“Solarbabies” opens up on an orphanage, so I’m immediately sold. Apparently a nuclear war has wiped out much of the Earth. I’ll just let IMDB sum it up, because frankly, I had no idea what’s going on. Apparently, the plot of “Solarbabies” is too much for my brain to handle:
“In the future, a nuclear war has left the Earth as a desert wasteland where the ocean has dried up leaving the Earth as a vast desert landscape. Most of the water supplies are controlled by the elite corporation E-Protectcorate, where the E-Protectcorate takes children away from their families. The kids are forced to live in a orphanage, where they are to be trained as E-Police, the E-Protectcorate’s security army led by the cruel commanding officer Grock.”
So that’s what’s up. And the place is kind of a cross between the orphanage from “Annie” and Seattle Grace, especially that one hallway.
So anyway, there is a shot from “E.T.” and then here is Sarah Polley, only it’s actually Lukas Haas and I just thought he was Sarah Polley at first. Everyone is skating around like it is “Starlight Express!” Because this is how they unwind after a sad, gray, fascist day.
OMG it is Nathan Petrelli with Jesse’s hair in “Taking Woodstock,” and he is with a hawk! He watches with his Spinner from “Degrassi” look of concerned bemusement and asks, “You want it by the rules? Then why not be square and fair?”
So this game they play is basically a low-budget “Survivor” challenge in a roller rink that is like hockey, only not. Something comes up about how the kids are being kept safe, and it’s really depressing to think about “Solarbabies” foreshadowing modern-day America, and it reminds me of that sad October in 1982 when parents were told not to let their kids go trick-or-treating because it was too dangerous, and we had to have a stupid party instead.
Because it is the ‘80s, there is a runaway cart but Lukas Haas is no Short Round, and gets run over. BUT what have we here — obviously, it is a prophetic orb! Come to heal Lukas Haas who was apparently deaf, but not now, thanks to the orb.
There are so many perms. So, so many. And the downtrodden permed ones are lined up to follow orders or hear a speech or something, much like on the first day of a cruise where everyone is lined up for life preserver training and it is pre-cruise weight gain, but also pre-cruise tan/gym/hikes, so everyone stands around looking wan and awkward, lacking muscle tone or confidence.
This guy is in charge, I’m guessing of the E-P… what the heck, IMDB? How many different ways are you going to spell that word? Good grief. So there is a guy in charge who I’m told isn’t Brian Dennehy, only he totally is, at least in a way. Someone is asking him why he lets the kids get away with their roller disco, and he responds, “It’s good for morale. Lets them feel like they’re getting away with something.”
Kelly Bishop is here! Hooray!
As is Jami Gertz, which you’d expect, and her hair is not in a banana clip, but it may as well be — you know?
Also in this movie is the guy from “Singles” who Kyra Sedgwick gets back together with and they say “I love you” over breakfast and have no chemistry. Here in “Solarbabies” he says “pseudo-factoid,” but isn’t that redundant? And Jamie Gertz reads about rain and they’re all cynical but then whoa! Rain everywhere. Because of the orb.
Oh and Jason Patric is in the movie because he and Jami Gertz were the most popular couple in the high school hallway of ‘80s cinema, and he is playing a character named Jason, by way of Tony Danza.
Nathan is back with his hawk. Only I think it’s actually an owl. Cool.
I don’t know what I’m referring to here, but my note says: “Creepy, like a ride at Epcot Center.” Wish I knew what that meant. Either way, Jason punches Spinner but because he is deep, not just a punching machine, he talks to the orb. And what do you know, but the orb talks back! 😮 And has a LONG-ass monologue that I am morbidly curious about, how many people have used it in Acting 101. Orb’s name is Bohdai, and he talks about visions of how the Earth used to be, and the whole thing feels like that one commercial from the ‘70s about how awesome it was to be a girl. (“Today there’s a revolution going onnnn — it’s girrrrrls. GIRRRLLLSS! They’re swinging, singing, (something) doing they’re thinggg — it’s beautifullll — ohohohohhhhhh.”)
I’m not gonna lie. I enjoyed the movie, and I appreciate the whole quest for liberty thing going on, but I had no idea what was going on for the most part. They are playing ball again, and Bohdai is acting like the Quidditch snitch, and Jason hits it and it turns to glitter and lands in Lukas Haas’s basket.
I don’t know.
Then Bohdai connects the main characters with a purple lightning as they stand in a circle and laugh for about 20 minutes, while Nathan Petrelli watches from…somewhere.
On the plus side, Jami Gertz says “They’ve conditioned us here to be afraid.” Where are you now, Jami Gertz! Preach it!
