The Thirteenth Floor (1999) / Sci Fi-Thriller
MPAA Rated: R for violence and language
Running Time: 100 min.
Cast: Craig Bierko, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Gretchen Mol, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dennis Haysbert
Director: Josef Rusnak
Screenplay: Josef Rusnak, Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez (Based on the book, "Simulacron 3" by Daniel Galouye)
Review published May 29, 1999
A computer genius (Bierko, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) creates a company to invent a virtual world where people can travel into, and which resembles 1937 America in detail. But while going into his virtual world, he discovers something important which he details in a letter left in the virtual 1937. Shortly thereafter he is murdered, and all evidence point to his assistant, leaving him to enter the virtual world to find out not only who murdered his boss, what what the secret is that was important to kill him for.
A great idea for a story, based on Daniel F. Galouye's novel "Simulacron 3", but unfortunately done much better by the bigger budget film, The Matrix. The movie is a mixed bag, with genuinely intriguing concepts but amateurish directing and acting can't maintain anything but serviceability to the story. With a better actors, and a less predictable script, this film could have been great science fiction given the terrific plot. As it stands, it's a disappointing missed opportunity whose existence is "virtually" voided by far superior stylizations of The Matrix.
©1999 Vince Leo