Hulu’s FUTURE MAN takes us back in time in new series
33 years after The Last Starfighter stole the hearts of fanboys everywhere, Funny or Die creator and comedic actor Will Ferrell and close friend Evan Goldberg update the story for a new generation in Hulu’s 13-episode series FUTURE MAN. Unlike the 1984 innocuous film, the 2017 “remake” follows similar Ferrell-Goldberg collaborations with gross-out gags and R-rated humor.
Hunger Game‘s Josh Hutcherson assumes the lead role as Josh (or Joshy as his parents call him) Futterman, a deadbeat janitor who still lives with his parents and whose goal in life is to be the first person to pass all levels of the Biotic Wars. Working at Kronish Laboratories, a medical lab trying to cure herpes, Futterman would rather spend his time at work playing Biotic War than excelling as his menial position.
Like Starfighter, after Josh finally beats the game, he finds that the game was designed as a training tool to find ‘The Savior”, the leader of the Resistance who will help save the human race which finds itself on the brink of extinction in 2162 as a result of Dr. Kronish creating the Biotics, a super race immune to disease.
Whereas Alex Rogan had Grig in The Last Starfighter, Josh has Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and her fellow soldier Wolf (Derek Wilson) leading the fight against the Biotics. Tiger is Josh’s video game crush come alive who doesn’t have eyes for him whereas Wolf is Tiger’s meathead comrade, both struggling with Josh being simply a geeky video gamer and not the lethal force he was beating the video game.
Hulu only provided the first seven episodes for preview, however, it is clear in the initial episodes that this is an idea that would have been better served as a 90 minute movie, allowing the writers to utilize their best jokes and moving the story along at a quicker pace than is done during the first half of season one. Failing to cast the always funny Ron Funchess for more than one scene and not finding a way for Coupe to use her quick wit also highlight the limits of this script.
FUTURE MAN isn’t all that bad, succeeding when it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also includes its fair share of laugh out loud moments, whether it be video game store employees discussing their preference of video game characters for sexual endeavors, Josh’s first encounter with Tiger and Wolf, and an ongoing joke about Tiger and Wolf being the worst time travelers ever (a fun nod to Back to the Future and the importance of not making changes that impact the future).
Now if only Ferrell, Goldberg, and company could go back in time and re-write this as a movie…
Video game fans can stream all 13 episodes of FUTURE MAN on November 14th.
Future Man is at its funniest during its bawdy moments.
Glenne Headley's last role (she passed away during filming of the series).
Hulu's decision to add commercials for paid subscribers. Take a page from Netflix and go commercial-free for original programming...even for those only paying $7.99/month.
Providing a recap before each episode doesn't work in today's world of binging.