Tuesday, December 13, 2011


***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Virtuosity - 2 out of 5

This movie came out in 1995...I was fresh out of middle school and making it as a nerdy freshman who was about to spend the next four years of his life playing Dungeons & Dragons and wondering what it was like to have sex with a woman--come to think of it, not much has changed.  Well, it's been awhile since I've watched it so I decided to revisit it.  As usual, the memories of a movie you haven't watched in some time, don't match the reality.

Denzel looks good in dreadlocks.  White guys...not so much.

Virtuosity is a futuristic action film about a disgraced cop (played by Denzel Washington) who is forced to track down the ultimate killing machine (Russell Crowe).  An unbalanced computer programer mashed up the minds of the most sadistic serial killers and made an composite of pixels to create Sid 6.7, the ultimate bad guy.  Well, not content to just having this killer on the computer screen, he uses some nanobyte technology to make the collection of data to make the jump from virtual reality to...well, reality reality.  Now, the only hope is the disgraced cop who has been able to get the closest to this killer in the virtual world--and by hope, I mean the cops are forcing him to track down the killer because they have him by the balls.  If he catches Sid, he gets a pardon for his past crimes.  He fails, he either goes back to jail or has the implant they put in his head poison him to death.

"You're only going to feel a pinch...a horrible, 'make you wish for death' pinch."

Seriously, they thought the future of computers was going to be this.
When I was a young, naive teenager, I enjoyed this movie but watching it now, I realize it was pretty bad...but amusingly so.  First off, the soundtrack of the film doesn't match the events that are taking place.  In fact, the song selection for key scenes misses the mark by such a long shot that I half expected to hear "Afternoon Delight" during a murder spree scene.  Then, to make things more amusing, this movie was made in 1995 and the story takes place in the near future (I don't recall the film ever saying what year it takes place in and Wikipedia failed me in looking it up).  Anytime a film tries to predict the future and you watch it at a time when the future that was predicted is already obsolete is so amusing, it's impossible to put into words.  For example, the computers in this film are voice activated but have monitors that are big and boxy with graphics that make Windows 95 look state-of-the-art.  Then, we have the "futuristic" fashions which were basically the fashions of the 90s mixed with the 80s.  It was like all the bad suits of the era that gave us grunge used a Delorean, hit 88 mph and made love to leg warmers and ice-cream colored suits of Miami Vice and the product of their unholy union is what we see in Virtuosity.  Honestly, this is what people believed the future was going to be and already--no less than two decades later--nearly everything in this film has already been passed by.  The monitor I'm staring at while I write this review is more futuristic than what we see in this movie.  The only thing we don't have yet...serial killer robots made of nano-tech.

Pointless fact:  That woman is Traci Lords, a former porn star.  So, Virtuosity may not be the worst career move she's made.
"I call on the power of Nic Cage!!!"
 Then, for further amusement, you have our two stars:  Washington and Crowe.  This movie is special because it was made before we fully realized that Russell Crowe was a cameraman punching, pretentious ass and because Washington did this movie because his son asked him to (although, I don't think it's very nice of him to pass the blame entirely on his child).  The film enters an even specialer place as it seems Russell Crowe is trying to do a Nicolas Cage impression long before it was cool to hate on Cage.

Well, the movie predicted one thing correctly:  The UFC will be embraced by the sweaty, violent and drunken masses.

Okay, so Virtuosity is crap and the special effects don't stand the test of time.  But it's all the bad things that work against this movie being a good one that makes it an entertaining one (if that makes sense).  All the bad things that hurt this movie, are the same things that make it pretty fun to watch.  Virtuosity isn't a well crafted or well made movie.  In a world of iPhones, Smart Cars and yogurt you can eat on the go (that's the devil's invention, I'm telling you), watching a movie from the 90s try to predict how the future will be can be quite funny.

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