The latest Hulk Hogan showcase, following 1989's lamentable NO HOLDS BARRED, SUBURBAN COMMANDO floats somewhere between dreck and nimble and, oddly enough, works best when its star is not onscreen.
Shep Ramsey (Hogan), a humanoid from another solar system, is forced to crash land on Earth after his explosive escape from the space-going battleship of the evil General Suitor (William Ball). The disgruntled commando bashes his power console and, finding himself above our blue planet, makes an
unscheduled pit stop somewhere near Los Angeles. He is, of course, conspicuous, given his gargantuan size and body armor attire. Ramsey immediately shifts into good-deed mode by rescuing a dog locked inside a broiling car... and replacing it with the owner.
The Wilcox family--husband Charlie (Christopher Lloyd), wife Jenny (Shelley Duvall) and children--must themselves wrestle with a thin cash flow. Charlie, an architect, is too timid to ask his boss for a raise. Jenny takes the initiative and cleans out Charlie's backyard bungalow with a plan to
rent. In due course, Ramsey sees the street corner "apartment for rent" sign. Presto, without a reference check or a cash deposit, he is the new boarder. Certainly, milquetoast Charlie is very concerned at the sight of Ramsey; in great understatement, he confesses to Jenny that he may not be able
to protect her if there's trouble. Curious Charlie snoops in Ramsey's room and foolishly fires the ray gun he finds, burning a hole through the wall and blowing up the car next door. (A calamity which goes unmentioned for the remainder of the film.) Charlie quickly flips off the gun, but its power
is detected from a great distance by General Suitor's lieutenant, who dispatches two mesomorphs on an intercept mission.
Ramsey has quickly become a guardian of Charlie and family. He faces down the squad of Hell's Angels-type dragster mechanics next door, and saves Charlie's son from a speeding car. But because Ramsey is edgy prey, he also brandishes a knife when he overreacts to the mailman's delivery. "Hey,
lady, you really oughtta cut this guy's caffeine intake!" the addled postman screams. Ramsey's other adventures include recovering a purse for a female victim, rudely dismantling a car alarm, and punching out a mime whom Ramsey believes needs some impetus to escape from a force field. One night,
Charlie trails Ramsey on his foray to the secret, abandoned garage where his spacecraft is housed. There, after Ramsey leaves, Charlie inspects the ship, dons the body armor and accidentally drops a communication device which alerts the two mute goons of Ramsey's precise location.
Ramsey is not long discerning that Charlie has been meddling. After a confrontation in which Charlie is at a clear disadvantage, they form an unlikely team that retrieves the missing signal device, foils a bank robbery, and attempts to steal 40 pounds of precious "simian crystal" from Charlie's
boss Adrian Beltz (Larry Miller) that is vital to Ramsey's ship. In the half-built office tower that has been erected for Japanese moguls, Ramsey and his pursuers bash about up and down through floors and ceilings until the hunters have been vanquished. Charlie and Ramsey confront the evil General
Suitor himself, who beneath his human exterior is a reptilean creature of considerable strength but low electrical tolerance.
Charlie is the good domestic father whose self-esteem is now much enhanced, and Ramsey the loyal other-worldly ally with a ship at last in good repair. He blasts off, ET-style, ending a moderately paced comedy in which moments of genuine wit have been separated by stretches of middling satire.
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: PG
- Review: The latest Hulk Hogan showcase, following 1989's lamentable NO HOLDS BARRED, SUBURBAN COMMANDO floats somewhere between dreck and nimble and, oddly enough, works best when its star is not onscreen. Shep Ramsey (Hogan), a humanoid from another solar syste… (more)