Vice (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Director: Brian A Miller
Distributor: Just Entertainment
Duration: 96 minutes

Vice (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Bruce Willis is awesome as Julian
Bad: Superficial story, mediocre acting
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Imagine a kind of virtual world where really anything is allowed. Fancy to murder someone? No problem. Oh, you want to rape and mutilate? Go ahead. More into the breaking and entering business? Knock yourself out. The mind of a person can hold the most twisted ideas and desires and this is where Vice comes in.

Vice logo

Vice is essentially a sort of resort in which robot-like inhabitants live like real life humans, although they are not aware of the fact that everything is ‘fake’ on their behalf. Real life people can come and go in the resort as they see fit and fulfill their wildest (and often horrendous) dreams. The robots are their playthings to do with as they see fit and every evening, the minds of those artificial beings are erased and they basically relive the day over and over again, without suspecting anything. It’s worth mentioning that those ‘creatures’ are not robots like you’d think: metallic and braindead. They truly feel emotions like we do and they are build up from human organs and skin so the illusion is as close to the reality as possible. One of those robots is Kelly (Ambyr Childers), a waitress who goes out to celebrate her last day at work before leaving town to explore what the world has to offer (or so she’s programmed to think as she never truly leaves Vice). Together with her best friend Melissa (Charlotte Kirk) she lingers in the local bar a bit before getting harassed by an annoying guy who seems to know them. It doesn’t take long before all hell breaks loose and both Melissa and Kelly lose their lives. No problem, a simple reboot and done.


Or so that was the plan, which eventually goes horribly wrong. Instead of forgetting everything that happened, Kelly starts to experience flashbacks. Each time she was murdered, beaten or harassed, she can now remember and when word comes out there’s a defect ‘unit’ walking around, the hunt begins, led by Vice director Julian (Bruce Willis). Kelly must escape as soon as possible and she finds herself an ally in a guy named Evan (Bryan Greenberg), a fellow who she always meets in the bar at night. Eventually, it turns out Evan has his own problems to deal with but as Kelly is a big part of them, the two help each other out while trying to get away from Julian’s goons.

Meanwhile, an old-school detective Roy (Thomas Jane) tries everything he can to bring down Vice as he isn’t as convinced as the rest of the world of Vice’s soothing effects on the human population. In fact, he thinks that the resort only enhances the feelings of violence and the need to kill. When Kelly breaks out, Roy smells the perfect opportunity to orchestrate the downfall of Julian, together with his precious Vice resort.

The story is incredibly superficial and doesn’t do much to get the viewer involved as much as possible. You simply have somewhat of a plot, now enjoy the action, the creators must’ve thought. Unfortunately, without a good, fleshed out story, there’s not much joy to be had with Vice. Sure, the idea of an alternative world where killing people is 100 percent allowed sounds cool and all, but is it enough to fulfill your movie needs? Probably not. Count hereby the very unrealistic way of how the characters in the movie handle the situation and there’s not much of a plot left standing. Although Kelly is initially quite shocked with the discovery of her being… well, plain fake, she quickly switches over from a helpless barmaid to a badass fighting chick who can elude proper trained troops. It just doesn’t make any sense.


For the acting, let’s start with the strongest actor, although you barely see him on screen: Bruce Willis. He portrays the character of the egocentric and power hungry Julian pretty good and although he’s supposed to be ‘the bad guy’, it’s hard not to like the professional way Julian performs all his actions. He’s just so carefree and cold (in the beginning of the movie anyway), that it’s quite nice to see him at work rather than the chaos you get with Ambyr Childers, Thomas Jane and Bryan Greenberg. Although there are certainly enough decent parts in Vice concerning those three, the characters just feel too rushed, fake and it’s hard to care about any of them. You can see how Childers tries to bring a convincing performance, especially in the beginning of the movie where hysteria is the key word, but later, the acting just falls apart thanks to a bunch of clichés and just lame acting in general. Thomas Jane and Bryan Greenberg suffer a bit less from those issues but still, when you see Willis at work, the others are soon forgotten.


Vice might be fun for some cheap action sequences but don’t expect anything close to a coherent and interesting storyline with great character development. Bruce Willis is great as Julian but unfortunately, we see very little of him and must make do with lesser characters Kelly, Roy and Evan. Although the actors and actress behind those three personages really try to make something of the movie, their efforts can’t save it from being nothing more than a cheap looking B-movie.


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