27 November 2016 | atomicpunk40
Firebird 2015 A.D. - More like FireBORED 2015 A.D.
Okay, I AM writing this review in 2016, the year AFTER the movie takes place - now the past. Oh to hell with it, lets just say the middle of the 2010s so that makes my review take place in the time period the movie takes place. Now with that out of my system lets continue.
Take this scenario. In the mid 2010s gasoline is in very short supply and what is left is drastically expensive. As a result all gas burning vehicles have been banned and this has had a terrible effect on the U.S. economy. But lo and behold a group of people see through this. There's plenty of gasoline to be had they say, the U.S. government is just hogging it all for itself and this group is determined to see to it that the ban is lifted and the fuel is released, and those behind it are brought to justice for the harm it has done. In the meantime the group's favorite hobby is riding their cars around to defy the ban. To keep them in line (and to impose the ban) the government has sent special police forces out to stop this group of rebels - known as "burners" - with whatever means necessary. However nothing is going to stop these "burners" from their mission. But there are those who don't want the ban lifted, mainly the special police forces because if the ban goes, they are out of a job. So its the burners (the heroes)versus the corrupt special police (the villains) and only one side is going to win.
Now that sounds great doesn't it? And if someone else besides David Robertson had directed it, then maybe we would have had a great sci-fi movie. But he did and therefore we don't. Instead Firebird 2015 A.D. is about a bunch of people whether, it is the burners or the special police, bitching about how life is unfair in these hard times while driving around through... the desert. No cities, small towns, suburbs, or abandoned amusement parks. Just lots of empty desert landscape and nothing more. After all it worked for Wile E. Coyote didn't it? Well it doesn't work here because it only adds to the slowness that permeates this movie.
The plot, as it goes, is about Red,a leader of the burners (played by Darrin McGavin) joining forces with his long lost son (Robert Wisden) who has arrived at Red's home (a pit stop for burners as Red has his own gasoline supply) where they plan on reaching Washington D.C. so they can defeat the gas ban. Meanwhile a group of the special police (led by Doug McClure) have set up a camp near Red's compound with the hopes of stopping him. In the meantime McGavin's son falls in love with the daughter of another burner play by Mary Beth Ruebens. And that's all there is! No juicy twists or memorable quotes or set pieces to get into here. Zip! Now if this film was a rip-snorting chase movie being something like Mad Max 2 – The Road Warrior meets Smokey And The Bandit used with the above mentioned scenario then maybe we would have a real exciting flick. But nooooooo! What we get is people bemoaning what is sad happenings in their lives while constantly mumbling of how they want to defeat the other team. And all this while racing their gas wasting cars and motorcycles around what seems like the same 1 1/2 mile stretch of desert over and over again.
Now the acting. Marc McClure, always a good actor, feels wasted as the movie's heavy. He often looks like he rather be starring in a more challenging role, like maybe the lead in a softcore porno flick than in this thing. As for Rubens, she is a pretty girl, but what does she really do? And Darren McGavin? Well he just acts like Darrin McGavin.
But what's worst about this movie is the setting. Made in 1982, this was supposed to look at the distant future year of 2015. Instead it just looks like 1982. My point is this, if your going to make a movie about the future MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THE FUTURE! This movie looks about as futuristic as Meet Me In St Louis starring Judy Garland looked futuristic. There is nothing here - outside of the police uniforms and they don't count much - that makes this movie feel like things to come. I guess the makers of Firebird 2015 A.D. think by saying that this story is in the future but not showing anything futuristic was a decent idea. No, and this is one of the top reasons this movie fall flat on it's butt. We want to SEE the future and feel it, not just be suggested of it.
A boring sci-fi movie that doesn't feel like a sci-fi movie at all. Well at least Darrin McGavin recovered from this wreck. His next role was that of Ralphie's father in "A Christmas Story" - and he had the best role of his career.
My Rating (from Excellent to Poor) - Pretty Bad. Just stick to the Mad Max movies instead. Or better yet the original Death Race 2000.