Film (1995). Paramount Pictures presents a Gary Lucchesi production. Directed by Brett Leonard. Written by Eric Bernt. Cast includes Russell Crowe, Kelly Lynch and Denzel Washington. 102 minutes. Colour.
Virtuosity combines Hollywood staple themes of Virtual Reality and the indestructible killer, but at its heart is a traditional thriller of cop versus criminal. SID 6.7 (Crowe) is a debonair, if psychotic Artificial Intelligence (see AI), SID being an acronym for "Sadistic, Intelligent, Dangerous". It is programmed with a consciousness based on an amalgamation of the personalities of celebrated murderers, dictators, etc. and housed in human form within a virtual reality designed for use in training exercises for law enforcement officers. When a training session results in the death of a test subject, SID's creator saves it from being shut down by transferring its mind into an artificial physical body. An ex-policemen (Washington) is called upon to stop SID, which is aggressively taking full advantage of its embodiment. The script is somewhat muddled, but the film does display flashes of style; notably in the casual use of Nanotechnology that allows SID to regenerate lost body parts by consuming inorganic materials. The novelization is Virtuosity (1995) by Terry Bisson. [JN]
Previous versions of this entry