Wednesday, November 1, 2017

JASON X (2001) movie review

Jason X (2001) d. Isaac, James (USA) (3rd viewing) 93 min

While the concept (“Jason in Space”) smacks of utter desperation, this ended up being the most fun to be had at a Friday the 13th movie in ages. Granted, the loony plot asks its audience to check its brain at the door and just go along for the ride, but it’s a heck of a great ride, combining elements of The Terminator, Aliens, The Matrix and half a dozen other movies into a boffo bloody smorgasbord.

The whopper of a setup: Jason, having proven himself utterly destructible, has been captured by the military and ends up cryogenically frozen in a top-secret scientific compound. Flash forward 455 years, where a futuristic university field trip uncovers him and brings him aboard their spaceship filled with... lots and lots of nubile student scientists and macho military types. Can you smell where this is going? As expected, Jason gets thawed out and unleashes his old-school brand of mayhem on the ship’s inhabitants, along with a few new twists (the frozen face set-piece is equally original and messy).

And then, just when you think things can’t get any zanier, through a turn of the cybernetic screw, Jason is transformed into a literal killing machine – the good times just don’t stop and the body count has never been higher. Isaac utilizes a fair amount of computer-generated effects, but employs them wisely, and Todd Farmer’s script provides a generous amount of legitimately, intentionally humorous moments and dialogue (along with a few groaners).

The undeniably attractive cast (headlined by Lexa Doig and Peter Mensah) is capable and efficient across the board, with a sly David Cronenberg cameo in the opening reel. Best of all, F13 veteran Kane Hodder is finally given the opportunity to DO something as Jason other than just mindlessly disembowel the masses. He actually gives a bona-fide performance here, filled with sly, nonverbal takes that elevate the proceedings enormously.

Haters be damned, this is infectiously entertaining nonsense for F13 aficionados and casual fans alike.


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