Virtuosity

"OK"

Virtuosity Review


In the not so distant future (er, past... 1999 A.D.), Virtual Reality has progressed to the point where the Virtual part isn't so clear. With the help of nanotechnology (read: really small) machines, VR simulations can take on a physical form composed of millions of these teeny robots. When a semi-crazed engineer decides to bring his ultimate bad guy VR program to life, he sneaks the chip into some of this robotic glop. Thus, Sid 6.7 is born.

Sid (Russell Crowe) is version number 6.7 of a compilation of 183 personalities: mass murderers, serial killers, and Hitler-types. The ultimate villain, Sid is imbued with the ability to regenerate damage at the touch of glass (silicon), almost superhuman powers, and the cunning and mental imbalance of history's worst killers. And who would have thought...when you let Sid out of the lab, Sid wants to kill. Preferably on national television.

Enter Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington), ex-cop sent up the river for the accidental slaying of two people. Turns out that Barnes is the only one who has a chance of stopping Sid (see also, Demolition Man), so out of the lock-up he comes. Partnered with him is criminologist Madison Carter (Kelly Lynch), who holds her own as the first lead female I've seen in ages who doesn't get romantically entangled with the hero.

Full of wicked, cutting-edge special effects, Virtuosity makes a strong entry into a summer of lifeless films. It takes a while to get rolling, and the early character development is weak, but pretty soon, everyone's caught up in this innovative take on the cat and mouse game. I won't spoil the twists, but the dynamic between Sid and Barnes is quite interesting to watch. Crowe, as Sid, is the real star, playing the megalomaniacal killer with perfect poise and egocentrism, eerily reminiscent of Malcolm McDowell's Alex from A Clockwork Orange. The only complaint I have is that with 183 professional killers inside him, you'd think he'd be a better shot with a pistol.

Virtuosity has its flaws, though. The main problem is that the premise of Reality vs. Fantasy isn't taken as far as it could have been (Total Recall was the last good example of this). The filmmakers have made it very clear which world we're in at all times, mainly because they're really, really busy showing off what their visual effects guys can do (expect an Oscar nomination). Supporting cast is also boring (even Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) is wasted).

Director Brett Leonard, who just came off the dismal Hideaway, has thankfully redeemed himself here. Maybe the best recommendation I can give is that Virtuosity is still on my mind as I replay the intriguing parts, and that's all too rare in Hollywood these days.



Virtuosity

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th August 1995

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: Paramount Home Video

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 20

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Lt. Parker Barnes, as SID 6.7, as Madison Carter, as William Cochran, as Dr. Darrel Lindenmeyer, as Elizabeth Deane, Una Damon as Woman with Video Camera

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.