Virtuosity Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more n

Virtuosity is one of those films that reminds you of the dangers of virtual reality. I still think we’re probably a good 20-30 years away from anything quite this advanced but hey if it ever does happen then I could see at least parts of this film being really realistic. You just know that the A.I. will be used in dubious ways almost right away. Honestly it’s the best argument against VR being a big thing because someone will immediately find a way to turn the pain sensors back on and just like that you are in a tough spot.

Well, the film opens up with Parker going through a training mission where he enters a computer world and has to try and take down an A.I. Parker was once a police officer but he murdered the killer who took out his family and is now serving hard time. This will help to reduce the sentence at least but the training doesn’t go well as SID (The A.I.) murders Parker’s partner and the lead barely gets out of there. It turns out that the training simulation wasn’t quite so safe eh? Well, SID breaks out anyway thanks to one scientist being a sucker and SID’s creator being a villain anyway. SID is now determined to torment Parker as much as possible. Why is it so personal though?

The film explores a connection with Parker and SID right away. The answer to this question becomes clear fairly early on and it’s really just a lot of bad luck for Parker. I mean the film probably would have been tough for him either way but the chips just happened to fall in a way where things were just as bad for him as they could have possibly have been. He’s already in jail which is pretty rough in itself and now having to deal with a powerful A.I. like this is just throwing extra salt to the wound. Not playing the game with SID isn’t an option either because the guy will hunt Parker down and frame him if that’s what it takes to keep the battle going.

Good luck trying to destroy SID as well because the guy has super strength and a whole host of supernatural abilities that put him above the rest of the rank and file. He can regenerate and move really fast too. In a way the film makes him just a bit too powerful because you know there is no way the heroes should be able to really do much of anything to him. It would just be hard to buy at that point but that’s just how it goes I suppose. For the most part this is more of a chase film than an action one but there are some fights and you may shake your head at those.

I do really like the visual effects used for the cyber world though. We don’t spend a whole lot of time there but the intro scene was very effective. You know that something is wrong right from the start with how everyone has the same kind of shirt on. Then the shooting starts and you realize this isn’t exactly the real world. I would have been cool with the whole film taking place in virtual reality to be honest even if it probably would have been tough on the special effects team. It’s why we need that Sword Art Online movie already but I guess we’re going to have to wait a long while for that one.

SID makes for an intense villain. The guy is completely insane but the thing is that he knows it. So he’s still really clever with his attacks. He just enjoys making everyone feel terrified and we get a whole scene where he creates music using people’s yells. That was certainly very twisted. The scene drags a bit too I would say. With a villain like this, you’re more interested in the banter with the main character as opposed to seeing him just terrorize the civilians who can’t fight back.

Parker is a good lead. He definitely had his share of trauma and baggage over the years. He doesn’t regret what he did to avenge his family by any means though but it does mean that he has had to put up with an awful lot in every category. It’s why he had to crush the first prisoner who tried to mess with him so that hopefully he wouldn’t have to get into any other fights after that. It’s really the rule of the jungle out there and if you aren’t the most powerful then you are going to be in a whole lot of trouble. He works well as the lead and never gets bitter about the whole thing either. At the end of the day he is still trying to save lives at every opportunity.

Madison is the main heroine here and she does well. She may tend to get in the way a little at first but by the end she is actively contributing and doing her best to help out. Her son ends up getting into trouble so she really has to take a big role in the climax. The climax is handled well with the elaborate trap used at the end and Parker having to use his past experience to deal with it. The voice clips were also a lot of fun as you hear some lines on loop and it ends up being memorable.

I was a little mixed on the film by the end because I really liked the premise but I think they could have done more with it. Of course you could do more with the virtual reality for sure but also more with the interactions. SID still kept his powers while in the real world somehow so I’d like to expand on that and see what else he could do. Giving him the memories and personalities of various serial killers was an unexpected move but it’s not a bad idea to really make this villain as terrifying as possible. The character cast is good too although for most of the movie I felt like the researcher got off easy. Yes most of the characters didn’t know that he planned this out but you’d still think that he would be getting some heavy blame here since this is his creation. Even if he hadn’t helped SID out, this was going to be inevitable after a while and every company needs a fall guy. I wanted more of corporate’s reaction to this.

Overall, Virtuosity was an interesting movie to be sure. It had its fun moments and it never dragged on. The way Parker’s family was bumped off was also an especially tragic one to really make him feel a lot of guilt. It was done tragically but without being overly violent which I thought was clever. The film can be a bit violent to be sure but it’s not as excessive as you may think and so it doesn’t take away from the overall story. I would recommend this if you are interested in seeing more of the virtual world.

Overall 6/10


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