The Meteor Man (film)
|The Meteor Man|
Theatrical one-sheet for The Meteor Man
|Directed by||Robert Townsend|
|Produced by||Robert Townsend
Loretha C. Jones
|Written by||Robert Townsend|
James Earl Jones
Big Daddy Kane
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister
|Music by||Cliff Eidelman|
|Cinematography||John A. Alonzo|
|Editing by||Adam Bernardi
Robaire W. Estel
|Release date(s)||August 6, 1993 (USA)|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Box office||$8,023,147 (USA)|
The Meteor Man is a 1993 American superhero comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Robert Townsend, and featuring an ensemble cast. Townsend stars as a mild-mannered schoolteacher, who becomes a superhero after his neighborhood in Washington, D.C. is terrorized by street gangs.  Although the film is set in Washington, it was mostly filmed in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Robert Townsend named the film's protagonist Jefferson Reed, after one of his childhood heroes, his favorite teacher.
Jefferson Reed is a mild mannered school teacher in Washington D.C.. His neighborhood is terrorized by a local gang called The Golden Lords. One night, Jeff steps in to rescue a woman from the gang, only to end up running from them himself. Hiding in a garbage dumpster, he manages to escape, and as he climbs out, he is struck down by a glowing green meteorite. His spine is crushed and he receives severe burns. A small fragment of the meteor was left over and taken by a mute vagrant named Marvin (Bill Cosby). Reed awakens several days later in the hospital, but when his bandages are taken off, he is miraculously healed of all injuries.
Jeff soon discovers the meteorite has left him with abilities, such as flight, x-ray vision, superhuman strength and speed, invulnerability, healing powers, absorb a book's content by touch, freezing breath, telepathy with dogs and telekinesis. Confiding this to his parents (Robert Guillaume and Marla Gibbs), they convince him to use his powers to help the community. His mother designs a costume and as The Meteor Man, he takes on the Golden Lords and their leader Simon Caine (Roy Fegan). He shuts down 15 crack houses, stops 11 robberies, brings peace between the police, the Crips and Bloods (who begin to work together to rebuild the community they destroyed) and plants a giant garden in the middle of the ghetto.
The Golden Lords learn Meteor Man's secret identity, and his slowly diminishing powers. As the violence gets out of hand, and The Golden Lords continue their attacks, the community members plan to make a deal with them, but Jeff instead teaches them about fighting for their beliefs. A now powerless Jeff fights Simon and is beaten up. Simon points his gun at Jeff, but Jeff's neighbor, Earnest Moses (James Earl Jones), throws a record at him, successfully knocking the gun out of Simon's hand. Suddenly, the neighborhood fights back and the vagrant who picked up the meteor fragment uses it to strip the Golden Lords of their guns. He accidentally drops the meteor and both Jeff and Simon grab a piece of the rock, gaining superpowers, and engage in a brawl, with Meteor Man winning.
Later, drug lord Mr. Byers (Frank Gorshin) confronts Meteor Man, but is outnumbered by the Bloods and the Crips, who show up to protect Meteor Man. Byers is then arrested by the police after attempting to "take a vacation to the Bahamas".
- Robert Townsend - Jefferson Reed / The Meteor Man
- Marla Gibbs - Maxine Reed
- Eddie Griffin - Michael Anderson
- Robert Guillaume - Ted Reed
- James Earl Jones - Earnest Moses
- Roy Fegan - Simon Caine
- Don Cheadle - Goldilocks
- Bobby McGee - Uzi
- Bill Cosby - Marvin
- Big Daddy Kane - Pirate
- Frank Gorshin - Anthony Byers
- Sinbad - Malik
- Nancy Wilson - Principal Laws
- Luther Vandross - Jamison
- Another Bad Creation - Jr. Lords
- Tommy 'Tiny' Lister - Digit
- Jenifer Lewis - Mrs. Williams
- Naughty by Nature - Bloods
- Cypress Hill - Crips
- Beverly Johnson - Woman Doctor
- LaWanda Page - Old Nurse
- Lela Rochon - Vanessa the Pretty Nurse
- Dekwon Shawshanks - Mr. Little
- John Witherspoon - Clarence James Carter III
- Chris Tucker - MC in Mall (uncredited)
- "Can't Let Her Get Away" - Michael Jackson
- "It's for You" - Shanice
- "Don't Waste My Time" - Lisa Taylor
- "You Turn Me On" - Hi-Five
- "Who Can"
- "Your Future Is Our Future" - Daryl Coley & Frank McComb
- "I Say a Prayer" - Howard Hewett
- "Is It Just Too Much" - Keith Washington
- "Somebody Cares for You" - Frank McComb
- "Good Love" - Elaine Stepter
- "Ain't Nobody Bad (Like Meteor Man)" - Big Hat Ray Ray
Peter Rainer of The Los Angeles Times compares the film "a fairly clunky sitcom" with its sense of righteous do-goodism, and although the film intends to inspire, it instead sends the message that it would take a superhero to clean up inner-city gang violence. Roger Ebert writes, "The movie contains big laughs and moments of genuine feeling, but it seems to be put together out of assorted inspirations that were never assembled into one coherent story line."
- Braxton, Greg (1993-08-03). "As Robert Townsend Sees It : He's Fighting Stereotypes With 'Meteor Man' and New TV Show". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "The Meteor Man(1993)". Yahoo movies. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : SUPER MEN : 'Blankman,' Meet 'Meteor Man'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- "The Meteor Man (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster.
- Rainer, Peter (1993-08-06). "Meteor Man Quickly Flames Out". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Holden, Stephen (1993-08-07). "Review/Film; A Rechargeable Man of Steel Aids the Inner City". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "The Meteor Man". Washington Post. 1993-08-06. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "The Meteor Man". Entertainment Weekly. 1993-08-20. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Roger Ebert (August 6, 1993). "The Meteor Man". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- The Meteor Man at the Internet Movie Database
- The Meteor Man at AllRovi
- The Meteor Man at Superheroes Lives