Virus is precisely the kind of movie that Scream spoofed. It features mostly stupid people doing and saying stupid things. Thus, it is a very standard, painless sci-fi action flick, with some good effects, but no plot or script.

Jamie Lee Curtis takes another non-stop-shrieking role as Kelly Foster, one of the crew members on an American cargo transport. When their ship gets severely damaged in a hurricane, they encounter a seemingly deserted Russian science vessel, dead in the water. Since their little ship is about to sink they decide to board the Russian boat to save themselves.

They plan to get rich quick by salvaging the ship and selling it back to the Russians but soon discover that it seemed to have been inhabited by a whole new life form whose goal it to eliminate one virus — man.

There is a really good premise somewhere at the core of Virus, but the film does not capitalize on it because it does not immerse itself in it. What the life form is, how it works, where it comes from, all that good stuff is vague at best.

Aside from that, the movie is full of the usual cinematic stereotypes. There is the fast-talking, profanity-sputtering, wise-cracking young black guy; the wealth-obsessed, irrational, will-do-anything-for-money guy in charge, etc. The script is a total botch, with enough plot holes to steer a boat through. And, while at the beginning the film builds up a nice, slow rhythm and pace, in the climactic scene, and like so many action movies, it resorts to mayhem and chaos instead of originality.

Still, the thriller manages to maintain a level of respectability. I was never bored, the special effects were great. Noone in the right mind would call this a good film, or even a decent one, but thankfully, rookie feature director John Bruno’s romp is not a complete waste of celluloid.

-- Eugene Novikov

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Screening Log


Ric Roman Waugh, 2013

Score: C

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh, 2013

Score: C+

10 Years

Jamie Linden, 2012

Score: B-

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance, 2013

Score: B+

Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine, 2013

Score: C

Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravanese, 2013

Score: B-

The Window

Ted Tetzlaff, 1949

Score: B+

The Chase

Arthur Ripley, 1946

Score: B

Street of Chance

Jack Hively, 1942

Score: C

The Taste of Money

Im Sang-Soo, 2013

Score: C+

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