After a series of mostly dramatic roles it was a nice change to see a Russell Crowe film that was a little more action packed and fast paced. Even though Virtuosity is not known as being even a remotely good film it's hard to overlook the performances, which at least in Crowe's case was quite explosive.
Virtuosity stars Denzel Washington as Parker Barnes an ex-cop who has been imprisoned for the murder of Matthew Grimes, the terrorist that murdered his family. Barnes had been trailing and building a case against him for sometime, but Grimes uses his family to lure him in an attempt to exterminate him. Only Barnes survives Grimes trap and therefore takes revenge on him for killing his family. Now Barnes is in prison and he's a lab-rat for a new virtual reality police training program which pits the participants against SID 6.7 (Russell Crowe), a ruthless computer program with the personalty's of 200 psychopaths.
With the assistance of SID's creator, he's able to escape his virtual prison and exist in the real world only to begin his tirade, killing people wherever he'll have the biggest audience, because all SID craves is attention. This leads the police to turn to Barnes, the only person whose come close to matching SID in the simulations. If Barnes can find and stop SID then he can regain his freedom. The twist is one of SID's 200 personalities is Matthew Grimes; now Barnes mission is personal.
Virtuosity is a pretty awful film, there's really no getting around that but it gets points solely on Russell Crowe's performance which is extremely sadistic, creepy and would give Health Ledger's Joker a fight to the death. In such a poor and campy film I think Crowe's performance gets overlooked as simply over-the-top. But if you transferred his performance into something like The Dark Knight in a role of the Joker, or personally I think with his look would be well suited for the Riddler, you'd be hearing some high praise from critics because it's legitimately scary a times how well Crowe plays this psychopath.
Denzel doesn't give a bad performance either, although it's nothing above a beyond what we're used to seeing from him. He's a little corny at the beginning but when his character is finally let out of prison to stop SID, we get the typical Denzel stoic performance. In the end, Virtuosity is another film only worth checking out for Crowe's performance (or unless you have a taste for bad science fiction thrillers), nothing else stands out and there is absolutely no saving grace for the story. It's simply a horribly recycled tale of revenge with some virtual reality mixed in for flavor.
Virtuosity Full Movie
Virtuosity Full Movie