Virus (1999)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Jamie Lee Curtis in Virus (1999)

Hackers from Space

When the trawler Sea Star gets caught in a typhoon and loses the barge they are towing Captain Robert Everton (Donald Sutherland) is a broken man having sunk everything into the cargo which ends up sunk. But all is not lost as when they take shelter in the calm waters at the eye of the storm they come across a Russian research ship which appears to be abandoned and realising its value decide to take it back to America and claim salvage. But after starting it up strange things start to happen as the ship seems to be running itself and then members of the crew start to vanish as they realise something has control of the ship, something not of this planet.

Get the popcorn out and sit back and spend just over 90 minutes enjoying some typical 90s action, that is my advice to anyone who has yet to watch "Virus" and fancy giving it a go. I say this because "Virus" is not only typical of the 90s action genre but extremely cliche, seeming to have drawn on other movies when it comes to the storyline. Yes from a point of originality "Virus" sucks but if all you want is some over the top action and excitement it serves its purpose.

William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland in Virus (1999)

Now that plot outline for "Virus" doesn't mention the actual start of the movie which sets up what sort of happened to the floating Russian research lab, a series of scenes which wouldn't have felt out of place in an episode of the X-Files. But then after a noisy opening, noise is a big part of "Virus", it then morphs into a sea disaster movie as we have the Sea Star and the desperate Captain battling the Typhoon, sort of a bit like "The Perfect Storm". But then it morphs again when they come across the abandoned Russian vessel and discover strange things going on as they find one surviving Russian crew member. And then the crew members start disappearing, which makes it a bit "Alien" and "The Abyss" like. As I said there isn't much originality to "Virus" and stylistically everything about it is stereotypically 90s.

But you see "Virus" was never a movie driven by story but one driven by recognizable actors delivering sci-fi action against some sort of mysterious alien entity picking them off one by one. As such it ticks the boxes because whilst the characters are typical and one dimension we have Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin and Jamie Lee Curtis along with some other recognizable faces with Curtis making it very easy on the eye. And then we have the action driven by the alien entity in control of the ship and I suppose I should say spoiler alert but what we have is a ship infected by an Alien computer virus making mini spider like robots. It is a whole lot of nonsense with terrible dialogue but entertaining with some surprisingly gory moments of action.

What this all boils down to is that "Virus" is not by any stretch of the imagination a great movie but if you want some 90s popcorn entertainment this ticks the boxes.


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