Gire: My ad-'Vice' -- skip this film

  • Thomas Jane plays a scruffy cop trying to shut down a resort of ill repute in the futuristic "Vice."

    Thomas Jane plays a scruffy cop trying to shut down a resort of ill repute in the futuristic "Vice."

Posted1/15/2015 6:00 AM

Mini-review: 'Vice'

Ordinarily, I would pass on reviewing Bruce Willis' latest movie because its distributor sent me a press screener so visually corrupted by on-screen disclaimers and anti-piracy warnings that I could barely get by them to see the film frame.


But then, I was so appalled by the movie's art-challenged brutality, general dumbness, juvenile writing and terrible acting that I felt compelled to warn an unsuspecting public who might mistake "Vice" for a bad "Die Hard" sequel, another "Westworld" movie or, worse, a cheap remake of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner."

Directed aimlessly by Brian E. Miller, "Vice" is the name of a resort operated by a futuristic company that might possibly have supplied "The Stepford Wives."

Vice generates "artificials," humanoid creations made of actual organic material (blood, organs, etc.) that men can rape, strangle, stab, shoot or beat to death in exchange for a big admission price.

Employees pick up the bodies, put them back together, then erase their memories to start the next day's fun activities.

Ambyr Childers plays Kelly, one of the artificials. (Is "replicants" copyrighted or something?) She goes to a bar with a pal. In the parking lot, a nut job blasts the pal with a gun, then takes great pleasure in slowly choking Kelly to death.

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The status quo goes haywire when Kelly's memory cleanse doesn't quite work, and she begins to catch on to the downside of her employment.

As the monster does in "Frankenstein," Kelly eventually confronts her maker, the effetely snobbish Julian Michaels, played by a narcotized Bruce Willis as if auditioning for an extra's job on the set of "The Walking Dead."

Meanwhile, an unwashed, whiskery Thomas Jane plays Roy, the one-dimensional cop counterpart to Harrison Ford's replicant-chasing policeman Deckard, resembling a homeless man with a badge.

Roy wants to stop Michaels' company, because guys get addicted to raping and killing women, then think they can get away with it in the outside world, causing more crime and more police paperwork.

(So much for nearly 2,500 years of Aristotle's theory of catharsis.)

This pandering movie is so thoughtless, so inept and so riddled with bad marksmanship by Michaels' incompetent security guards that it doesn't even qualify for the dubious distinction of being "so bad, it's good."

"Vice" opens at the South Barrington 30 Theaters. Rated R for language, nudity, sexual situations, violence. 96 minutes. star

• Dann Gire's Reel Life column runs Fridays in Time out!

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