Worth A Look: 2.6%
Pretty Bad: 20.78%
Total Crap: 66.23%
3 reviews, 59 user ratings
by Chris Parry
Chuck Pfarrer is an ex-jarhead that wrote such masterpieces as Barb Wire, Navy Seals, The Jackal and Darkman. Those four, if your local cable company dared show them all in a day, would be enough to warrant you marching into the cable company's offices and mowing down the backroom staff with high powered artillery fire.
Unfortunately Mister Pfarrer can still get work in showbiz. His latest effort is easily his worst (difficult in that company).Virus is an undisputable piece of shit.
"Words can not begin to describe how bad this is. Shameful. Avoid."
On top of Hack Pfarrer's script of unmentionable swill comes a C-list cast. You have the sad she-male - Jamie-Lee Curtis, an actor so over the hill he's nearly underground - Donald Sutherland, the middle Baldwin brother who wants to be famous like his brothers - William, a tattoo covered Maori who'll never appear in another film again and the worst special effects this side of Tank Girl.
Let's jump into the story here. An energy force takes over the Mir space station and sends itself down via the satellite dish to a Russian satellite ship, where it takes over the ships computers and studies up on mankind in an effort to exterminate what it sees as a virus - people. The energy needs a physical form, so it takes parts of humans and builds robotics into them and uses them as it's body.
Bad start. Throw in a typhoon to make things all nice and rocky (at least outside the ship as inside it seems to all be nice and serene) and the most sophisticated robotic machinery ever placed on a boat and you're way out of the realms of stupid. You're now past "stupid" and into "moronic". "Non functioning vegetative state" can't be far off.
So what's bad? Everything. We know the script is below HBO standard. In fact, we're talking Guatemalan 3:00AM cable filler here folks. Paint your dog's paws and make him run around on a big notepad for five minutes. Examine result. You now have Chuck Pfarrer's next synopsis.
But hey, sometimes a great cast or premise can save a shitty script, right? Perhaps. Unfortunately Virus has neither. Dodgy premise and a woeful cast. We're talking extreme woe here, folks. We're talking.. well there's only one way to decribe it. Shameful.
Jamie Lee is aging badly. Her talent, which was always based in her looks, is now woefully exposed. Every line is delivered the same, no matter what the content.
But she looked like fucking Olivier next to Donald Sutherland.
Donny will never have a worse role in his entire life. HOW BAD? Have you ever heard a theatre full of people laughing with embarrassment at straight delivery? People in this audience were looking around at the people next to them, strangers mind you, and saying things like "this has to be a joke, right?" and "oh my God, he used to be so good" and "this is so bad I can't leave".
Totally straight delivery done so badly that people laughed AT him. The writing is bad enough, but the delivery was just sad. It's like watching Morgan Freeman in a CarrotTop movie. You just want to stop it halfway and make people leave the building, to save the man some dignity.
Billy Baldwin, well at least he was trying. Not a lot to work with and, bless him, maybe he didn't know how shitty it all was, but he tried.
The rest will never work again, so forget them.
Which leaves one last chance to salvage anything out of this mess... effects. Well, perhaps I should just sum it up in one sentence. "Model boat in a bathtub". Apocalyptically bad. The director was the guy responsible for the effects on The Abyss, so I don't know how it could happen, but the effects here are as bad as Donald Sutherland's acting, and that's saying a hell of a lot.
Overall, there is absolutely no reason to see this movie for anything other than rubbernecking. It's a disaster that you can't help but watch. It's so bad you need to see how it all turns out.
The ending of the film is an extreme disappointment, even in a film filled with disappointments. Somehow it managed to be worse than anything else in the film, perhaps worse than anything else I've seen.
Virus should not be released, it's that shameful. Everyone involved I'm sure would love to be disassociated with the project, even if it meant giving their wage back. It's not even straight to video fare. Tell everyone you know to stay away from this film, for Donald Sutherland's sake, if not their own.Chuck Pfarrer. Remeber that name folks, if you see it on a trailer the keyword is AVOID. As for this film, the name is apt. Virus is the strep throat of 90's cinema.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=562&reviewer=1
originally posted: 12/04/98 02:43:02