I think it’s kind of funny that lately I’ve been visiting my local library a bit more often and I will keep an eye out for movies that might be on my list that I haven’t reviewed yet. This is one that I noticed, but for a long while decided against picking it up, but I would still keep checking on it from time to time and I noticed that just about every other time I would go there, this movie would be checked out. The only thing I really knew about it was that it was yet another one of those Stan Lee original movies that aren’t affiliated with Marvel, along with the likes of Mosaic, the Condor, and Mighty 7. The only difference is that this one is actually a live action movie that was made for the Sci-Fi channel despite the cover art character who looks like a CGI character with way more muscles than Jason Connery. It totally feels like a very low budget TV movie that essentially creates a middle aged Flash in order to fight the Lizard except he’s the Python. It was pretty poor on all levels, from characters to plot to special effects.
The film starts off right away feeling like a 90’s era procedural with some tracking establishing shots and moments of repeated slo-mo that fades into each other to drive home a moment. We get to see the supervillain of the piece as Python looks like a literal python, covered head to toe in snake scales. Shortly afterward we get the science experiment gone wrong backstory and it takes a good forty minutes before we get to the creation of the hero of the story. But there isn’t any lightning bolt or particle accelerator explosion, instead Daniel gets too much exposure from what looks like a heat lamp while he’s in the hospital recovering from injuries caused by Python’s earlier raid. But the super powers don’t show up right away, we still have to sit through a rehabilitation montage that takes a good three months before he suddenly gets his super speed. And with most super speedsters, the strain is too much for him and he has to find some way to keep himself together. In this case, he alternatively drinks a little bottle of what looks like blue energy drink or injects it directly into his arm. There’s not really any explanation, as there is very little explanation for anything going on in this entire movie.
One of the more infuriating things about this movie is how little things are explained. There is so much going on, but it’s difficult to understand how everything fits together or why. We have Python and his cohort which may or may not be his brother. And on the other side of things there’s Daniel and Beth who are two members of this Ghost Squad of the military trying to take Python down. Python is also after various tech pieces including one that creates a localized extreme temperature drop, but the explanation for how that ties into Python’s plan to kill millions of people is empty. There’s also hints of a traitor in the midst of the Ghost Squad, but the reveal at the end is completely hollow as there was never any motivation or foreshadowing. We just find out that it was the captain, played by Lee Majors of all people, because of reasons.
As far as the acting goes, no one really makes any impact outside of Daniel Goddard who plays Python. He feels like he’s in a completely different movie from everyone else and it’s almost worth watching this film just for his performance alone. He whispers and hisses his lines with smooth rage and sinister intentions while everyone else feels extremely flat and emotionless. Lightspeed is one of the most boring speedsters ever brought to film, and on top of that it’s so random to have him be this middle aged white guy that could totally pass for Agent Coulson’s stand in. But where Coulson was charming and funny, Daniel is dull and lifeless. His girlfriend Beth isn’t much better. She’s initially an equal member of the Ghost Squad and even takes down one of Python’s men in a later raid. But when she’s captured by Python during the climax, she turns on a dime and becomes a complete damsel in distress waiting for her Lightspeed to rescue her.
The special effects overall in this film aren’t anything to write home about as might be expected for a TV movie budget from the 2000’s. While the make up for Python is actually quite excellent, everything else feels like it was made about ten years earlier. Lightspeed’s speed effects weren’t any better than the effects used for the 90’s TV series version of the Flash. The costume wasn’t any better either, even though it was explained away as being something bought from a sporting goods store. It still looked exceedingly dull and it didn’t even mask his identity for very long, as Python was able to sense who it was both by his apparent super snake senses, and also via something that Daniel said. Nothing about this film was very interesting aside from Python, but nothing that Python did really made any sense. He has a vendetta against the government something something his dead sister, it’s all very unclear and the focus is supposedly on the action. And surprisingly the action in this film is quite violent. The body count is quite high and with plenty of bloody bullet hits. Not that it ever matters much since none of the characters getting gunned down make any impact before getting shot. But surprising nonetheless. It’s just a mess of a film with a boring hero and a great looking, great sounding villain with no motivation and a hard to follow plan. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.