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Virus (1999)
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Review Date: January 15, 1999
Director: John Bruno
Writer: Dennis Feldman, Jonathan Hensleigh
Producers: Gale Anne Hurd, Mike Richardson
Actors:
Jamie Lee Curtis
William Baldwin
Donald Sutherland
Plot:
A Russian carrier gets hits by an electronic life form, unknown to mankind, which begins to study and meche elements of the humans onboard with all of the robotics engineered on the ship. When a stray boat accidentally bumps into the grand carrier, and the crew hop aboard the empty vessel for a looksie, they find loads of dead bodies, and computer-infested robots buzzing around in every shape and size. These new life forms see the human race as a virus, and would like to extinguish it from the universe.
Critique:
This is not a great movie. It's not even a good movie. It's a standard, by the numbers, science-fiction derivative of the healthy ALIENS and TERMINATOR series, which offers a few simple shocks, some engineered tension, another politically correct cast, and special effects that don't add up to much more than a lot of machines mangled together in metals and lights. None of the robots in this film impressed me much because I figure that if you've seen one robot with lights, gadgets, buzzes and hoses flapping all around, you've pretty much seen 'em all! And despite this film brandishing quite a few of these android-puppies, some of which were hybrids of humans, I can't say that they did much to impress, scare or excite me. Having said that, it is to note that the plot was also as thin as Jack Nicholson's hair, and the actors campy in some scenes, movie-stupid in others.

The good thing about this lame duck film was that it knew not to overplay its obviously mediocre presentation, and did us all a favour by slapping the whole affair within a time package of a buck and a half. I was never really bored in this picture, and did enjoy Donald Sutherland's salty ol' dog of a sea captain, but will admit to longing for the legendary shots of Jamie Lee Curtis in all her form (For interested parties, please note that there are no T or A shots of the lovely Ms. Curtis in this picture). The rest of the supporting cast was negligible, and the shots of the vessel being attacked by a typhoon looked more like a model boat in a bathtub, but I suppose the film can be considered brainless fodder for those interested in this type of thing. So remember, it's quick, it's redundant, it offers some action and mediocre effects, no boobie shots, and some campy acting by Sutherland. If you enjoyed either SOLDIER (5/10) or EVENT HORIZON (5/10), you will most probably enjoy this one as well. It's the science-fiction crazy cousin that no one likes to talk about, but with whom we've all shared a conversation at one time or another.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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