point of being memorable.  Some are bad to the point of being forgettable.  Then, there are the mediocre ones.  The ones that aren’t memorable and they aren’t completely forgettable.  They have the potential, but lack the script and production values to be worth recommending to someone.  Crossworlds is just such a movie.

Joseph “Joseph” Talbot is your ordinary guy.  His friends call him Joe, but he prefers Joseph.  He has two drunken party-animal neighbors.  (One is played by Jack Black, if that tells you anything.)  They invite him over for a hump-day party, which Joseph would really rather not do.  So, he goes anyway and gets prodded into talking to a woman that flat out rejects him.  There is another attractive woman named Laura that seems interested enough to actually talk to Joseph.  She just disappears on him, much to his disappointment.

That’s ok, though.  She appears in his bedroom that night…with a knife.  It’s not what you’re thinking, though.  She’s after a pendant with a mystical gem.  He wakes up and is so distracted by the fact that she’s in his room that he doesn’t seem to care about the knife.  It’s just as well; his house gets shot up, so they have to get away in his car.  They go to meet A.T., who is reluctant to help them until he finds out that it’s Joseph that Laura brought with her.

Laura and A.T. are part of a resistance.  Laura claims she was sent to retrieve the pendant and a staff.  The pendant is the one Joseph has, which was his father’s.  The staff is in a museum.  Amazingly, they know which museum, so they’re off to get it.  The problem is that Ferris is there waiting for them.  (I may accidentally call this guy Rusty.  If I do, bear with me.)  Ferris is a really evil guy.  He’s taken over many dimensions and now it’s our turn.  He needs the staff and the pendant to lead an army through.  (Apparently, all of the other dimensions were conquered without the aid of these artifacts.)

As you might imagine, Joseph is able to save the day with some quick thinking from A.T. and Laura.  Yes, Ferris has several evil minions working for him, but can’t seem to find someone capable of beating some kid who barely even knows what’s going on.  Why can’t an evil overlord find good help?  For that matter, why couldn’t he do it himself? He’s a very powerful guy and has most of the answers, except when it doesn’t serve the plot.

A.T. does know what’s going on, but is very blunt about not explaining anything.  (He won’t even say how many dimensions there are.)  Joseph has a right to know something about why he’s being shot at and chased.  It’s never explained how interdimensional travel works or why people pop in and out of the exact place they need to be.  I’ve always found it odd that when traveling between planes of existence, they always manage to land on solid ground.  They’re never left hanging in a tree or floating above the ground.  For that matter, how is it that we have two planets that are the same size?  The other planet is always around the same size as Earth (or at least similar gravity) and has a similar atmosphere.

This is definitely on the low end of the made-for-TV-movie spectrum.  I could forgive the production values if there was a little more story to the story.  You don’t have to explain everything, but at least take a few minutes to explain something.  You don’t get anything more deep than, “believe in the floor.”

It’s not so bad that I’d recommend it for the laugh value, but it’s bad enough that I’d feel bad if you had to spend money on it or waste a trip to the store. Yes, this is another one of Netflix’s streaming gems.  It’s just good enough that it’s not a waste, but just bad enough that you should get a few laughs out of it.  If you’re tired of watching the big-budget movies, this one might be worth a try.  

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