My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

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My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:00 am

Review of the new Knight Rider by a diehard (original) Knight Rider fan.

26 years in the making, a new car, a new hero. That’s the premise of the new Knight Rider. My expectations weren’t high when I first heard of this, mostly because the producers admitted that they were “inspired” by the evil black Mustang in the Transformers movie. Any time someone is “inspired” by another idea, you can be certain that creativity is not in the mix. Then, there is the question of authenticity. Indeed, Knight Rider was not only one of the most popular shows of its time, but also in syndication. Even in the 21st century, it commands a cult following. Many things worked in its favour, the catchy music, the car that everyone wanted, and the Hoff. But enough about the old Knight Rider… how’s the new one?
In a word, abysmal. Beyond repair, and far from the mark. Harsh, I know. But there was so much wrong with the pilot, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with the center of it all, the car. Ideally, many people on forums around the internet, myself included, thought that the new Nissan GT-R would have made an ideal KITT. Its menacing, sleek, and in black would definitely suit KITT. It’s a great foundation, because its already one of, if not the most advanced cars on the planet, and is currently, the fastest production car according to many sources. Its also a car that most people haven’t seen yet, will never be too commonplace, and is visually interesting, if not downright attractive. However, the producers wanted an American car. Why, oh why? We all know American cars are always playing catch-up, and never actually catching up. Obviously, it was a bidding war, and Ford decided to bet the most. The producers should have decided if they want a TV commercial masquerading as a TV show, or a real TV show that people would watch and appreciate, in turn providing ratings and consequently revenue. Short term vs. long term gain. Sadly, they chose the former. Will Arnett was pretty good as the new voice of KITT, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, they had a chance with him. Next thing you know, he’s out, and Val Kilmer is the voice of KITT. He sounds so wrong for KITT! His responses are too human in pronunciation, and his tone too computerish. All wrong. Every car in the new Knight Rider is a Ford or Ford-owned (e.g. Volvo) product, with the exception of the bad guy’s SUV, a Chevy with the emblem removed. The Mustang used for KITT, for some reason, has Ford, GT, and cobra emblems. WHY??? This is not SUPPOSED to be a car from, or designed by Ford. This is supposed to be the creation of the Knight Foundation, and its resemblance to a production vehicle is supposed to be only so that it can fit in. Even the rims have the SVT logo, designating that they are a product of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team. The original show made a point of noting that though the car can pass for a Trans Am, it is not one. The ads in the show kept saying how “you can buy your own KITT.” As it is, the Mustang is a common vehicle, but now, you can even buy the look featured in the show? The original show worked because of how special KITT was, and forgetting this, was one of the worst mistakes they made this time around. The car, even if we look past the fact that it is a production Ford, is not special. It has capabilities that are scaled back from the original KITT in almost every way. This new KITT is not as fast, can’t turbo boost or go into ski mode, or perform any stunts that would separate it from an ordinary car, and in fact, can’t even escape a 5000-pound SUV on a twisting mountain road. What’s that about? If KITT can’t elude people in a heavy, poor-handling SUV, how will it catch up to, say, a GT-R? The constant state of oversteer in the old Knight Rider was entertaining, but never seemed to show that KITT had any handling prowess. I used to think of what KITT would handle like if they ever redid it, and this wasn’t the answer I was expecting. In the beginning of the pilot, KITT is moving at a slow speed, oversteering on pavement that looks wet just for the purpose of having the car oversteer. The car is no longer even properly bulletproof. It has “nanotechnology” that heals the car as damage happens, rather than the near-indestructible “molecular bonded shell” of the old KITT. If the new KITT’s computer is off, KITT is no longer bulletproof. So, the people that built KITT had access to the molecular bonded shell, all the technology of the old car, and they chose to NOT use it? They even make a point of saying that sometimes “simpler is better,” well, where was that montage when they were thinking of KITT’s structure? I was disappointed as hell to see that bullets managed to break KITT’s glass (which then healed itself, but the point is, it still broke). The interior of the new KITT is immensely disappointing as well. The old KITT had a breathtaking dash, something impressive even today. Functions available at a glance, constant monitoring of important, er… things. The dash was lovingly created to be exceptionally unique, and it was one of a kind. This new dash is 90% production Mustang, with a fake LCD screen thrown in where the console goes. The steering wheel is nowhere near as unique. They could have had a more modern approach to the old one, but no, they decided to saw off a production wheel. There are no seats in the back, only a large plastic/fiberglass looking thing. The seats have no head restraints, and KITT now needs its occupants to wear seatbelts, not being protected by the Passive Laser Restraint System that the original KITT had. You can argue that you need seatbelts no matter how strong KITT is because of inertia, but then how is it that at the end of the pilot where KITT cuts the SUV off and the SUV crashes into KITT, KITT doesn’t move?

