The Future World (Review)
The Future World
Iran’s film industry has a great reputation of producing killer good artistic flicks that light up international film festivals. Filmmakers work around the censorship of an oppressive regime to create amazing stories with greater allusions that slip past the censorship rules. The Future World (Donyaye Ayandeh – دنیای آینده) isn’t one of those films, this is a mainstream release that steals large portions of its look from Star Wars while giving it a kid-centric focus point. The resulting mishmash of cultures creates a bizarrely familiar film that is filled to the rim with cut rate shadows of the Star Wars originals. Basically, it’s ridiculous, but the slower pace puts it behind other bootleg Star Wars adventures like Turkey’s Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam. Still, there is just enough here that if you enjoy campy scifi stuff in a language you don’t understand with no subtitles (because at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!), The Future World just might be worth checking out. Everyone else can just enjoy the pictures and animated gifs, secure that they’re keeping two hours of their lives for more important things. Like looking for more animated gifs.
My mom says I’m the real Sith Lord!
As The Future World is rare and full of weird stuff, it gets the longform descriptive review treatment! As mentioned, it is without subtitles, and there is very little information about it in English. I only have the names of three of the actors and the director, everything else is a giant mystery that will probably be solved years from now when more information appears online. Until that day, we’ll do what we can.
The CGI used in The Future World would look great in 1982’s Tron, but The Future World dates from 2001, so it doesn’t look that great even in context. Sure, there was all those trade restrictions for decades, but no one is going to think about that when snarking on the CGI quality. All in all, The Future World is a perfect film for TarsTarkas.NET, as it’s something you’ve never seen before mixed with something you have. And it’s ridiculous!
A grandfather reads to his grandson from what looks like the Quran, with just enough shots of old pictures of fantastical things to kind of maybe sort of justify this story isn’t entirely blasphemous (at least that was my interpretation) The grandson then reads a story of his own that takes place in the future of a long time ago in a galaxy far far away that just happens to be this galaxy and also Earth. We got Space Vader with CGI Helmet, and a CGI Y-wing that flies over a Earth.
The family the grandson belongs too has dinner along with Mom and Dad, and they are served by goofy Gilligan type Weird Uncle Caretaker, whom I’m guessing was the comic relief the film didn’t really need but has anyway. The Original Kid goes to sleep, and you can guess by the fact I’m now calling him “Original Kid” that another kid has shown up, this kid is knocking on the Original Kid’s window, hence I call him Knocking Kid.
As you can imagine, Knocking Kid is up to no good, and has his friend Original Kid sneak out to go look at a parked CGI A-Wing spaceship in a nearby field (the sky of said field is also red for some reason!) Also they are joined by a Third Kid, who doesn’t have any lines at the moment and even sits in the back of the spaceship while Original Kid and Knocking Kid sit in the two control seats. Third Kid knows his role, a role that was completely pointless.
I would be remiss if I didn’t note that Original Kid changed into a red vest before going looking for spaceships.
The owners of the parked spaceship return, they are wearing red helmets, red capes, black outfits with a silver plate with a giant red button in the middle of it, black domino masks, and gold paint on their faces. And are carrying laser guns. They are not too happy to find a bunch of random kids in their spaceship. Knocking Kid mouths off to them, while Original Kid acts nervous. Third Kid pretends to not exist as he’s not needed in this scene.
The ship takes off with the kids on it, now as prisoners. Basically these kids performed their own alien abductions! The ship is a shuttle that takes them to the even bigger ship, the X2, which is not related to the X-Men movie. As far as we know…
The X2 is at least not stolen from anything I recognize, or it is put together so badly that I don’t recognize where it is stolen from.
The X2’s crew includes a lady in black with a domino mask and a beret (henceforth known as Black Beret), a lady in blue with a black domino mask and beret (henceforth known as Blue Beret), and a guy in a red outfit who is wearing a red leather shower cap (henceforth known as Red Cap). But they aren’t even the most interesting parts, because the ship is stacked with robot Stormtroopers with toasters for heads! There are a few human Stormtroopers too, dressed in a black, grey, and red version of the outfit the shuttle pilot wore, but without the gold bodypaint on their faces.
The three kids are brought before Red Cap, Blue Beret, and Black Beret. Black Beret and Blue Beret aren’t too keen on the meddling kids. Third Kid actually opens his mouth to speak when the most amazing thing so far happens. Darth Toaster enters the room! It’s Darth Vader with a toaster head! And he is flanked by two Royal Toaster Guards! All the toast you would ever need! Darth Toaster has his own evil theme music, because he’s that cool.
Two Royal Toaster Guards bring in a prisoner, who is dressed similarly to the other main officers on the ship, sans helmet. Darth Toaster yells at him, then raises his hand, which is now holding a glowing red ball. Darth Toaster zaps the prisoner with an energy wave from this red ball for 30 seconds or so, killing the prisoner.
So good job establishing you are evil to children by murdering a random guy who failed you. Knocking Kid and Third Kid are thrown in a room with two other children, one of which is in Blackface! The other kid is dressed in red with what looks like it is supposed to be a Chinese-style shirt, and he keeps his hands in his sleeves, which makes me think he is supposed to be Chinese despite not looking Chinese in the slightest. It’s interesting that they decided to include kids from other cultures, even if these two children barely do anything in this film. This is one of the few times that knowing what was happening would help, though it doesn’t take away from the fact this looks ridiculously racist to modern American eyes.
Original Kid is put back in the shuttle, good for him because Weird Uncle was also hiding in the shuttle and comes out then. Great, the comic relief has returned for more “comedy”. Weird Uncle doesn’t even believe they are in a spaceship until he sees Earth from a convenient window, despite him having gotten into a spaceship and hid their all throughout the journey to the bigger spaceship and while guards were mentioning they were in space. Let’s also not wonder how he can see Earth through the window of the shuttle when it is docked inside a larger spaceship.
