It’s such a shame we never got to see more of “Star Kid” down the road, as it had potential to break out in to its own kids franchise. Sure concepts like these are a dime a dozen these days, but “Star Kid” had a lot of interesting ideas behind it. It’s “The Guyver” meets “ET” with a hint of “Green Lantern” and I wouldn’t have minded seeing this idea explored with other alien species attempting to invade Earth, all the while exploring the larger abilities of this suit. “Star Kid” is one of those science fiction action films that came and went with barely a notice in 1997. I think it deserves a lot more credit for its ideas and great monsters.
“Star Kid” is set in a small town where young Spencer, a bright but alienated young boy finds himself the victim of constant bullying. He gets to live out his fantasies from his favorite comic books when a high tech suit of sentient armor called a “Cyborsuit” crash lands in his home town. Said suit is the product of an alien race in the middle of an intergalactic war, and Spencer becomes the inadvertent host who wears it and begins getting in to all kinds of adventures around town. But little does he know he’s being hunted by a monstrous alien foe who wants the suit to bring it back home to use as a weapon of mass destruction. “Star Kid” works as fantasy fulfillment that places our hero in to this high tech armor capable of great feats who quickly realizes his responsibilities with this power.
At first he begins tormenting his school bully, and fooling around but finds importance when his town is in great need. It also becomes essential for him to evolve when the alien menace invades his home town and tries many times to kill his friends and allies. “Star Kid” is very non-violent but often exciting and star Joseph Mazzello pulls off the role as Spencer, who forms a bond with the Cyborsuit’s Artificial Intelligence over the course of the movie. Sadly, at over a hundred minutes in length, the writers never take the time to build more on Spencer’s alienation, or build an actual villain. We know Spencer’s mom died, allowing him to feel lost, but there’s never a bigger sense of isolation that introduces his bond with the suit. Also, it’s never indicated if the alien that we meet in the final half is our main villain or just a henchman.
It’s alluded that the war is still continuing, but does that mean that more aliens are coming to Earth? Was the alien that we meet a bounty hunter, or a soldier? Either way, despite lacking a more solid villain, or focus on Spencer’s back story, “Star Kid” is a very good bit of escapism with a creative premise, and a great sense of whimsy within it. I wish we’d had seen a sequel, or spin off of some kind to help build on this movie.