Director: Brett Leonard
Writer: Eric Bernt
Also starring: Denzel Washington (Lt. Parker Barnes), Kelly Lynch (Dr. Madison Carter), William Forsythe (William Cochran), Louise Fletcher
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This film had a lot going for it, I just wish the most basic element of the writing had been up to par. Lots of one-liners, plenty of opportunity for fun and embracing the bizarre, but the plot has way too many holes in it. The performances, the special effects, the money that went into it just scream for a tighter plot. That's what I thought the first time around, that is still what I think. I just don't get how we are supposed to be satisfied with a bomb-diffusion as an ending.

The character of Sid 6.7 is a fine vehicle for Crowe's trademark energy.  Crowe's and Washington's characters are designed to play well off each other. Parker Barnes counters Sid 6.7's extravagance with energy-conserving stealth.

All the more frustrating, then, to have a lame plot.

The special effects and the premise of a virtual world with silicon life-forms are amusing and very colorful. The frustrated, under-appreciated computer geeks make sinister appearances without ever seeming in control of their creations. The organic is no more than equal to the synthetic: what naturally grown life forms lack in control and procedure, we make up for in flexibility and innovation.

The story does a nice job of balancing the two: this flashy new world, this universe of the techno-intellect reeks of a panting yearning for the human, most evident in the face of the unwitting synthesizer of life, as he lusts after his colleague's cyber-chick.

Worth a watch, if only for some really fun performances.

Read someone else's opinion: Bob Thompson of the Toronto Sun: Virtuosity


1crowe.gif (1341 bytes)Not Russell's finest hour, this movie stumbles along with no help from leading man, Denzel Washington.

It is a far-fetched science-fiction "thriller" about a convicted ex-cop (Washington) who is released from prison to capture a cyber-serial killer (Russell Crowe), who has managed to take on a physical life form.

The premise is interesting, but unfortunately the writer/director/producer failed to flesh out the characters or the story. Viewers are left with a feeling of having wasted two hours of irretrievable time (except for the naked Russell moments, of course).

As usual, though, Russell gives it his all and appears to be having a grand time as the serial killer on the loose. Look for the disco scene when he's sizing up a hostage; he delivers one of the best lines in the movie when he looks at the hostage, smirks and says, "Love the suit." He's wearing it in the next scene. He appears to be having so much fun, in fact, that if you look closely during the TV station hostage scene, just as the camera cuts
from Russell's face as he delivers the very serious line, "You're watching Death TV", he appears to be on the verge of busting out laughing (Russell, I'd laugh too if I had to say something that stupid in a so-called "serious" movie). But don't blame Russell, blame the bad editing.

Believe me, you'll want to laugh too (if not cry)when you see this movie, it's that bad. Verdict: Russell is good, even in a bad movie. My advice is: don't skip it, but for crying out loud, don't buy it. (I would have rated this movie with a dead crow, except for the naked
Russell shots. Those alone are worth at least one crow.)

Rated: one crowe

I find the "idea" of the film fascinating, probably because I work in IT and things like Terabites and high platforms mean something to me. The opposing characters as portrayed by Denzel Washington who it must be said is an excellent actor, and RC are strong although I felt more could have been made of their relationship. The whole VR game spin on the idea. Kelly Lynch performed well although her character's input was minimal and at times almost a distraction from the purpose of the film. All in all though, a thoroughly enjoyable offering, and I for one would pay good money to see a sequel if it ever happened .. after all, what happened to Darryls voice actuated programme for SID 6.7?
Rated: four crowes

I thought it was an interesting film even though it took place in 1999. As a psychology student I found Russell's character very interesting. His ability to play a psychopathic murderer was to a T. His charm was unsurpassed only by his wit. As for the special effects, they suited their time. Not great, but not bad. Denzel's character was not as strong as Russells's, but not bad. The chick served no purpose. All in all it was a good film. And how about that butt shot!
Rated: three crowes

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