"Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar" (2023)

by Joseph Perry and Mike Imboden

In our “The Good, the Bad, and the Verdict” film reviews, Joseph and Mike give their thoughts on a slice of cinema. For this installment, it’s Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar, starring Michael Paré (Streets of Fire, Eddie and The Cruisers), Olivier Gruner (Nemesis, Showdown in Manila), and Sarah French (Pretty Boy, Automation) which is directed by Garo Setian and distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment.


A father-daughter team of space scavengers must race against a band of evil mercenaries to reach the legendary treasures on board a lost mythical freighter.  Their quest will force them to navigate a universe filled with giant monsters, aliens, robots and a mortal enemy seeking vengeance.

The Good

Joseph: I used to love unrealistic space operas as a kid. Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Lost In Space, The Green Slime, and a host of 1950s science fiction, for example, so I’m no stranger to what Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is trying to pull off. It’s meant to be a purely entertaining movie with no scientific mumbo jumbo to get in the way of the good folks vs. bad folks plot. The cast members and director are all obviously having fun and not taking things too seriously, and if you are seeking out a science fiction movie with that kind of vibe, this one should appeal to you.   

Mike: I’m not going to lie and shower unearned praise on Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar because, let’s face it, at the end of the day it’s not that good of a movie.

HOWEVER . . .  With that said, this film knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to put lipstick on a pig to try and fool you.  It looks low budget, has mediocre special effects, sets that aren’t very elaborate, and has costumes that look either like the actors brought their own outfits or raided an S&M aficionado's closet. While not exactly groundbreaking, the story is interesting and has enough happening to keep you invested in going along for the ride — something that is made much easier by the main actors and the roles they play.  Michael Paré as Kip and Sarah French as his daughter Taylor make for a believable familial duo playing off of, and coming across as truly caring for, one another in a realistic way.  There are some over the top performances, but they manage to take themselves just seriously enough that they don’t come across as absolute buffoons or cliché caricatures. Fans of campy sci-fi B-movies could do a lot worse than Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar.

The Bad

Joseph: This could almost be a family sci-fi film, and much of it feels that way, but a prolonged fist fight between a man and a woman seems oddly out of place in a supposed family film. You know the Dragonball Z episodes where two rivals talk about fighting for the full running time without actually doing so? This sequence is the opposite, as the fight scene drags on for an uncomfortably long time. Also, I was concerned that the scenery might have completely disappeared by the end of the film, as it was being chewed so much. Speaking of scenery, I couldn’t help but chuckle at all of the green screen effects on display. The list of made-up names for things and places is pretty long. And then there are the CGI effects.

Mike:  It would be easy to just pick this apart and point out every flaw and blemish, but doing so would be like a bully pushing someone around. The biggest problem I had with it was that some of the plot points were pretty easy to guess early on and a couple of the actors were very bad at delivering their lines. One of the characters who might have been the most visually memorable one isn’t around long enough to do much of anything which is a shame as I would have loved to have gotten to know them better.  And while there ARE some exterior shots, it would have been nice to have seen more scenes outside of the few spaceships we see often.  

The Verdict

Joseph: If you’re in a lighthearted mood, Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar won’t have you reaching for the remote at home or staring at your watch in the cinema. It has a “Let’s put on a show!” verve to it, as well as big-hearted energy. Director/cowriter Garo Setian had a movie in mind that he wanted to make, and budget be darned, he saw his vision through. That’s enough for me to give it a mild recommendation.

Mike:  Temper your expectations and Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar can be a good time.  Fun characters, above-average low budget special effects, and an entertaining story that doesn’t bog down too much are just enough to keep this from tumbling over the cliff of regret and becoming an eye-rolling slog.  If I’m being totally honest, I’d be excited if there was a sequel. Space Wars: The Revenge of Manx, maybe.

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar, from Uncork’d Entertainment, is in theaters today, April 21st, and hits digital on May 2, 2023.

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar

Directed By: Garo Setian

Written By: Garo Setian and Joe Knetter

Starring:  Michael Paré, Olivier Gruner, and Sarah French

Run Time: 1h 30m

Rating:  NR

Release Date: April 21, 2023 (May 2, 2023 digital)