Virtuosity (1995)

virtuosity poster 1995 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Good cast

Story drags, visuals are dated

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Virtuosity

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): August 4, 1995

MPAA Rating: R

virtuosity sid russell crowe

SID’s here to party!

The Sadisitic, Intelligence, Dangerous program is the future of police training.  When convicted former officer Lt. Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington) sets off against SID 6.7 (Russell Crowe), he sees SID’s danger.  When SID escapes the VR world, Barnes is released from prison to hunt him down, but Parker discovers SID contains the personality of the killer who murdered his family.  Teamed with criminal psychologist Dr. Madison Carter (Kelly Lynch), Parker must stop an unstoppable killer…and he could be a target himself!

Directed by Brett Leonard, Virtuosity is a cyberpunk action thriller.  The movie was released to poor reviews and bombed at the box office.

I actually saw Virtuosity in the theater and remember thinking when I saw L.A. Confidential that “That’s SID” in regards to Russell Crowe.  While the movie still isn’t good and hasn’t gained nostalgia factor, there are much worse films than Virtuosity, but there are also much better.

virtuosity russell crow denzel washington sid

Ok…you’ve been pursing a guy you can reform himself from glass…you knock him into glass and you think he’s helpless…seem’s logical

The story unfortunately drags and limps along.  The idea of a VR simulator for police was something front and center at this time with VR gaining in popularity (but never being as cool as it was in movies like this).  The action is mundane as the Parker character (predictably) tracks SID, and SID takes the predictable route with his victims and targets (who didn’t see the little girl getting kidnapped coming?)  It feels like the ending sequence where Denzel essentially punks SID into giving up his plans by tricking SID into believing he was still in reality should have happened sooner or been the thrust of the movie (kind of like The Cell which came later).

I had hard time figuring out if I liked or cared about Denzel’s character.  Obviously becoming a murderer for his family was a viable vice, but his personality was kind of abrasive through the whole film.  He also didn’t take logical steps like leaving the police custody and knocking a villain into a bunch of glass when he uses glass to rebuild himself…and thinking he was defeated.  Kelly Lynch was a bland semi romantic lead (allegedly plans for a relationship between Lynch and Washington’s character was quashed by Washington).  Russell Crowe just tries to have fun with SID by being over-the-top but comes off as amateur instead of crazy.  Kaley Cuoco plays the young daughter in her first film role, and Louise Fletcher, William Forsythe, William Fichtner have bland supporting roles.

virtuosity ending kaley cuoco denzel washington

Hey Kaley, you’re about to be part of a Big Bang if SID gets his way

The movie was attempting to be high tech when it was released, but like many computer themed movies, it was quickly dated.  The movie actually didn’t utilize the computer aspect as much as it should have so that does help the dating, but it still feels cheaper than some of the other big budget action movies.

Virtuosity isn’t a good movie.  It has a good cast, but overall, the cast flounders in a script that isn’t quite sure what it is doing.  You can watch the movie and spend a couple hours full of mundane action, but it is probably better spent watching better action thrillers…or even just watch Tron again.  End of Line SID 6.7.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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