ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Virtuosity (1995)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Brett Leonard

Starring:
Denzel Washington/Parker
Russell Crowe/Sid
Kelly Lynch/Madison
William Forsythe/William
PLOT-CRUNCH
A virtual reality killer called SID 6.7 (Crowe) escapes his digital prison and begins to cause chaos and anarchy in the real world. It’s up to ex cop/now convict Parker (Washington) to catch him and whoop his ass.
THE LOWDOWN

Hey buddy! How are the wife and kid? Still dead, huh? – SID 6.7

In the 90’s after TERMINATOR II owned all, a couple of parallel projects arose in terms of basic premise (hero vs. unstoppable killer). We had UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, SOLO, EVE OF DESTRUCTION and the less obvious VIRTUOSITY. I actually caught the latter on the big screen upon its initial release and had a freaking blast. The critics killed it at the time (of course… its fun), I didn’t get the bad joo-joo then, I still don’t get it now. So I tapped it again recently and you know what… it still holds up.

Let me put it this way; if you’re looking for a layered, depth filled and quasi existential take on an android walking among us – seek out Blade Runner; because VIRTUOSITY is not about that. Sure the flick did display some heart via the lead’s bleak past and the guilt he carried with him; but it didn’t really go further than that. This bad boy tossed the “to be or not to be” shit out of the window and embraced; “to kill, to shoot, to maim and to destroy” instead. Music to my motherf*cking ears. The best way to describe VIRTUOSITY is to compare it to a heavy metal song. Its fast, its loud, its aggressive and its brash. Filled with well shot action scenes, moments of unrepentant violence, enthralling shootouts, fist fights and chase sequences; nobody can accuse this mofo of being boring.

The novel costume and production designs also kicked in hard to make this eye popper stand out. Lots of work went into the cosmetics of the film and I for (or two, all depending if I took my medication or not) mucho dug it. Another plus here was the stronger than the norm (for this kind of flick) actors on hand. I mean lets face it, at the end of the neck snap, this is a B-Movie that was given a budget for some reason. So having Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in the mix on top of that elevated the whole to a higher plane of class. The big D brought heart and credibility to his role while the Aussie bruiser went buck wild with his part, much to my enjoyment. Add to all that some knee hopping tunes, Tracy Lord showing up long enough to evoke boners, groovy special effects (loved how SID rebuilt himself), circumstantial humor that worked me good and an uber polished visual look courtesy of Mr. Brett Leonard and you get easy kicks for the whole Manson Family.

With that vomited on the page; it has to be said, this isn’t the smartest of films. I mean plot holes/convenient plot turns were in the house and explanations as to the neato sci-fi concepts put out (loved the 200 killers in one shtick) were pretty much non existent. We’re asked to accept the rules of the film with nothing concrete to back them up. I can’t speak for yall, but I actually managed to do that effortlessly. The exploitation elements gunned my way made me say “fuck substance – I just wanna be entertained”. My last beef with the flick was it missing an ideal opportunity for major carnage - yes the club scene. I always felt that bit didn’t go as far as it should’ve. But hey, what do I know?

So you going to enter this reality or what?

GORE
Sid liked it mean and I loved him for it. Think a myriad of gun shot wounds, electrocution, vicious beatings, a snapped neck, a blown off hand, a severed arm, a cut off finger, old fashioned choking and more!
ACTING
Denzel Washington (Parker) gave an intense and grounded show. Kelly Lynch (Madison) gave Denzel able support as the token chickadee of the film. Russell Crowe (SID 6.7) sank deep into the role to deliver an engaging, energetic and totally out there performance. NICE! Stephen Spinella (Lindenmeyer) made for a great scumbag while William Forsythe (William Cochran) did his cranky/gruff cop bit perfectly.
T & A
We get some hot broad in her bra and panties getting bent over and the ladies get Russell Crowe butt naked showing off his heiny.
DIRECTING
Brett Leonard showed off his eye for action in this one via well structured physical get-downs of all sorts. He also displayed a couple of inspired audio/visual driven moments (all about them flashbacks). The whole of the flick looked and rolled on slicker than slick. Nice!
SOUNDTRACK
We get some great ditties by Tricky, Lords of Acid, Tracy Lords (good little tune), Peter Gabriel and more! The techno-ish score worked wonders for the film too.
BOTTOM LINE
VIRTUOSITY was dumb, extremely "violent and loving it" fun with top notch actors on the case! You jonesing for that jive, like I do daily, then hit it. You want “common sense” or/and “explanations” across the board – you’re barking up the wrong skirt. I would call this one a guilty pleasure but I don feel guilty one bit for loving it for what it is! So I guess I won't.
BULL'S EYE
S.I.D. stands for: Sadistic, Intelligent, and Dangerous virtual reality entity.

Denzel Washington acted in the film cause his son asked him to do so.
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9:30PM on 11/17/2008

Agreed

I actually got on a mini kick of nineties action movies the other week, and watched this along with ERASER & LAST BOY SCOUT (forgot how f***ing amazing that film is!). Overall not a bad little flick- definitely has that mid-nineties cyberpunk feel. Not as good as STRANGE DAYS, but way better than JOHNNY MNEMONIC. Washington owned in this- as did Crowe.
I actually got on a mini kick of nineties action movies the other week, and watched this along with ERASER & LAST BOY SCOUT (forgot how f***ing amazing that film is!). Overall not a bad little flick- definitely has that mid-nineties cyberpunk feel. Not as good as STRANGE DAYS, but way better than JOHNNY MNEMONIC. Washington owned in this- as did Crowe.
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4:49PM on 11/17/2008
Although I've only seen it on the SciFi (which wimps out when it comes to the good stuff) I totally had a blast with this one! Thanks for reminding me about this, Arrow! Now I'll have to hunt down the DVD of it!
And yes this movie was the first thing that came to mind when I went to see American Gangster (starring Washington and Crowe, of course)
Although I've only seen it on the SciFi (which wimps out when it comes to the good stuff) I totally had a blast with this one! Thanks for reminding me about this, Arrow! Now I'll have to hunt down the DVD of it!
And yes this movie was the first thing that came to mind when I went to see American Gangster (starring Washington and Crowe, of course)
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+0
4:16PM on 11/17/2008
Nice to see this get reviewed (although I must admit I thought it had already been reviewed here). I love this film, seen it numerous times over the years and it never fails to entertain me, Washington is excellent as the cop out to get Sid and Crowe makes a fantastic bad guy. I also really dug the soundtrack to the film, loved the Gabriel song over the end credits.
Nice to see this get reviewed (although I must admit I thought it had already been reviewed here). I love this film, seen it numerous times over the years and it never fails to entertain me, Washington is excellent as the cop out to get Sid and Crowe makes a fantastic bad guy. I also really dug the soundtrack to the film, loved the Gabriel song over the end credits.
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11:21AM on 11/17/2008

HSM3?

just couldnt bring yourself to review HSM3 and had to instead go back 13yrs.

dont blame you.
just couldnt bring yourself to review HSM3 and had to instead go back 13yrs.

dont blame you.
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