Saturday, March 8, 2008

Knight Rider - An Icon Reborn

After spending a few weeks taking up space on DVR, The Blot finally sucked it up and watched the new Knight Rider movie from NBC. To be honest I was kind of dreading watching it because I was sure it would be horrible. Most remakes these days are pretty bad and why should this one be any different. But, due to being such a big fan of the original show as a kid I thought I should give it a chance. And you know what? Much to my surprise, I kinda liked it.

Knight Rider
The minute the intro music started to play and I heard that original 80’s synth beeping I knew it couldn’t be all bad. And I was right, for the most part. Yes the story was kind of hokey and the product placement of the Ford Mustang almost made me tear my hair out, but the overall show was sooo much better than the dreck NBC tried to shove down our throats earlier this year in the form of the Bionic Woman. According to reports the show did well enough that it seems almost a lock to be picked up as a series for next year.

Sydney Tamiia Poitier as Carrie RuvaiThere were a few things I didn’t understand, like needing to force feed us in the very beginning of the show that Sydney Tamilia Poitier’s character FBI agent Carrie Rivai was a lesbian or that KITT is now a mustang. How many times did they cut away to show the Snake emblem of the Ford Mustang Shelby? I know product placement is a huge revenue source for shows these days but was the old Knight Rider show this blatant? The new KITT’s cool, but its not that great that they need to shove it in our faces every 5 seconds. I actually kind of miss the sleekness of the old Pontiac Trans Am KITT.

Justin Bruening as Mike TracerThe aspect of the show I disliked the most was Val Kilmer’s voice as KITT. It’s a shame we did not get to hear Will Arnett’s take as the talking car because I think his voice would have translated better to the screen and given us a little more sarcasm like the old KITT used to. Part of the problem, I would imagine, was the rush job they had to do in order to record Kilmer’s voice and get the show out on time. Hopefully he’ll fit into the roll better as the cast gets to know each other over the course of a season.

I’m also not sure how I feel about how high tech KITT is now. In the 80’s KITT did some cool things, but the show was still believable. Now this car can change shape, color and is practically indestructible as long as its main computer is on. It almost makes the show not fun having a car that powerful. How can Tracer ever lose as long as he stays inside KITT?

KITT - Knight Industries Three ThousandBesides the remixed version of the theme song, there were two scenes of the movie that were above and beyond my two favorite parts. I loved the scene between Justin Bruening’s Mike Tracer and the father he never knew, Michael Knight. That has to be the most reserved I’ve seen David Hasselhoff in years and he fit back into the role of Knight perfectly. I kept waiting for the Hoff to break out into one of his cheesy European pop songs, but the guy really kept it together and pulled off a touching scene with his television son. I was really impressed and hope if they do order a full season of Knight Rider that they bring back the Hoff for future episodes. Too bad he still doesn’t rock that 80’s ‘fro of his.

Michael Knight
The other scene I really enjoyed was the final scene with everyone preparing KITT for a mission before Mike and KITT drove out of the airplane backwards and off onto a mission. I’m not usually fooled by TV shows but they got me on that one. I was 100% expecting it to be an 18 wheeler KITT was backing out of, so for the twist to be a plane I thought was a cool modernization of the show. When I was little I loved when Hasselhoff would exit Knight Industries’ mobile base by driving off backwards onto the street as the Mack truck was driving full speed down the highway. I thought it was a nice touch and a good way to show the new Knight Industries team in action as well as end the movie. So while I actually did enjoy the remake, I’m still holding off judgment of it as an ongoing series. Because as we all know if anyone can screw up a great idea for a new television show it’s NBC.
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