Good natured Reverend Henry Biggs finds that his marriage to choir mistress Julia is flagging, due to his constant absence caring for the deprived neighborhood they live in. On top of all ... See full summary »
Courtney B. Vance
The Law Enforcement Technology Advancement Centre (LETAC) has developed SID version 6.7: a Sadistic, Intelligent, and Dangerous virtual reality entity which is synthesized from the personalities of more than 150 serial killers. LETAC would like to train police officers by putting them in VR with SID, but they must prove the concept by using prisoners as test subjects. One such prisoner is ex-cop Parker Barnes. When SID manages to inject his personality into a nano-machine android, it appears that Barnes might be the only one who can stop him. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When SID 6.7 is first formed, he cuts off his own finger and licks the wound, exclaiming: "Mmmm. A good year!" Russell Crowe, who plays SID 6.7, later appeared in A Good Year (2006). See more »
When Sid 6.7 is in the TV studio in front of the blue screen, an on-air shot shows just his head and shoulders superimposed on the skull backdrop, the next shot shows him standing in front of the blue screen with his arms crossed and his right hand holding a gun in a position that should have been clearly visible in the on-air shot, but wasn't. See more »
At the end of the credits when the producers thanks technology companies for providing tools, one tools is listed as HSC Kal's Power Tools. This is a typo, since the product is Kai's Power Tools. They typo is even archived in TCM's movie information database (http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/7915492%7C0/Hsc-Kal-S-Power-Tools-Bryce/) See more »
a predictable yarn with some better than expected action and surprising acting
Brett Leonard is a name that has fallen by the wayside, and, maybe rightfully so. The director of such a film as The Lawnmower Man didn't really make anything of note since this film Virtuosity (unless one counts Highlander 5: The Source to be of actual quality which is hard to argue for), but there was a time when he knew where to put the camera and shoot as far as action and competency with his actors. The plot of Virtuosity is cut out of other movies to be sure, and would be again (one may be reminded of 12 Monkeys with its convicted man put on a mission by his captors, or even by Batman with its anti-hero and psychotic villain creating chaos all over the city), but, perhaps if only in retrospect, the movies carries some solid entertainment in the near-mindless tradition of loud, stupid Hollywood science fiction movies of the 90's. It's like John Woo lite.
There isn't much to the plot except that a former detective (Washington) in prison for killing a man, and a few others, one of whom responsible for the death of his wife and daughter, is put into a virtual reality simulation against a psychotic being (Crowe), who is let into the real world by an asswipe who wants to get back at his bosses or something, and now the mano-a-mano is on in the real world (and, another former movie reference, Escape from NY: finish the mission, get a full pardon, but don't mind the chip in your head that might kill you). The plot is cookie cutter, and there is lack of motivation to some of the action until the over the top climax comes around. But within the silly context of things, it does make sense. And for those who may be tired of the super-fast action cutting of today's product (Bourne, Transformers, Expendables), it is a relief to be able to see what's going on.
Will it be amazing for everyone? Probably not. It does have generic plotting and the very end is close to a cop-out. But one big factor in my enjoyment of Virtuosity, on top of the decent action, were the stars, Washington and especially Crowe. The latter gives a performance that is surprising considering where he went to for the rest of his Hollywood career. This is an actor with a lot to prove, and it's ironic considering Crowe is having more diabolical fun as a Terminator-cum-Joker than he has had in most other more serious action oriented roles. Sometimes his mannerisms make the stakes a little crazier, or simply the way he acts across from stoic and concerned Washington that makes it work so. Strange as it might seem, it's really one of Crowe's finest performances, true to the wonky nature of the character and just wicked fun. It's like Crowe's imitation of a Rutger Hauer performance, which is a sight to see on its own.
Certainly it's no masterpiece, but Virtuosity has its charms and moments of excitement. It's likely the highpoint of Leonard's career, which may not be saying much, but putting together cool virtual reality sequences (the opening is most thrilling) and two high-caliber stars makes for some fun Saturday afternoon viewing.
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