From the gloriously cheesy synthesizer and guitar score opener, to the kitsch grey design scheme, complete with smoking and twisting knobs, this film takes an obvious cue from Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica (in case the title wasn’t evidence enough).
We sidle into the lives of the crew of Space Station 76, where characters visit a little Robotic Operating BuddyTM for mental therapy, pap smears and mammograms. These and other attempts at stimulating our prurient interests fail completely, and serve no purpose. The idea seems to be that because most of the women on board are oblivious to what women’s rights aught to be, that we as the audience spying in on private moments serves as another conduit of symbolic misogyny, but it just comes off as actual misogyny. Close up shot of gynecolobot edging closer to splayed legged, and demurely nervous woman: check. Frontally nude goddess floating outside of his observation window, during marijuana induced hallucinations: check. For no reason at all. Considering there is no main point about gender equality in the film, there’s truly no point to any of it. Wait.. marijuana induced hallucinations?
Space Station 76 Trailer
While the set design is wonderful, the characters, who we are supposed to take seriously, are far too retro for this task. And not retro in a Firefly way, but in a Magnum Force or Chuck Bronson kind of way. Hokey dialog is served up with copious amounts of ham. A few scenes feel real, but overall a vacuous experience.
But what is the film about?
Earth is lost. Vegetation is gone. People are out in space… puttering around. The people aboard the space station are very bored. They self medicate. They move hither and there. There is no central problem or antagonist. Just small soap based interpersonal conflicts. No protagonist either. The film is either about an awesome little girl and her vapid mother, a suicidal captain, or Liv Tyler. None of them are explored deeply enough to qualify as central, or interesting enough to carry the film as an ensemble.
Space Station 76‘s climax is an argument between the troupe, followed by quick glimpses into minuscule character arch resolutions. The end.
Robotic Operating Buddy is Trademark Nintendo Co Ltd.
Film Score: 2.8 (Out of 5)
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