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28 October 2002  |  Written by   

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Once again the phenomenon Empire Online likes to term 'The Hollywood Law of Duplication' (also known as 'Let's nick this idea 'cos it's hot Principle') has surfaced in the movie wires. Previous examples include the asteroid mayhem that became all the rage in 1998 - viz Armageddon and Deep Impact - and the lava frenzy of 1997 that resulted in Volcano and Dante's Peak.

But never in all our scientific ponderings did the research team here at Empire Towers predict that the next Hollywood craze would be talking cars. Apocalyptic nuclear war and classical epics maybe, but chatty automobiles never quite seemed to appear in our equations.

Our carefully calibrated equipment only registered a minor blip earlier this year when we heard Knight Rider's Michael and his camp car KITT might be accelerating towards our cinema screens – the combination of 80's nostalgia, a bit of techno-wizardry and a touch of vigilante action seemed perfect, if cheesy, cinematic content. But emergency bells fairly belted out this morning when another verbose vehicle project was announced, this time with the wonderful title, Wheels of Fury. Described as a cross between Austin Powers and the aforementioned Knight Rider - quite how, we're still trying to find out – the comedy revolves around another 80's cop who, in a pathetic twist on Michael Knight's near death experience, falls into a coma and wakes up 16 years later. Quite what his talkative car got up to in the 16 years while he was sleeping is also still in question.

But it's always nice to see Hollywood hasn't lost any of its originality.

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