The real stars of the show were KITT and Michael, in that order. The show worked because of their characterization and chemistry. In the original Knight Rider’s pilot, Michael goes from disliking KITT, to liking him, to needing and depending on him. That’s a lot of progress in their “relationship.” It also shows the strength of the individual, Michael, by putting him through some severe tests after he takes that bullet. Michael’s character too, is easy to understand as far as his actions and motivations go. He gets a new face, wants revenge, takes the car, puts his life on the line and accomplishes what he set out to do. Devon then offers him a job, and explains why KITT and him are necessary, that the Foundation is mostly bureaucracy and paperwork, and that sometimes, direct action is necessary and that’s where he and KITT fit in. Michael realizes that’s he’s being offered the world’s most fantastic car on a silver platter, and there begins a new journey. Fantastic scene. In this new show, there is no bond formed between Mike and KITT, in fact, there is more of a bond between KITT and Sarah (she could have starred as the lead). In the old show, the pilot contained a number of fantastic stunts. Remember when KITT actually turbo boosts through an actual truck? Boxes flying and everything? Then when he jumps clear over a semi? Then how KITT actually takes out a real plane with the fuel flying and burning, and then exploding? This time around, one real stunt. The sequence where the SUV crashes into KITT is the only one that is Knight-worthy. Everything is CG, even scenes that shouldn’t be, like a shot of KITT driving on a California/Nevada road from the air. When KITT pulls into Las Vegas, the scenery is CG and so fake that I’ve seen better stuff in games. Seriously, look at Drake’s Fortune on the PS3.

Justin Bruening doesn't seem to possess the ability to emote. He looked at his mother dying with the same emotion that I look at food that has spoiled in my fridge. To me, he also looks very run-of-the-mill, and possesses none of the charm that Hasselhoff has/had. I even Youtube'd a video of Knight Rider 2000 (another cheesy KR extension), and when you see the Hoff talking to KITT, it seems like the most natural thing to him. They didn't need to show the policewoman being a lesbian. I know that its accepted and all, and I don't have anything against it, but it seems forced just to be contemporary. A gay friend of mine thinks the Asian bad guy is hot, so maybe, that's a plus for some. Waaaay too many characters.

So, as you can see, nothing but disappointment abounds with this show. I predict it will soon die, sadly enough. And the Hoff’s cameo was pretty wasted. I thought there would have been more background on what happened to him and KITT, or least an explanation as to why the stupid man with the silver hair claims to have made the original KITT, when we all know that KITT was Wilton Knight’s idea, and an improvement on his prototype, KARR. We also know that there were many German and Japanese engineers that worked on KITT, as we saw in the episode where KITT sorta died when he went into the acid pit. They see the old KITT, with a shot of his gullwing steering wheel, but the look and the finish are nothing like in the original show. Not even a LITTLE bit of research was done. So save yourself the hour, and when the new Knight Rider comes on, pop a DVD of the old one in, and pretend that it is the new one. You’ll be much happier.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:08 am

Also wanted to add that KITT was always supposed to be a futuristic car, "the car of the future" in both KITTs and KARRs words. HELLO?!??!?! (knocking on head of NBC corporate idiot) THE MUSTANG IS A RETRO DESIGN!! THE DASH IS RETRO!!!! So with minimal changes, the new KITT's exterior and interior are (million dollar question).... THAT'S RIGHT!!! RETRO!!!! They should just nano-morph KITT into the new GT-R, see here...

http://tamuchi.net/WindowsLiveWriter/NI ... 24x768.jpg

and

http://www.dieselstation.com/uploader/f ... n-gt-r.jpg

Now that is a stock interior that already looks better than that ricer interior they have now, see...

http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=h ... n%26sa%3DN


Did anyone notice the Mac wireless keyboard in KITT? Not only do its colours and design NOT match KITT's stock-like interior, that is just the ultimate in cheese. That whole assembly looks like it was hand built, in a bad way. Remember how KITT's features used to look? Finished well? Integrated? Smooth? In touch with the rest of the design? Yeah, none of that is present. And why a keyboard? KITT never needed it before. What, KITT can't fill data in by himself? And do they not think people are familiar with Mac keyboards? They're selling more and more every month, come on!!!

