Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 20, 2021)
Now the ripe age of 90, William Shatner continues to work at a fairly relentless pace – well, after a break for the COVID-ruined year of 2020. Shatner returns as the star of 2021’s comedy Senior Moment.
Retired NASA test pilot Victor Martin (Shatner) loves his vintage Porsche convertible. However, his automotive shenanigans lead him to lose his license and find his beloved roadster impounded.
Now stuck on public transportation, he meets café owner Caroline Summers (Jean Smart), a conservative woman who views his antics with disdain. Could love develop between these apparent antagonists?
Well, duh. The “opposites attract” concept goes back centuries, if not millennia, and outside of the focus on elderly characters, Moment brings nothing new to the notion.
Still, a movie doesn’t need to innovate to entertain, and Moment manages to find occasional moments of fun. These primarily stem from the cast, as the talent involved adds charm to the stale narrative.
In particular, Shatner looks like he had a ball as he played his version of the old man who refuses to acknowledge his age. Of course, as depicted here, he gets incentive to ignore the calendar – after all, bikini models seem to dig him, so why not?
In any case, it seems inevitable that Victor will learn some maturity as the film proceeds, all via his relationship with Caroline. Despite the notions in the synopsis, Victor and Caroline don’t butt heads as much as expected, so the main conflict comes between Victor and his refusal to accept his age.
The story really does seem trite as can be, especially when an apparent love triangle evolves that also involves Caroline’s pal Diego Lozana (Esai Morales). Though the movie attempts some twists there, it finds no creativity, as one can predict the curveball far in advance.
With a banal script that lacks insight or originality, the actors find themselves without much meat, but they still make the most of it. As noted, Shatner seems to enjoy himself, as he shows vitality and vivacity that one wouldn’t expect of a man 10 years from his 100th birthday.
Smart proves a warm, affable love interest, though the movie’s best moments come from the interactions of Shatner and Christopher Lloyd as Victor’s lifelong pal Sal. The two old pros ignite when together and create the film’s most fun elements.
I wish Shatner, Smart, Lloyd and the others found themselves in a superior project, as the cliché nature of Moment restricts its cinematic potential. Still, the actors offer enough talent and life to make this a moderately enjoyable experience.