Roland Emmerich, renown director of films such as Independence Day and Godzilla has finally taken a job that even Michael Bay and Uwe Boll might pass on: Asteroids.
This isn’t an original idea, by the way – I really do mean Asteroids, as in the arcade game from decades ago where a tiny ship has to shoot endless amounts of asteroids in space, before the ship is eventually overwhelmed and destroyed. In fact, if that’s not the plot for the film, I’ll be surprised.
There have been quite a few videogame adaptations lately – Max Payne, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, even Doom, which had no narrative bar “you are a solider on Mars who has to escape a military base with a portal to Hell in it.” Asteroids, well, I don’t know how else to say this: it doesn’t have any narrative bar a tiny triangle zapping dots and blocks moving towards it. There’s no pilot – it’s a little wire-frame shape. All the asteroids look the same. This is ridiculous.
At the same time, I’m going to watch this film, because I love the idea – the narrative’s so open-ended, you could have any number of events taking place on the ship. Mutiny, romance, social drama, anything at all – hell, stick a few vampires in it. Or put the vampires on the asteroid, and humans in the ship. See? It all works.
However, what they are doing is sticking the humans on a smattering of space colonies near (duh, really) a lot of asteroids, after Earth’s been blown to smithereens, only to find out the aliens they’re mates with might actually be responsible for Earth going kablammo. Tense, but far less silly than I want it to be. Seriously, if it was two hours of the Asteroids game with voice-overs, I’d love it. More on this as it comes.