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Fil M: Virtuosity

"I'm a fifty terabyte, self-evolving, neural network, double backflip off the high platform. I'm not a swan dive."

Virtuosity is a 1995 science fiction film directed by Brett Leonard. The movie tells the story of a virtual reality villain's successful attempt to escape into the "real world." Sid 6.7, the villain program portrayed by Russell Crowe, is transplanted into an android body and escapes. Parker Barnes, a reinstated police officer played by Denzel Washington, is given the chance to catch him. The film was shot in and arround Los Angeles, California.


The movie provides examples of:

  • Appendage Assimilation: Sid can regrow blown off appendages with glass. It doesn't appear to be that pleasant for him.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Sid 6.7 is created from the personalities of 183 criminals. And an orchestra director.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sid has 183 criminals in his mind, so that's the result.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Barnes has a beard and dreadlocks as a prisoner. He shaves them when he is reinstated to hunt Sid.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Barnes manages to take 30+ shots at Sid in the night club without reloading his standard-issue service pistol once.
  • Boxed Crook: Parker. He gets an Explosive Leash implanted for his trouble. He's let off the hook by Cochran just as Deane is about to execute him.
  • Condemned Contestant: Convicts are used to test the new (and inadvertently deadly) VR police training system. Barnes is an ex-cop who in a break from the norm is actually guilty of the crime he was imprisoned for.
    • Not really an aversion, though. He's in prison for killing a reporter and her cameraman who were interviewing domestic terrorist Matthew Grimes in his own lair - while he was using Barnes' wife and child as bait for a trap. The trap kills both Barnes' ladies, and blows off his arm. He then goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, mowing down Grimes along with his entire gang. Then the bitch and her lackey jump from behind a corner to document everything, swinging the camera like a gun. Barnes, mistaking them for more of Grimes' gang, swings around and blows them away. Well, the jury must have thought that it was somewhat defensible - he only got twenty years for a double manslaughter that was caught on tape. Barnes doesn't seem to care one way or the other, spending most of his time in solitary in an Angst Coma, covering it in chalk drawings just like his daughter's... except when the guards stuff him in general population so they can enjoy Gladiator Games.
  • Emoticon: Barnes locates Sid in the training program through the clue left on the side of one building.
    Barnes: Semicolon; Parenthesis... Smiley face.
  • Everything Is Online: How Sid seems to know so much about Parker, Madison, etc.
  • Expy: Sid looks like he's strongly based on Joker.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Billy is pretty much forgotten about by Parker after Lindenmeyer clubs him to death rather brutally.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Sid 6.7 was intended to essentially be the ultimate criminal, the idea being that if cops could catch him in the simulation, catching any real life criminal would be easy. Unfortunately, Sid figures out how to first start killing people inside the simulation...and then escape into the real world.
  • Groin Attack: Parker does this - twice - to the racist white inmate who tried to kill him when he got back from being a guinea pig.
  • Inside a Computer System: Where the movie starts.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Sheila 3.2, Virtual reality sex doll, Sole function is to deduce your psychosexual needs, and fulfill them. Lindenmyer explains to Clyde: "Sheila 3.2 is collecting information from 136 aspects of your physiology. Your heart rate, pupil dilation, vocal intonation, syntax..." Lindenmeyer says she's also very skilled at chess.
  • Large Ham: Russell Crowe had so much fuuuun with this movie. Given that his character is basically the robot Joker, it was probably the right way to play it.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Sid 6.7 uses a roomful of hostages at a dance club as a source of a variety of screams, which he then remixes with the club's equipment for his enjoyment.
  • Magic Countdown: Double subverted with the last bomb...which countdowns normally, until Barnes tries anything...at which point it speeds up...desperate, Barnes uses wiring in his prosthetic arm to try and foul it up...which only makes it countdown faster...and then glitch up, "deactivating" the bomb.
