Slimy tech tycoon Bruce Willis has set up a virtual-reality resort where visitors can act out their sleazy fantasies of sex and violence upon the residents – a population of androids programmed to believe they are real humans. Then one of the ‘artificials’ – Ambyr Childers’ blonde bartender Kelly – goes on the fritz and escapes, finding common cause with straggle-haired rogue cop Thomas Jane.
Slipshod sci-fi thriller Vice rips off the premise of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film Westworld, which featured Yul Brynner as an android gunslinger going out of control in a futuristic holiday resort, but lacks the filmmaking chops to pull things off. The acting ranges from amateurish (Childers) to bored (Willis, smirk barely disguising his lack of interest), the script gets bogged down in lumpy exposition, and the action is unexciting, with hero and heroine again and again evading legions of faceless goons who blaze away with heavy weaponry but only succeed in hitting the occasional innocent bystander.
Certificate 15. Runtime 92 mins. Director Brian A Miller.
Vice is released on DVD & Blu-ray by Lionsgate UK. http://youtube.com/v/ETtLM0NI-Ug
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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