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This was really something else. It was very bad, but damn, I got such a kick
out of it. Russell played his role to the hilt.
My favorite scene was when the investigator people were talking and they
said, "Sid is evolving." Another one of them asked, "Into what?". Cut to Sid
doing a cocky sort of walk down the street while decked out in a pair of
shades and while "Staying Alive" by the BeeGees is playing. It has to be
seen to be believed. I started laughing hysterically right then and there.
I swear that Russ must have known what pure camp quality this was. I bet he had a great time filming it. I must commend everyone, especially Mr.Crowe, for being able to keep a straight face while putting this on.
I only have one real complaint about this movie. You'd think that considering Sid had all these serial killers in his head, he'd be a little more perverse. I mean, most deranged killers have a sadistic sexual side. I would have really liked to have seen that. But I guess it would have become too serious if they added that.
In the near future, Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington) is an ex-cop who has
been sent to prison for murder. The circumstances surrounding his crime are
disheartening and elicit empathy. Now, he is offered a chance at freedom
from prison. Parker must hunt down and destroy a murderous cyborg, SID 6.7
(Russell Crowe), who is menacing the general public after jumping out of a
virtual reality program. The chase takes
on many twists and turns as SID terrorizes, shoots and kidnaps victims in
his path. Can SID be stopped?
It may not be a science fiction masterpiece, but this film is worthwhile and intriguing. A second viewing may be required to truly understand and appreciate its complex plot. Then, too, the marvelous special effects enhance the look and feel of the film. It is not Denzel Washington's finest hour (he is adequate); however, Russell Crowe is positively gleeful in his portrayal of the ultimately designed killing machine. There are some humorous moments, somewhat lessening the overall dark and somber tone. On the down side, the ending may be a little too pat and leave a few loose ends untied. Recommended for science fiction and action movie fans who are on the lookout for lesser known films that may satisfy them for an evening.
Virtuosity is by no means a great movie or a good movie. It is barely
above average. That though is because of Russell Crowe's character: SID
6.7 who possesses over 150 serial killer personalities. He is just
supposed to be used to train police but he escapes from his virtual
reality to the reality. That sounds pretty interesting and this premise
could be taken into many different directions especially since he is
such a complex character you could go so many different way going about
to make this film. Though this movie did not take the worst direction
it did not take the best one. This movie went for pure action and no
real drama or meaningful message. Now that is OK but it lacked in doing
this because of the: The directing which was average by Brett Leonard.
He made this into a very exciting TV movie which it is not. He had two
very talented actors in Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe yet he was
not able to generate the excitement and fast pace feeling that is
needed to make a good action movie.
The writing is also at fault too. The writing was not great here. It seemed to have a lot of overused themes such as the cop trying to retain the high status that he used too have and also the idiot cops getting in the way. That is also OK but the dialog made this interesting idea into a movie that was not so unfamiliar. Not much originality in here despite having such a unique character. That is always the script's fault whenever this happens. The writing and directing just made this movie so frustrating to watch.
You cannot blame the acting. You could see that Denzel Washington, already an established actor at that time, and Russell Crowe, not established, really tried to push this movie forward. Yet there was little to work with which made them look really average.
This movie could have been much better if it was made more into a action/drama about the our inner battles. Considering that SID 6.7 had 150 personalities the storyline of his character could have made him have a battle within himself. Now this was done to a minor level which really annoyed me. They are many other ideas or methods that could have really made this movie something but of course this did not happen. It went for cheap effects, an over used clichéd storyline with a little bit of a twist. That may work for some people but not for me.
I'am giving this movie a 6/10 rating because it had so much potential.
You can't help but like Crowe's gleeful portrayal of a schizophrenic
nano-bot serial killer in this ridiculous film, and with futuristic
fascists, pervey programmers and a bucket loads of virtual reality cyber
nonsense, this should really be a winner in the style of The Demolition Man
or the Robocop series. But where other films in the genre have used such
tools as wit and plot to keep the more intelligent of the viewers amused,
this film, um, hasn't.
The script is terrible. The acting (excluding Crowe, who only gets away with it thanks to a camp smile and some fortunate direction) is wooden. And the plot is illogical and frustrating.
Virtual Reality gets a look, following in the footsteps of "The
Lawnmower Man." If you saw "The Matrix"(99) and were wondering where
you glimpsed the VR scenery years earlier, it may have been in this
pic. Here, Denzel gets to briefly run around inside a VR world, chasing
after virtual killer Russell Crowe, known as Sid 6.7 (very close to
6.66, isn't it?). Sid 6.7 is the latest computer program, a
conglomeration of about 200 serial killers & mass murderers, and so
advanced it's virtually self-aware. The bulk of the picture takes place
in the real world, to which Sid 6.7 manages to escape to with the help
of very advanced nanotechnology. I believe this was supposed to take
place slightly in the future (1999), but from our perspective, it's old
hat and square. Everything looks outmoded and just old, except the
strangely hi-tech VR and nanites.
