Space Cop full movie review - It's fine. Everything's fine. I think.
First things first: If you're not familiar with Red Letter Media, not even their majestic Plinkett reviews, I suggest checking their stuff out from RedLetterMedia.
com or their Youtube channel. It's basically three guys (along with some occasional sidekicks) talking about films and obviously making them themselves. Naturally funny guys, I might add. Their humor is something many probably want to imitate, but can't. I found out about them four years ago, and I still think they're probably the best "content creators" around.
Anyway, about the film. Space Cop! I have to say that I wanted it to be better. I knew how funny these guys can be, and I set certain expectations for myself that couldn't be met. And I know how hard it is to strike that balance in a movie like this. Space Cop knows it's a bad movie, which is an approach that almost always guarantees a failure, but luckily it's not a cynical turd like Sharknado. It's not unintentionally bad either, which of course is the funniest kind of bad. So from the get go, this movie makes things hard for itself.
It's ultimately not any funnier than an average RLM skit. It's not that spectacle of hilariousness many of us were waiting for. Some jokes are even straight up bad, in the worst kind of way. I smiled a lot, but I don't know if I laughed out loud even once. Space Cop takes the obvious route too many times, and it seems to hold itself back. This is evident from some of the deleted scenes: some of them were a little more off the cuff, lacking this certain restraint that plagued much of the main film and it made me actually laugh.
But is it crap, then? Luckily, no - if you know what you're getting into. It's basically a strange inside joke in a movie form that's hard to explain. The RLM quality is still there at times, and it's still a funny enough movie to deserve its existence. You can see how Mike, Rich and Jay love movies and the craft involved. They probably hate the process of making a movie itself, but they like to express themselves in a funny way nonetheless. That certain childish heart shines through. So whenever I saw weird miniatures or several do-it-yourself solutions on the screen, I smiled like an idiot.
And that's what Space Cop ultimately is. It's a somewhat self-aware B-movie made by a bunch of friends who love (B-)movies and like to be creative. It feels like more of a thing that these guys made, and less of a movie. It's not the ultimate RLM experience by any means, but it's certainly a part of it. For someone who has no affection for these guys, this movie might flat out suck. There are plenty of winks and inside meta-humor too, and for a newcomer they probably won't land at all.
Rich Evans and Mike Stoklasa play the main characters, and they're both fine. I've always liked Mike. I just can't help but have a stupid grin on my face when I see him "acting", but Rich is alright too, playing his role straight. In fact, there are good performances and even real actors in this movie. No joke. Chike Johnson and Deborah Clifton, for example, do really well. Plenty of familiar faces, some going back as far as the Plinkett reviews. Bonus points for Patton Oswalt, his bit was good. Double bonus points for Len Kabasinski's performance as Rich Evans' stunt double.
I also have to compliment the production, because it's not that bad for a low-budget flick. Some of the visual digital effects are way better than I thought I'd see in this movie. Looks like their Canadian friends came through! And of course the practical effects and this do-it-yourself approach never gets old. At its best, this kind of B-movie charm can inspire people into making films just as much as praised classics. That mostly happens with better movies, but there is some of that to be found from Space Cop.
Whoever made the opening title sequence theme music, captured the Terminator/Total Recall vibe perfectly.
I don't know what else there is to be said. Space Cop is Space Cop. It struggles to find its comfort zone, and it can be bad in all the wrong ways, but at the same time I kind of like it. Not so much as a movie, but as a thing these guys made. If they make a movie after this, I'd like it to be something really stripped, really simple, really mindless and tight. It might be that Space Cop was just too much of a collaboration and too long of a project for that Half in the Bag - kind of humor we (or at least I) love to surface itself. In that environment, these guys are relaxed and funny all around. With Space Cop, there are loads of things to take care of, people to work with, schedules to worry about and such. I don't know if that has any effect on anything, but it's a thought.
They might have gone too far - or not far enough - in a few places, but it's stylistically designed to be that way. They can't undo it, and now that it's out they can't even diminish the effects of it.
I paid a little too much for the movie (well over 40 euros when shipped to Finland, including the ridiculous toll), and It's not what I hoped, but I don't regret getting it. I'll probably watch it at least one more time, and check out the cool extras again as well.