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:24 am

AND...
They shoot in great locations, California etc., and today, studios can make sets or on location shoots look like anywhere they want to, a la Lost and Hawaii. They should have taken Knight Rider seriously, and really developed the car and its capabilities. For example, KITT could have flown, something that was brought up in the original pilot, and today, could possibly be done without looking cheesy. It would be a natural succession, as one thing KITT has always had to battle is planes. Michael Knight could be an evilish character, having had KITT taken away from him, he could have animosity for the foundation and with that be a regular bad guy on the show. He could globe-trot, and we'd get to see exotic locations. Imagine KITT traversing Dubai's deserts either in pursuit or to elude enemies, or China or India. I'm just saying, creativity never hurt anyone. These ideas may be out there, but at least they're not as bland as the plot in this pilot.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by MSFproductionsMAIN » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:39 am

Quite Hating So Much. You have to admit. This at least has been the best Interpritaion so far since the original went off the air. :kitt:

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by ReddawgKnight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:40 am

MSFproductionsMAIN wrote:Quite Hating So Much. You have to admit. This at least has been the best Interpritaion so far since the original went off the air. :kitt:


AGREED :mrgreen:

oh and get off the GT-R's exaust pipes already,your making yourself look bad... :wink:

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by 89 formula » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:20 am

MSFproductionsMAIN wrote:Quite Hating So Much. You have to admit. This at least has been the best Interpritaion so far since the original went off the air. :kitt:



Best interpretation? The plot logic is entirely faulty. Graiman has this "super car" in his garage, yet he takes off on foot through the forest. Okay, maybe Graiman is delusional, which is what I'd expect from someone who had spent all his time developing a car that's inferior to the one he already had. Or perhaps he was concerned that the computer would go down leaving the new KITT vulnerable to bullets, rocks, large sticks, whatever....

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:26 am

89 formula wrote:
MSFproductionsMAIN wrote:Quite Hating So Much. You have to admit. This at least has been the best Interpritaion so far since the original went off the air. :kitt:



Best interpretation? The plot logic is entirely faulty. Graiman has this "super car" in his garage, yet he takes off on foot through the forest. Okay, maybe Graiman is delusional, which is what I'd expect from someone who had spent all his time developing a car that's inferior to the one he already had. Or perhaps he was concerned that the computer would go down leaving the new KITT vulnerable to bullets, rocks, large sticks, whatever....



You're totally right! I was wondering that myself, and didn't put it down.

And RedDawgKnight, as for the GT-R, YOU have to admit that it is VASTLY superior to the Mustang, and that it would have made a better choice for KITT, even stock! At least it would be able to evade a 5000 pound SUV in the twisties, a sports car's natural home!

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by 89 formula » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:01 am

I dunno, that SUV may have been the actual super-car star of the show, how else do you explain the fact that after smashing it into an immovable object at a high speed, only the bad guys get seriously hurt or killed, and the feeble old guy is able to practically limp away with only a few scratches.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by goldbug » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:05 am

89 formula wrote:I dunno, that SUV may have been the actual super-car star of the show, how else do you explain the fact that after smashing it into an immovable object at a high speed, only the bad guys get seriously hurt or killed, and the feeble old guy is able to practically limp away with only a few scratches.


Ford makes excellent seat belts? :lol:
"One man can make a difference." - Michael Knight (2008)

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by neps » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:07 am

89 formula wrote:Graiman has this "super car" in his garage, yet he takes off on foot through the forest.


Lets think of this in Original Series terms. The formula for the MBS was divided amongst 3 people, so not one could be captured and break the secrets.

Here too - KITT and Graiman by themselves aren't as dangerous as if they were able to capture them both.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by PHOENIXZERO » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:20 am

Charles was prepared for the impact and braced himself, the other guys didn't and at least one of them wasn't dead, they didn't even show the others, did they?
The new and again improved evil's advertisement is currently too long and too badass to display here. But let's just say that with now 50% more evil, this **** is great! :twisted: :skar:

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:20 pm

Anyone notice the plot hole where they explain how KITT"s firewall was cracked? They say that the bad guys had access to KITT's blueprints and what not when they stole the hard drives. But later, they reveal that THE HARD DRIVES WEREN'T CRACKED!?!?!?!?!

