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‘Suburban Commando’ (PG)

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
October 11, 1991

"Suburban Commando" feels like it was written by 14-year-olds for an audience of 12-year-olds, but it's likely to be enjoyed only by an audience of 10-year-olds (and barely at that). A lumbering Hulk Hogan vehicle, it is a cartoon acted out by unanimated characters, including several veteran actors who should seriously think about changing agents (are you listening, Christopher Lloyd and Shelley Duvall?). As for Hogan, he wrestles with his lines and they win time and again. If only his delivery were as well oiled as his body. Maybe Hogan's Saturday morning cartoon alter ego should have been brought in as a stunt double for scenes involving dialogue.

Hogan plays a space cowboy being hunted by a pair of bounty hunters sent by a madman who would be ruler of the universe. The Hulkster has crash-landed in a lily-white suburb, and while waiting for his ship to recharge he takes a spare room with a quirky family (Lloyd and Duvall). Along the way he deals with those pesky hunters, skateboarding kids and next-door neighbors who resemble professional wrestlers but who, in one of the film's few successful jokes, threaten to end a dispute with the Hulkster not with their fists ("Are you nuts?") but with their lawyers ("This is the '90s, we're gonna sue").

Too bad that option's not open to moviegoers.

The film reeks of cheapness: It looks as if it was shot on leftover film stock, and the soundtrack seems to have been assembled from scraps of a dozen other films. The effects are K mart and the acting is on par with the script. On the other hand, there is a countdown clock toward the end, so you won't have any difficulty gauging how much time is left on this bomb.

Even then, it goes poof.

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