Jason X Movie Review

What would happen if you applied the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" to something that actually was broke. Would it miraculously fix itself? Apparently not, as Jason X - the latest installment in the long-running Friday the 13th series - hauls out once again all of the ridiculous elements that once decimated the franchise's credibility, only to produce an equally horrible sequel.

For starters, the film drops its descriptive Friday the 13th moniker, and in the process, forgets its roots. Ignoring the fact that hockey mask-sporting Jason Voorhees had his Final Chapter in 1984 or was banished to hell in 1993's The Final Friday, the new Jason X opens with the ruthless fiend (Kane Hodder) awaiting cryogenic treatment at the Crystal Lake Research Facility. Scientists interested in exploring Jason's ability to rapidly regenerate cell tissue delay the deep freeze just long enough for Voorhees to pull a Harry Houdini, though, and Jason promptly slaughters the entire egg-headed bunch. Take that, science! Only gorgeous Dr. Rowan (Lexa Doig) is spared, and while she's able to trap Jason in a cryogenic chamber, a leak in the equipment freezes her in the process. Ah, cryogenics - just another link in the long chain of similarities between Jason and entertainment czar Walt Disney. But I digress.

Fast forward what we eventually learn is 455 years. An excursion team led by Professor Lowe (Jonathan Potts) stumbles upon the lab and carts the preserved bodies of Jason and Rowan aboard their spaceship. Lowe - strapped for cash to fund his research - plans to sell Jason on the futuristic black market. Apparently the killer's history precedes him, and his mint-condition corpse would fetch top dollar from morbid collectors. But a resuscitated Rowan immediately warns her futuristic friends that Jason's more terror than toy. Unfortunately, they're too busy dying to listen.

What can we learn about out future from Jason X? Well, by the year 2455, our planet will be scorched and incapable of sustaining life, beautiful female scientists will wear skintight belly-bearing jump suits, and hockey will be outlawed. Teens, though, continue to be ruled by their hormones, remaining incapable of completing simple science experiments with being overcome by the desire to jump each other's bones. How on Earth did humanity ever evolve?

The rest of Jason's trip to the future resembles his killing sprees of the past. Save for one intense death scene - where a beautiful blonde researcher gets her face frozen and then shattered off - Jason X does very little to capitalize on its futuristic setting. Jason slices his victims with his trusted machete, chokes them with chains and even snaps one guy's neck. Where's the creativity? Early scenes confirm that our advanced race can revive once-dead characters, or re-attach severed limbs. However, once Jason starts hacking up the goods, these medical miracles are either completely forgotten or totally ignored, as soldiers, slackers, and students die from what appear to be flesh wounds.

At one time, Friday films generated suspense, with oblivious victims unaware of the murderer lurking outside their window. Jason X lacks a sense of panic, simply setting up an endless wave of victims for Jason to mow down. The dialogue's so putrid you can smell it, the cast is feeble and the generic sets and effects elicit more laughs than screams. In the film's final insult, the door remains left open for a potential sequel. I think I'd prefer the scorched-Earth future depicted in this bomb than one where another Friday sequel remains a possibility.

Jason is spacin'.

Comments

Jason X Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: R, 2002

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