Virus (1999) / Sci Fi-Thriller
MPAA Rated: R for sci-fi violence/gore, and for language
Running Time: 99 min.
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula, Marshall Bell
Director: John Bruno
Screenplay: Dennis Feldman, Chuck Pfarrer (based on the Dark Horse comic book)
Review published January 22, 1999
The crew of a tug boat take refuge from a storm in a seemingly abandoned Russian ship. Terror erupts when they find themselves besieged by a mutating and murderous alien life form intent on inhabiting the Earth and exterminating humanity, which it views as a virus. Now the crew must find a way to defeat the seemingly omnipotent alien to stay alive.
Count the rip-offs: Alien, Terminator, First Contact, Deep Rising, Leviathan, oh my goodness there isn't a breath of originality in these tired lungs. Wholly derivative, terribly executed and disgustingly portrayed, this film is a worthless exercise in ineptitude of such magnitude it is astonishing a major film studio would invest $75 million dollars (!!!) in what surely would be a film of limited appeal. Director John Bruno, the visual effects guru from many James Cameron films (True Lies, Terminator 2, etc.) does a good job in making realistic robotic figures, but knows absolutely nothing about character development.
Consequently we care nothing about any one of the characters and in so doing, it starts off laughable, then it gets boring, until you're ultimately angry you invested your time and money on high-dressed dung. Sutherland's gives his worst performance, adding him to the long list of actors who once were respectable but now they are laughable (Martin Sheen, Job Voight). Having an actual virus is more enjoyable than sitting through this one.
©2003 Vince Leo