Original Kid’s parents have high-tech devices for scanning deep space in their living room that they are using to find their son. You know those fancy high-tech devices for deep space scanning all parents have, because if your son is missing deep space is the first place to check.
If you are thinking “Hey, this Iranian Star Wars movie could use some little people!”, then congratulations, because one shows up in the next scene! Weird Uncle and Original Kid have wandered off the shuttle and Weird Uncle is playing the harmonica, which lures a nearby little person Stormtrooper like a siren song. I’m not sure what that means, but it happened. They give the Little Stormtrooper the harmonica and he’s a natural!
Original Kid’s Dad is now flying around town in his CGI Y-Wing and dressed in a Han Solo vest as well. This isn’t that unusual, we all remember that even Lando wore Han Solo’s clothes at the end of Empire Strikes Back. It’s poetry, it rhymes.
The villains are doing something that sucks the minds of the two captured kids the other two kids met in the strange room, so forget about those kids, they are out of the story, forever.
The harmonica group are having a grand old time until a Toaster Trooper wanders by, Original Kid and Weird Uncle hide, while the Little Stormtrooper goes with the Toaster Trooper. Dad finds the X2 and just lands inside it no problem whatsoever, the ship not caring that a random spacecraft wants to dock inside it, and Dad is free to wander around the X2 without opposition until he stumbles across his son and Weird Uncle.
Darth Toaster and Red Cap converse with another bad guy dressed in red, though he has no leather helmet and appears nervous. Darth Toaster gives him the old red button zapping and he’s dead!
Original Kid, Weird Uncle, and Dad wander into a prison section (again, no guards!) and converse with an Old Man Prisoner who explains how Darth Toaster and his goons are evil. Darth Toaster kills everyone who fails him, but leaves this guy alive? That’s weird…
The three heroes later get captured for a few seconds when they wander into guards, but Dad just beats up the guards. Then they get captured again a few scenes later, this time actually thrown in the jail! Basically there were several scenes that could have been easily combined into a single scene here. The jail’s walls start to move to smash the heroes like in the trash compactor scene, so Weird Uncle uses the harmonica to lure the Little Trooper over to open the doors for them. Harmonicas, is there anything they can’t do?
The heroes find some food sitting around on a table (Weird Uncle dives in!) and also find a mysterious lady in a crown who appears to be their friend, maybe. Probably not.
Not is correct as the food is a trick and Mysterious Lady flips out and transforms into some sort of monster while screaming after being found out. She turned into a Wampa! Okay, a yeti thing that in no way is a Wampa, except for the fact it is obviously supposed to be a Wampa. It’s really a guy in bunch of wool with a painted face, which makes it also a good candidate for giving this flick an Awful Monster Costumes tag!
Dad holds the monster so his son and Weird Uncle can get by, but they leave Dad to his fate. Sorry, Dad! Dad opens a door on the side of the X2 (why can random people, even people tagged as prisoners, open doors into the void of space on a huge spaceship???) and taunts the Wampa to lunge at him, then steps out of the way as the Wampa falls out of the ship and falls to its death. Sure, this is scientifically ridiculous, but it’s also hilarious!
Cool that the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons exist in the future world
Black Beret exposes herself to Original Kid. Not that way, you pervs! She takes off her mask and shows she looks just like his Mom. I can’t tell if she is supposed to actually be his mom or not. She takes Original Kid, Dad, and Weird Uncle to Blue Beret and Red Cap, where they all have a spirited debate until Darth Toaster and his Royal Toaster Guards show up.
Darth Toaster decides he is going to zap Original Kid, though he takes forever to raise his arm up to aim it at the Original Kid, which gives Dad enough time to stop watching and punch Darth Toaster’s head clean off!
Darth Toaster was a robot (ignore the human eyes you could see through the eye holes of the mask, okay! They were robot human eyes!) Thus evil was defeated, by some guy simply palm punching an evil robot in the head. This also lets the Old Man out of jail, and he deactivates the Royal Toaster Guards.
Old Man rescues Knocking Kid and Third Kid, and everyone parties down as Little Trooper jams on the harmonica!
Also Black Beret was the source of a random narrator that was helping Original Kid, something that was done so vaguely I didn’t even pick up that he was supposed to be hearing her talk, and it was so useless I didn’t even mention it until now. But now I am, so enjoy the mention.
Then the X2 explodes!?!?! Was everyone still aboard? WTF is going on?
The humans have all returned to Earth on the A-Wing and Y-Wing shuttles, and we cut to Original Kid asleep in his bed. Was it all a dream? What isn’t a dream is Knocking Kid knocking on his window again. I guess that’s the sequel hook?
Original Kid then closes the book from the beginning and waves to the camera. It was all just a movie, folks! Relax!
And there you have it. Star Wars gone Iranian. One of the weaker Star Wars ripoffs, but still head and tails above many of the Italian entries (minus Star Crash, which is in an amazing category of its own!)
I love films like this that take concepts wholesale from American films and twist them into their own culture, and it is pretty telling that they decided that it works best as a blatant children’s film. Because Star Wars is fun for all ages, even as many of the kids who grew up on it are now adults and wanting more adult-geared stories. The Future World is available on DVD, so it shouldn’t be that hard to track down. There are no English subtitles that I am aware of, but if you just want the visuals, feel free to track it down. But stick to Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam or Star Crash if you want knock-off Star Wars craziness that will entertain anyone!
Quick, land this okay effect inside that terrible effect!
Rated 6/10 (Where was this guy in the movie?, palm blisters, zappo, falling to Earth, Wampa before she hulked out, needs some hand lotion!)
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