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:23 pm

ReddawgKnight wrote:
MSFproductionsMAIN wrote:Quite Hating So Much. You have to admit. This at least has been the best Interpritaion so far since the original went off the air. :kitt:


AGREED :mrgreen:

oh and get off the GT-R's exaust pipes already,your making yourself look bad... :wink:



And so, your defence stands with the car with the $49 Mac keyboard? Yeah, your ideas look real classy in comparison. LOL, jk.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:25 pm

PHOENIXZERO wrote:Charles was prepared for the impact and braced himself, the other guys didn't and at least one of them wasn't dead, they didn't even show the others, did they?


So Charles, just by willing it to be so, could somehow "brace" himself such that he didn't get hurt in a crazy crash. We really need to educate the North American public about this, it could really save lives!

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by GN_WS6 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:36 pm

loybond...

I agree with everything you said. Except for the GT-R.
:wink:
Thats what I've been trying to say in my posts.
The real KITT was born a Trans Am.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by Wedgewalkr » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:41 pm

loybond wrote:
PHOENIXZERO wrote:Charles was prepared for the impact and braced himself, the other guys didn't and at least one of them wasn't dead, they didn't even show the others, did they?


So Charles, just by willing it to be so, could somehow "brace" himself such that he didn't get hurt in a crazy crash. We really need to educate the North American public about this, it could really save lives!




Talking car. Itty-bitty robots that repair metal and change it's color.


Or...talking car in a time when the NES was hi-tech, with magic MBS that can withstand anything almost...but it's only used on one car in the world...at one point in the original show KITT opened a door from far away using magnetic energy or some junk.

My point? Yeah, Graiman (and the main bad guy) surviving the crash is highly unlikely...even if Graiman did brace.
But this is a show about a talking car, based on a show from the early 80's about a talking car.

Problems with realism are nothing new to this franchise. Point out this particular instance if you'd like. But it is, truly, one amongst many.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:09 am

GN_WS6 wrote:loybond...

I agree with everything you said. Except for the GT-R.
:wink:
Thats what I've been trying to say in my posts.


You don't have to agree with the GT-R, thats my opinion, and not in the show. I suggest that because it fulfills most of the requirements for KITT. Its new, no one has seen it, its very hyped, and in the real world, delivers on the hype. It looks unique (like the Trans Ams did back in the day), and is already high-tech, a good base to build on. To stick with the all-American theme of the show, perhaps, they could have gone with an American car, but a retro choice is definitely wrong. The new Camaro hits the new and unique mark, but misses becauses it would be a me-too affair after Transformers, and is also retro. Perhaps the new Vette? I dunno, I'm Canadian and have no emotional attachment to American cars, so I root for the GT-R.

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Re: My Review: New Knight Rider!!!!!!

Post by loybond » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:13 am

Wedgewalkr wrote:
loybond wrote:
PHOENIXZERO wrote:Charles was prepared for the impact and braced himself, the other guys didn't and at least one of them wasn't dead, they didn't even show the others, did they?


So Charles, just by willing it to be so, could somehow "brace" himself such that he didn't get hurt in a crazy crash. We really need to educate the North American public about this, it could really save lives!




Talking car. Itty-bitty robots that repair metal and change it's color.


Or...talking car in a time when the NES was hi-tech, with magic MBS that can withstand anything almost...but it's only used on one car in the world...at one point in the original show KITT opened a door from far away using magnetic energy or some junk.

My point? Yeah, Graiman (and the main bad guy) surviving the crash is highly unlikely...even if Graiman did brace.
But this is a show about a talking car, based on a show from the early 80's about a talking car.

Problems with realism are nothing new to this franchise. Point out this particular instance if you'd like. But it is, truly, one amongst many.


Problems with reality can be addressed, by doing FANTASY well. The whole Knight Rider concept is far from believable, and can ONLY work as a fantasy. And while we're "trying" to be realistic, I'm sorry, I've got to bring up the threesome, the cliched "I owe bad people money" and the Ford SUV that can apparently lap a course as well as a Sheby Mustang, amongst 100s others. Certain aspects of the show were trying to be too realistic, while others were way too much over the top... KITT rolling out of a plane DURING TAKEOFF????

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