This past Sunday NBC ran the 2 hour movie-pilot-series relaunch of Knight Rider. I admit that I was looking forward to watching. When I was a kid I was a big fan of the show and after some weak attempts at relaunching over the years, it looked like they might have finally gotten it right.
There is a brand new K.I.T.T. voiced by Moses himself, Val Kilmer. All new K.I.T.T does is drive fast. No turbo boost, no pursuit mode, no super pursuit mode.....just ZOOOM. Everywhere. A 2 hour commercial for a Ford Mustang with many, many MANY shots of the car zooming through the desert. "Experience the new 2008 Ford K.I.T.T."
K.I.T.T. can analyze a persons body tempurature, can detect heat signatures in a building, you know, the kind of stuff that's been going on in movies and sci-fi for the last 10 years. Amazing. What K.I.T.T., your using onboard GPS to plot a route to Vegas.....neato!! Maybe I'm driving K.I.T.T. because my car can do that too...
The single cool thing K.I.T.T. can do is morph its appearance. No, it can't turn into Optimus Prime but it can morph into cars of similar mass. This was cool....the first time. Three times later it seemed clear this was the "big" trick the car did....sigh..... couldn't Viper do something similar?
In one scene that made me laugh out loud, the bad guys start to hack into K.I.T.T. to take control of the car. Wow, never saw THAT happen on the old Knight Rider. Worse yet, K.I.T.T. made no attempt to stop them. Is the car running Windows 95? Enough about the car...
The new driver is a guy named Mike, because only name variants of Michael can drive the car. A John, Dave or Joe would just not work. When we meet Mike he is in his garage which looks like a set from Growing Pains. Apparently he is some sort of loser race car driver, who was raised by mom cause dad left...tears. Mike spends much of the movie "acting" badly and threating to punch K.I.T.T. in the throat; zero charisma. After K.I.T.T. saves its inventor's daughter they pick up Mike and lots of familar conversations are had about how K.I.T.T. doesnt understand human emotions......yawn..
At a crucial point near the end of the movie, Mike, his mom and inventor guy are trying to allude bad guys when mom decides its time to tell dear Mike about his father. Yes son I was waiting for just the right moment to tell you this...what better time then when we are jumping out a window. She tells him that dad is none other than Michael Knight. And she makes this revelation in a "ta-da" sorta way like Mike is supposed to say "Michael Knight??!! Really!! Holy crap!!! I used to love that show!! I can't believe he is my dad!"
Moments later mom is shot and killed and Mike has to "act" and its painful to watch. Show some emotion...anything...I would take a laugh even...a inappropriate emotion would be better than the stare.
The Hoff shows up at Mike's mommy's funderal. Did he have this kid while he was driving the original K.I.T.T. or before when he was Michael Long (remember he was a cop that got shot in the face)....was he married...one night stand? They never tell us and at this point I didn't care, I just wanted it to end. Hoff tells Mike that "one man can make a difference" and then walks off into the woods. These words from the father he never knew convince Mike to leave the Seavers garage and to sign up with the new Foundation for Law and Government, drive K.I.T.T. "offically" and continue to act badly.
Apparently the show got huge ratings and will most likely become a series, which is fine. Recast Mike. The original show "was" about Michael Knight..."a man who did not exist". For all the cheesy acting and yelling into his watch Hoff was fun. The new Mike....not so much.
Get better writers. I swear this script was pooped out minutes before the strike started. Don't recycle old show ideas from 20+ years ago and give the car some neato aspects we've never seen before.
Then and only then..the show *may* be fun to watch.