Virtuosity (1995)

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Virtuosity (1995)

Post  BoG on Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:49 pm



Virtual Reality gets a look, following in the footsteps of The Lawnmower Man. If you saw The Matrix (1999) and were wondering where you glimpsed the VR scenery years earlier, it may have been in this pic. Here, Denzel Washington 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?). William Fichtner, as a government aide, has the most thankless role, as an idiotic bureaucrat. Kaley Cuoco, the child actress playing the daughter of Kelly Lynch's character, went on to teenage bombshell roles in TV series, such as in "Charmed," and now has found her greatest success in The Big Bang Theory. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
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