We’ve had a lot of problems recently finding movies, mainly due to the amount of foreign language films we’ve come across, so the prospect of finding a copy of Turks in Space didn’t fill me with hope. Eventually after weeks of searching and right at the point of giving up, I found a video online that unfortunately had no subtitles. However after finding a separate subtitle file elsewhere we were finally set to watch our second Turkish movie featuring Mehmet Ali Erbil (the first was Kelogan and the Black Prince – see here). Was all this effort worthwhile? What do you think?
Dunyayi Kurtaran Adamin Oglu (Mehmet Ali Erbil) is the son of the man who saved the world, as he reminds you quite often throughout the movie. He leads a Turkish space mission, which lost a crew member, Gokmen (Burak Hakki) in space years ago when his support line was cut by a mysterious figure, and he is now obsessed with finding him. Also on the mission are a ragtag crew of misfits, including a robot with an autotune voice, an old lady cleaner, a dog and various other unfunny characters. When the ship is raided by space pirates and one of the female crew members is kidnapped, The Son must somehow defeat the pirate Zaldabar (Mehmet Ali Erbil again), and rescue a space princess (Burcu Kara) who is tangled up in this mess somehow too. Will The Son find Gokmen? Why does Zaldabar look just like him? Can the Man Who saved the World save it again (I’m honestly not sure what he’s supposed to save it from, but I’m damn sure it needs saving!)? All these questions and more will be answered in my dreams. Hang on….
Turks in Space is a dull movie and now holds the title for the first movie on this list that I fell asleep whilst watching it. Twice. Admittedly I was working nights, so was generally pretty tired much of the time, but on my first attempt to watch it I had already watched one movie that day without feeling the need to sleep, and I’ve sat through a lot of movies now, bad or otherwise, in between waking and working for over a year and I rarely have that problem. So I can be pretty sure it’s the fault of Turks in Space that made me pass out.
A sequel to the Turkish movie Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saved the World AKA Turkish Star Wars since it steals so much footage from that movie) Turks in Space is supposed to be a comedy, and like I said in my Kelogan review, I find it hard to judge a movies comedy on a language I don’t speak, so I may be missing out on any subtle wordplay style jokes, and based in a culture I’m not overly familiar with means I may be missing out on a lot of cultural references.
However the jokes that I did understand, were about as funny as the thought of President Donald Trump. Mostly they seem either based on sex, toilet humour or the general incompetence of the crew. There are also the predictable mistaking one brother for another jokes that have been done so often by better writers, each one of them failing to make them funny, that you wonder why writer Murat Boyacioglu thought he could do any better. At one point they even verbally reiterate a visual joke that happened seconds before just in case you missed it the first time. It’s the movie equivalent of someone explaining back to you why your own joke was funny.
Again, like with Kelogan, I just found Mehmet Ail Erbil to be irritating, and not the charming joker that he obviously sees himself as. To have him play two characters in this was double the pain then. If an actor is talented or funny, this can work well, unfortunately Erbil is more Linsay Lohan (to learn about one of her more awful times that she's played twins see here) than Mike Myers. The rest of the cast are just forgettable, with no discernable acting talent or comedy timing.
Visually it looks more like a low budget rip-off of Galaxy Quest than of Star Wars or Star Trek. Of course a comedy isn’t expected to wow with its visual finesse, even a sci-fi one, however when a film just looks like a parody of a parody, you can’t help but think the set designers just couldn’t be bothered to even try. The sets are cheap and unimaginatively designed, the costumes look like they were made by an amateur cosplayer who’s never actually seen Star Trek, but has had the Starfleet uniforms described to them and thinks they can make one and the CGI just reminds me when Red Dwarf started to use CGI instead of model effects, which just made everything look less realistic
The only positive thing I can say about this movie, is that it made me happy that we had to sub the movie Yes Sir, as making someone watch three Mehmet Ali Erbil films in their lifetime is a torture so foul that it would make the KGB throw up in disgust. This Spaceballs-up is not so much Turkish Star Wars, more Turkish The Phantom Menace…