Happy New Year! While the new year's dawning is cause for celebration in several places throughout the globe, one group of people loathe the new year, and all that it represents. Those people are moviegoers. Yep. It's January again. Much like how Groundhog Day can predict six additional weeks of winter, New Year's Day is a harbinger as well. January 1st is generally followed by two month's worth of the stupidest movies ever produced. Impostor is only the first one.It's movies like this that make me annoyed at my chosen field. How the hell am I supposed to write a unique and original review for a film that wouldn't recognize originality if you bought it an all "O" dictionary? Based on a story by Philip K. Dick, the new idiot-fest known as Impostor is about as entertaining as the second of two bologna sandwiches.
From the very outset of the film, a feeling of familiar tedium sets in. The plot is of the barest sci-fi bones imaginable, with our protagonist running repeatedly from villains while blue strobe lights and Corman-seque FX pulsate in the background. Seriously, that's all there is.
There's not one line of dialogue in the first 25 minutes that is NOT clumsy-ass plot exposition, and the actors spouting this nonsense look mystified and lost. Gary Sinise is a scientist who has recently finished creating a massive weapon. This weapon will defend the Earth from the evil Alpha Centauris - whom we never see once. Great.
Anyway, the government is embodied by a portly E.S.A. (Earth Salvation Asses or something to that effect) agent played by Vincent D'Onofrio, an actor long past the point of reading scripts before signing contracts. Spencer (the scientist) also has a wife who is pretty. That she's also a doctor factors into the plot somehow, but perhaps "plot" is too kind a word. Madeline Stowe plays the wife, at least during the first 5 minutes and the final 10. Other than that, she's played by a vaporous dream sequence.
Spencer is suspected of being a replicant, one which houses a powerful bomb in its ribcage. That nobody takes a few minutes to actually confirm this suspicion medically is just one specific reason why this movie is so unremittngly stupid. But there are several others. I feel I've given more attention to this awful film than it deserves, but Impostor is quite notable for one reason; movies this bad generally start out as theatrical releases before being relagated to straight-to-video status. Somehow, this movie did it the other way around. Ah, yes...it's January!
Originally intended as a 40-minute segment of an anthology film, Impostor is idiotically puffed up to a 95-minute running time. While the extra running time does indeed manage to make the film longer, there's just twice as much to yawn at.The works of legendary sci-fi scribe Philip K. Dick have been the basis for some pretty damn good flicks, not the least of which were Blade Runner and Total Recall. While those films captured the stark and clinical cleverness of Dick's stories, Impostor is just warmed-up and lazy Hollywood Shit of the highest order.