<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, WRONG
Or, The Travesty That is Knight Rider 2000

I have a confession to make: I am a huge Knight Rider fan.

Okay, maybe it's not so surprising--especially if you knew me when I was 12, or you know of my rather odd relationship with vehicles, or you've been reading Sarah's blog over the last week or so. Generally I do not advertise my undying love for a cheesy show that's almost as old as I am; yet very recently Season 1 was released on DVD, and though I do not yet own copies it is only a matter of time. And not owning something does not prevent me from watching it.

Though I probably have not watched every single episode of the show (yet) due to the vagaries of network reruns and my own after-school schedule, I still watched it religiously. A few days ago I described the show to a friend as a soap opera about vehicles, and truly that's what it was to me. Sure, there was Michael, and Bonnie, and all the other human characters, but for me the key was always the vehicles. KITT, of course, was my favourite thing on four wheels, bar none; he was sarcastic, somewhat acidic, long-suffering, and ridiculously full of himself, but also moral, clever, somehow innocent, and absolutely loyal. If I had a crush on anyone during my pre-teen years, it was KITT, a modified and unstoppable black Trans Am with red scanner lights. And so of course I couldn't help but be drawn into the plotlines that had anything to do with him, or his evil twin, the early prototype KARR, or the unstoppable semi, Goliath. Even when there wasn't a case of vehicular amnesia, or near-death experiences, or actual death experiences, there were all the other fabulous things, like turbo boosting through concrete walls.

Well, as it turns out, within the Season 1 DVDs there is also a copy of the 1991 TV movie Knight Rider 2000. Now, until a couple of days ago, I had never even heard of Knight Rider 2000. Despite the fact that this show absolutely dominated my consciousness for the entirety of my Grade 6 year and beyond, I had no idea that they'd created a feature-length film, never mind watched it. This was a situation that needed to be remedied, immediately.

Sarah warned me that it was a terrible, terrible movie, and I believed her. Yet it was still Knight Rider, and I was still excited. After all, how could any movie that had KITT in it truly be that bad?

For those of you who have not had the experience of seeing this particular cinematic masterpiece, let me explain the premise. It is the year 2000: THE FUTURE!! And in THE FUTURE many things have changed. For one, guns have been banned in the city of L.A., and the police force now carry ultra sound weapons. Criminals are frozen rather than incarcerated, and police cruisers have truly annoying sirens. From the opening scenes, you are aware that this is THE FUTURE--you can feel the capital letters--and in THE FUTURE anything can happen.

Now seeing as this was released in 1991, I truly have to wonder what they were thinking. Was it just that Knight Rider 2000 sounded cool and futuristic that let them ignore the fact that this rounded-edged future was but nine years away? I don't know.

Anyway, our one-time hero, Michael Knight (aka David Hasselhoff), has retired and now runs a fishing business; the Foundation for Law and Government toils on, and is in the final stages of completing a new car, something pointy and red and futuristic. Enter Evil Director Skinner (aka Mitch Pileggi wearing his smarmy look and no glasses), recently unfrozen and somehow already in the middle of a gun-smuggling ring. (He also has an office in a hallway, where he holds top-secret hallway meetings with police officers. Don't ask me; it doesn't make sense in context, either.) Devon and the new guy at F.L.A.G. need Michael's help just one last time, just until they can build the new car and stop Evil Director Skinner.

But KITT has been dismantled. The car is entirely gone and the computer is in cardboard boxes. Let me say, this is not a good thing. But wait, Michael (who never before knew how to fix anything, never mind a dismantled A.I.) puts him back together! Hooray! Except ... well ... it's not KITT.

Okay, in the movie it's KITT. It's supposed to be KITT. Let me tell you: it's not.

There is a line in the IMDB review of this film that reads: "I love it when KITT says, 'That you Michael? You look like crap! You have obviously been flushed down the toilet since we split up. Get a life!' A funny line that only KITT could say."

My reaction upon hearing this line was one of absolute shock. See, KITT couldn't say that--he wouldn't say that. Not any of it! It was just ... wrong. So many kinds of wrong.

But not only did they make KITT a total jerk, they made him a classic Chevy. Few things could inspire a feeling of such horror as the sight of a blue and white Chevy with red scanner lights across the front; it was something I loved twisted and turned into something dreadful.

Of course, a key thing about KITT was that he was a truly fantastic car. The classic Chevy, beyond being shiny, was not fantastic. So the only chase scene in the entire movie was an entire dud, because KITT could not go fast, he could not jump over anything, he could not be shot and remain unhurt, and he could not blast through walls, fences, or other such objects. In short, he was a normal car with a jerk personality.

And when they turned him into the stupid pointy red car instead...? No. Just no.

Really, who thought of this movie? What is Knight Rider without cool car stunts? Like Sarah said, I don't car if the car is a boat, I just want to see him jump over something!

I realized halfway through, this movie was like watching fanfiction. All the characters were there, and they all looked right, and they had the right voices ... but everything else was off, sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot.

So from this point onward, I am officially pretending that this movie does not exist. It is just fanfiction to me, and has no place in the official chronology. KITT does not become a Chevy, or a pointy red car, or a jerk; Devon doesn't die; Michael doesn't abandon KITT to go fishing. I mean, really.

But, it's alright, it's okay, because I have many, many real episodes of Knight Rider to watch, and that's enough to make me very, very happy. It's stupid, I know, and cheesy, and everything else, but I love it anyway. As the length of this entry attests.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 10:33 PM


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