  • Mind Hive: Sid 6.7 is a virtual program who eventually gets downloaded into a self-regenerating android body. He's assembled out of the minds of dozens of psychopaths, murderers, and dictators, including the dead terrorist Matthew Grimes, the protagonist Barnes's previous nemesis. Grimes is repeatedly brought to the surface when Sid comes face to face with Barnes and influences Sid's desire to gain world notoriety.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Sid 6.7 is created from the personalities of 183 criminals. And an orchestra director.
  • Murder.com: Sid takes over a TV studio and announces "Death TV", where the viewers get to vote by telephone on which member(s) of the studio audience he kills and how he does it.
    Sid 6.7: All you have to do, sweet viewers, is ask! So, what do you want? Strangulation? Mutilation? Cannibalism? Gunshots? Stabbings? I'll slice, I'll dice, I'll julienne! How about hanging... by the testicles?
  • Nanomachines: What Sid is made up of in the real world.
  • Neck Snap: When one guy in the TV shop insists on watching the fighting tournament, Sid 6.7 twists his neck around.
  • Not So Different: Sid does a version of this speech over the radio to Barnes and Dr. Carter while being chased.
    Sid 6.7: I've been thinking, Parker. We have so much in common psychologically. Wouldn't you agree, Dr Carter? We have such a history together. We'd make a great team. A dynamic duo. Who else touches the world with synthetic hands? Who else has been locked out of the real world and is now just learning to free? Who else do you know that's a multiple murderer... just like you?
    • He also tries to do a version of this speech to the entire human race.
      Sid 6.7: What I am is not my fault. It's not even my choice. I came to be because of what YOU are. Face it folks, to kill is in your nature!
      • He kind of has a point - nothing about him is programmed, everything is copied from human behavior, albeit that of psychotic criminals.
  • Number of the Beast: Sid 6.7's version number is supposedly an oblique reference to 666. It's 6.66 rounded to one decimal place.
  • One-Winged Angel: Sid tries to do this near the end. Unfortunately for him, Transformation Is Not A Free Action after all.
  • Product Placement: Ends up at an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout.
  • Reality Warper: When Sid 6.7 realizes he is back in VR, he screams "YOU'RE IN MY WORLD NOW!!!" and twists the building around in an attempt to kill Barnes.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: How Parker ended up in jail - it's revealed in flashbacks that after Matthew Grimes killed Parker's family Parker - who lost his arm in the explosion that killed his wife and daughter (it was supposed to kill him as well) - found Grimes anyway right after the fact and killed Grimes along with his henchmen... unfortunately Grimes was doing an interview with a two person news crew so that he could gloat over how cool he was, and after Parker got done killing the dirty bastard he killed the news team by accident, turning and firing on them thinking they were just more of Grimes mooks.
  • Robot Girl: Clyde's desire to turn Shelia 3.2 into this results in Sid getting an android body.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Sid is able to briefly shift his face and voice to look like Matthew Grimes, the terrorist who killed Parker Barnes' family. Sid explains that seeing Barnes bring Grimes, out of all 183 criminals, "oozing to the surface"
  • Shout-Out: At one point, Sid says to someone, "love the suit."
  • Silicon-Based Life: Sid's body. He uses glass to regenerate himself.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lindenmeyer, the creator of Sid 6.7, fools someone into introducing him into the real world. Guess who kills the sucker?
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Glass for Sid 6.7, which he uses to regenerate lost body parts. Goes to ridiculous extremes when he starts eating shards of broken windshield like Halloween candy.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: Only set in 1999.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Not a straight example - the system is designed to train cops in combat situations, similar to the US Army's Real Life Force XXI program. The problem is that different people worked on different parts of the system - and didn't understand how Lindenmeyer's maniacal AI could abuse it. The Dev Team Thought of ALMOST Everything - they programmed in non-lethal simulations of being shot, bludgeoned and even bitten - but when Sid decided to try electrocuting someone, the poor chump's brain overloaded.
    Sid 6.7: Killing for real... It was a real rush.


TRON: LegacyScience Fiction FilmsWing Commander
Village of the DamnedFilms of the 1990sWaiting to Exhale

alternative title(s): Virtuosity
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