Monday, March 16, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: Vice

2015, Brian A Miller (nothing anyone heard of) -- download

Wow, again I am astounded by the genre of Straight to X being alive and well. I bring this up rather a lot. In the video store days, I guess I was able to avoid them knowing the style and substance from the back of their video boxes. In today's world of movie blog snippets and trailers and downloads, I guess I let a few slip past. Some are definitely worth it, as they fit more into the indie movie, where a director or writer passionate about their material produces something less than polished but still enjoyable. But then there are these -- done solely to pander to a genre and a paycheck. This is about overseas distribution & on-demand sales and nothing else. The number of production companies attached to the opening credits should have been my warning.

Vice is a movie about AI, but you would never really guess it. There are a few off-handed references about it having been invented but frightened the populace, and therefore made illegal. Then the rich guy who was funding the research came up with a brilliant idea -- turn self aware artificial intelligence into fuck and murder toys. Steal a bit from Westworld and a bit from Fantasy Island and a whole lot from the GTA video game series, and you get the business model in Vice. Its a city populated almost entirely by "artificials", where real humans can act out every fantasy, with no repercussions. And apparently, almost everyone wants to rape, murder and torture. But as long as they keep their sadism to the non-humans, its OK. But Thomas Jane, the badly dressed, terribly groomed cop believes they get amped up by their fake-crimes and go into the real world, to cause real havoc. Because, you know, video games cause people to commit crimes.

This is just a save-the-pretty-girl movie. Nobody seems at all astounded, that she has full self-awareness. Nope, they are just more concerned that the pretty, demure blonde girl needs help. Her creator wants to run away to a tropical island with her, having already abandoned her to that fuck city run by Bruce Willis. And Thomas Jane just wants that place to fall, thus abandoning all pretense at actually investigating a crime. He spends the latter half of the movie just shooting down security guards. No, not the black clad homicidal paramilitary force from earlier in the movie, but run of the mill gray clad rent-a-cops. They probably see some nutcase shooting up the place, but that doesn't matter, he kills them all. Meanwhile "got an upgrade" robo-blonde does exactly nothing with her upgrades, other than slick back her hair and put on more eyeliner. She still has to be saved by Jane. So we ignore the fact she cannot really die, as that is one of the purposes of these bloody machines !! Oh, this was infuriating, even more so that it was done with a decent budget.