Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Virtuosity

Virtuosity
Starring:
Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Louise Fletcher


Rated: R for violence.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: August 4,1995 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation

Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington), a convicted murderer and former cop, is called up to capture Sid 6.7, a virtual reality character who has been transported to semi-real status by a new process which produces the computer generated criminal. The science fiction isn't bad but there is so much copy cat filming and silly running around that the film is boring even though there is plenty of action, loud noise and violence.

The project in which Sid 6.7 was developed is one which has a cadre of characters to choose from, each in large spherical chips which activate the characters for interaction with real human beings. The ideas of cassette semi-humans that can be switched on and off and have the ability to interact has intriguing possibilities. Sheila 3.2 probably would have been the more interesting character to follow but she is dropped on the floor and destroyed. Rather than reaching for new territory, writer Eric Bernt and director Brett Leonard choose a well worn path. The super being Sid 6.7 is able to heal his wounds by interacting with glass or eating glass. His arms regenerate on a number of occasions. It's a little of Terminator 2, Time After Time and countless other worn plots.

Former cop Barnes chases the evil Sid 6.7 all over Los Angeles, while the excessively stupid police force jumps in front of Sid 6.7 and is mowed down by the semi-reality monster.

Washington deserves better and surely Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) should have better material. Russell Crowe, even though his roll is not very creative, adds dimension to his Sid 6.7 character. He shows significant range in the character's wide spectrum of evil emotions and actions.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Virtuosity  C+                        C+ 

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