L5: First City in Space Movie Review

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What should you expect from an IMAX 3D film about a future space colony where 10,000 people live while orbiting Earth? Turns out, very little. Hokey animation, overdone and often-pointless sound effects, and a story that feels like an after-school special combine to create an overall waste of time and the IMAX experience. In short, this is a huge disappointment for anyone expecting a realistic glimpse into the future of space colonization. Although publicity promises wildly creative computer graphics combined with data from NASA, L5 delivers more like Buck Rogers meets Nickelodeon.

Set 100 years in the future, the film is narrated in by Chieko (voice of Martha Henry), a seven year-old girl (played by Rachel Walker) native to the flourishing colony. A brief history of space exploration includes the sole thrill of a slow motion shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space Center as only IMAX can deliver. After an overview of L5 that is devoid of any detail or serious scientific facts/processes, the story quickly turns to a mission to save the colony from a water shortage. Sound disjointed? Yep.

Chieko's grandfather (Colin Fox) plans to solve the crisis by attaching a rocket to a water-filled comet that can be used as a reservoir once its path is altered to orbit L5. When the rocket jams, however, Chieko's father (Denis Akiyama) must embark on a daring - maybe absurd is more accurate - voyage to land on the comet and fix the problem. Mind numbing suspense, happy ending, cheesy last words, yawn, "Glad that's finally over" as the lights come up.

Basically, L5 is a children's movie pitched to an older crowd in the hopes that space enthusiasts will be sucked in by the gravity of IMAX's enormous screen. Unfortunately, neither audience will be satisfied by this half-baked attempt to stretch 45 out of maybe 10 minutes of worthwhile material.

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Comments

L5: First City in Space Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: NR, 1996

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