It's also interesting, from the modern perspective, to view an early role of Crowe's, before he hit the A-List. He doesn't have much to play with here. His character doesn't have the luxury of falling back on deep psychological reasons for his murderous ways, because he's inhuman. He's simply the latest software given locomotion in the semblance of a human body. He's programmed to be the way he is - there's no choice involved on his part. There's a brief mention of his program evolving once in the real world, but there's no actual evidence of that. Once in the real world, it's a simplistic chase & destroy mission, with Denzel the only one in the city trained to stop him. Denzel, just getting on the A-List a couple of years earlier, is standard action hero here, driven by a brutal tragedy from before the film begins. The motivations for a couple of key supporting characters are suspect; the designer of Sid 6.7, for example, turns out to be almost as psychotic, but it's hard to believe no one noticed this before (was he influenced by the software?). Fichtner, as a government aide, has the most thankless role, as an idiotic bureaucrat. The child actress playing the daughter of Lynch's character went on to teenage bombshell roles in TV series, the latest being "Charmed."
For the most part, "Virtuosity" is basically another virtual
reality-themed movie so full of action that it almost hurts. But
interestingly enough, there is a little bit of a plot here. Denzel
Washington plays Lt. Parker Barnes, who has to help find SID 6.7
(Russell Crowe), a virtual serial killer who has escaped into the real
world in 1999 LA.
Yes, that certainly sounds like it could degenerate into the kind of garbage that Hollywood usually turns out. Much of the movie is in fact vaguely reminiscent of movies like "Demolition Man". But maybe we can interpret the movie as looking at the dangers of letting technology get too powerful, like what "2001: A Space Odyssey" looked at. Obviously, this isn't even remotely in the same league as that one, but given that it was released in 1995, it almost seems like a prediction of how computer-centric the world would become.
Not a masterpiece by any stretch - both Washington and Crowe have done much better work (and now they're both Oscar winners) - but worth seeing, if only once.
So finally, after decades of futuristic scientists proclaiming that virtual
reality will someday be here, it's here - sort of. Hollywood's always been a
midwife for technology between the science industry and the common man, and
in the area of virtual reality it's given us "Johhny Mnemonic" and this
actioner, starring Denzel Washington.
Basic plot is this: The police have been using virtual reality as a training method, to test recruits. Before they use it on real cops, though, they draft crooks out of prison to act as guinea pigs. This is where Washington comes in. A former cop (how convenient), Washington's been rotting in jail for years. So the cops ask him to volunteer to be a part of the experiment, and of course he agrees - but the computer he's going to be downloaded into has other plans. The 'virtual' cops are supposed to face this tough criminal in the system, you see, but the computer's decided to combine all of the nasty characteristics of famous real-life killers - and then download itself into a real, sentient being (Russell Crowe). And of course it's up to our man Washington to save the day.
So there you have it, folks. It's a standard cops n robbers plot moved ahead a few centuries to take advantage of modern technology. Of course, it's set in the future, which here is portrayed as busy, grimy, a bit crime-riddled.. Hmm, a lot like the present, come to think of it, and not very inventive. And the effects are nothing special, either; you'd think with virtual reality being the centerpiece you'd see some dazzling special effects. Not really.
The cast is good, and Crowe turns in a solid (if a bit hammy, but most bad guys are, aren't they?) performance. Washington is no better or worse than usual, which means the real culprit is the script here. Do yourself a favor and wait for a two-for-one night at your video store to see this one.
The first great film for Russell Crowe, and a very interesting film to say the least. Cyber culture is rarely ever depicted in movies, but this was one of those films which brought some of these underground tendencies to light. What was even more interesting was how evil Sid 6.7 was. Crowe did an excellent job of portraying the demented cyber villain. I especially liked Denzel Washington, who always manages to be believable in his role when he doesn't try to be a soul brotha.' Granted, the cinematography was pretty average as well as the music, but then again, the performance of the two main stars really made this film a winner.
If you go into a science fiction film looking for realism, then you're not someone who'll truly enjoy it's purpose. Science Fiction is purely there to present a "What If" scenario. If what you're looking for reality, watch a documentary. I personally I'm not a sci-Fi fan,however, I found myself completely entertained by this film. Crowe's performance as the over the top, arrogant, ego driven Sid 6.7 was dead on. He captured Sid's deity complex to the letter. But so much so, that I found him disturbingly charismatic. I actually found myself rooting for the bad guy. Washington, who by the way took a giant leap into sci-fi with this film, was great as the brooding but confident inmate Barnes. Lynch was my only true complaint about this film. Although she is a strong actress, she was wasted in this role. The role needed someone who was psychologically strong, Lynch, despite her background (her dad is "Twin Peaks" creator David Lynch), was devoid of any true criminal intelligence, I still don't understand why she was cast in the part. Many avid sci-fi fans will notice the writer pays homage to many classic sci-fi films like "Bladerunner" and of course, Stephen King's "Running Man". (Sid hosts "Death TV") All in all, a valiant effort by writer, director and actors. But the female lead could have been much better. I think as far as sci-fi goes, fans will all do what Sid says, and "Say Thank You".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you're looking for early USA Crowe and want to see him showing off his talent, this is a great flick! The character of Sid 6.7 would have faired dismally in anyone else's hands, and the movie's success is based completely on Crowe's now-legendary ability. There's one scene, where he is taunting Denzel Washington with the fact that he (Crowe) has the memories of the man who murdered his (Washington's) family and his bubbling little laugh while saying the line, "Just because I'm holding the memory of killing your family inside me, doesn't mean we can't be friends." is such a fantastically subtle touch! The laugh is one of uncontainable delight, something no other actor would have thought to do. The action sequences are taut and Sid's great delight in himself, are perfect set-ups for the film's well-thought-out conclusion.
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