EXPLORERS

year: 1986
cast: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix
rating: *1/2

Joe Dante was a good director before this movie, and River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke were good actors after. There in-between lies a science-fiction fantasy about three dull young boys who build a spaceship out of garbage and with some kind of computer creating a forcefield around it, they fly around. There's plenty of tricks but no magic. Joe Dante seems as if he were trying for another "Gremlins", but perhaps without Steven Speilberg producing, doing a Speilbergian film doesn't quite work. It's at least somewhat entertaining until the bottom falls out and the spaceship (named after the Bruce Springsteen song "Thunder Road") graduates past crashing into drive-in theaters and goes to another planet inhabited by big silly looking monsters. Then all goes to hell; that which wasn't heaven to begin with.

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