Okay, right. There is this main bad guy whom I’m guessing is “Grock,” and he is basically supposed to be a Nazi, only he’s like, a “Sound of Music” Nazi and it’s hard to feel intimidated when you’re waiting for someone to burst into song whilst dressed in powder blue.
The main characters escape from the orphanage! “We’re free!” Jami Gertz says, for those who don’t get it (thanks again, Jami Gertz) and then we get an AMAZING ‘80s ballad of triumph. “Love Will Set You Free!”
Uh oh! They’ve been spotted! By what, I don’t know, because I can’t read my handwriting! They climb under rocks to try and get away, but there is a cliff! And there is a bridge, but it is broken! So what do they do? They skate over the gap! And the guy on the motorcycle chasing them tries to get over it too, but he doesn’t make it, and the bike explodes, because it’s the ‘80s.
More Nathan Petrelli. He’s talking to his owl and lets him fly away while he walks on a sand dune and is now…I don’t know. There are tents and wind chimes and a funhouse, so clearly, it is not Killer Klowns. And Nathan is wearing a ripped tank top to show off his nipple.
Oh no, the fascists! In tanks! And Spinner is helping them, and he shoots Nathan’s owl. BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Nathan cries, and I lol. But then he leaves his Quidditch mitt with the owl and it’s sad.
“Now less Epcot, more Universal Studios.” Sad day when I can understand neither the plot of “Solarbabies” nor my own notes.
There is a pretty creepy part where human Doberman bounty hunters wander around, looking for work.
Ew! The fascists are torturing a guy with ants. He tells them what they want to know (It’s all about Bodhai, btw, the bad guys want to destroy him), and the fascists take the guy away to murder him.
Grock is training Spinner on how to manipulate people’s fear. And he makes Spinner believe his flesh is melting away, and Spinner screams! But it’s all an illusion, as were the ants.
Back to the Solarbaby gang. They’re in a cave, and there is a painting of ecowarriors on the wall. In stark contrast to…
The Solarbabies on wanted posters! In Tire Town, where the human Dobermans are from. People are slaves and have to make tires all day and get called vermin 😥 Somewhere in there, Lukas Haas finds Bohdai in a truck, and Jami Gertz’s bangs stand straight up in the air.
They fight! It’s pretty cool!
The Solarbabies escape in tires! Minus Jami Gertz, who is trapped in a fire! And the Solarbabies think she is dead.
And Grock is flirting with a woman who is wearing giant shoulder pads.
The Dobermans trap Jami Gertz and then capture all of them…somehow. But Jami Gertz lures the bounty hunter away from his duty and I officially have no idea what is going on, even more than before. Basically, the gist is that Jami Gertz is the long-lost daughter of some cult leader, and Lukas Haas is holding a goat.
They find water! And all go swimming, and we get shirtless Jason and he and Jami Gertz are both wet, and the water just stays in beads on their skin, not evaporating whatsoever. Jason says they need to leave because they stole Bohdai (okay…) and Jami Gertz kisses him.
They break out of Tire Town and Jami Gertz’s hair is clean and very curly and not in a ponytail and she is wearing a white dress, so you know this is the climax.
Lukas Haas hears Bohdai singing. Shoulder Pads Lady is trying to disembowel Bohdai, oh no! So the guy from “Singles” pole vaults over the gates of Grock’s fortress and lets the others in. Shoulder Pads lady and Spinner are trying to destroy the sphere, but never fear, Solarbabies are here! Chased by scary guard dogs! Actual dogs, not the human Dobermans. And worst of all, Jason loses his shoe!
They skate down the hallway that awesomely looks like a high school, and here comes Nathan Petrelli to help! He takes down Spinner, and Lukas Haas takes the sphere! He and Shoulder Pads fight over it and Shoulder Pads’s hands catch on FIRE and she gets electrocuted! Then some robot attacks Grock! Spinner shoots the robot and kills Grock. Not sure why.
Evacuate! The place is gonna blow! The whole building starts falling apart, and a dam breaks! The water is now for everyone! And on top of that, a purple mist rises up — it is a thundercloud!
“It’s more than just a thunderstorm. Water’s free again…it’s free.” Thank you, Jami Gertz.
Bodhai is better! I guess he was sick before. And he is now free! He forms a glowing orb that surrounds all of them, then swirls up and away, transforming into “The More You Know” logo.
Lukas Haas’s hand glows purple, then Jamie Gertz’s, and so on until they have another purple glowing witch moment. Because Bohdai will always be with them.
~THE END ~
Whoaaa. The closing credits are like an opening sequence to a show from the ‘90s about teens in California (take your pick which one) and the song is the song from before, that could have seamlessly fit into the “Wet Hot American Summer” soundtrack.
Loved that movie growing up but I never (and stIll don’t) understood why Jason Patrick never kissed Jamie back.
Right? Jamie Gertz!!!!!