Do Androids Dream of Electric Crime? – Vice (2015)

Sloppy execution.  So this is a universe where there is a gigantic company that has built an entire city that utilizes highly realistic androids so as to help people fulfill whatever seedy fantasies they may have.  Want to rob a bank without the hassle of booting up GTA V?  Here you go.  Want the girlfriend experience?  This is your place.  Want something darker?  They can make that happen as well.  It’s just a matter of repairing a robot, it’s unimportant if they get damaged.  Naturally, like all of these stories work, a female android (Ambyr Childers) inexplicably becomes sentient, and immediately becomes the target of the man running the company (Bruce Willis) and a cop trying to take down this modern day Gomorrah (Thomas Jane).  Although I haven’t checked, this is a film that I am certain is currently sitting at a nearby Redbox right now, and people will rent it, because it has Bruce Willis on the cover.  This is going to find people, and I seriously doubt that anybody is going to respond to this, because it’s just a mediocre science fiction story.

bruceWhen the closest comparison out there is a poor man’s Gamer, your movie’s got some problems.

The reason why you’re watching this is for Bruce Willis, and you must have succumbed to settling for his direct to VoD stuff, like Setup and The Cold Light of Day (two movies I know that I’ve actually watched because my records say I have, but have been completely scrubbed from my brain).  This isn’t Die Hard, though, and if you’re expecting him to do some action, get ready to be sorely disappointed.  He could sleepwalk through this role, and there really isn’t much asked of him; there is nothing about his role that couldn’t have been shot over three days (if that) so he can collect a decent paycheck and be on his merry way.  This film also serves as a reminder that Thomas Jane is still around, who I had totally forgotten about after his cameo in Scott Pilgrim five years ago.

Vegan_Police_MovieIf the law enforcement in this were vegan police, I can promise you that I would have liked this more.

The thing about this film is that this is water that has already been tread, and it is completely and utterly unremarkable.  I never at any point cared at all, and I think that was largely due to the fact that I had difficulty relating to a world where everybody is a rapist at heart.  To make this story work, you have to care about the robot, and you don’t, because as pretty as she is, Childers isn’t good enough of an actress to sell it.  The acting all around isn’t great, either, and there is just an endless amount of mindless gunplay where everybody is the equivalent to a stormtrooper, having their guns set to miss.  For once, I would just love it if we could have one of these movies that features an evil company that exists in a world where they have seen Terminator, you will know what I’m talking about if you decide to watch this.  This is too dark to be enjoyable, and really kind of a mess of a film.

Vice (2015) *1/2

– Critic for Hire

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