the Movie Club Annals ...


Virus 

Reviewed by Carl R.

"What's the matter?  Don't you recognize your old captain?"  Spoken by Captain Everton, played by Donald Sutherland, after being turned into an electrically charged,  half-human, half-monster, by space aliens residing on the deserted Russian ship he found and commandeered in the middle of a three-day long eye of a hurricane. Virus, 1999.

One of the more interesting aspects of being in the Movie Club is taking note of which particular absurdities strike each Movie Club member as the most absurd.  For the movie Virus, there were more than just couple of absurdities that struck everyone with equal force. For starters ...

Donald Sutherland was apparently supposed to have been an American citizen who was the Captain of an American ship with an American crew in American territories in an American movie. So we all wondered aloud why he spoke with a British, Irish, French, Australian, Canadian, Spanish, Scottish, Yugoslavian accent that continued to evolve during the course of the movie. Of course, the accent issue was never resolved.  

A relatively minor issue was the question of why Billy-Degenerate-Bad-Actor-Baldwin, the only "actor" on the face of the earth not talented enough to star in a fine documentary like Virus, was even in this film - or any other film, for that matter.

But, moving along now. The most significant problem with Virus was the fact that it lasted longer than ten minutes. We are given to understand that the space aliens who have taken over the Russian ship -  who feed on electricity - who will die without electricity - who will cease to live without electricity - who cannot survive without electricity - are alive and well because they are feeding on the Russian ship's source of electricity.

So, in first ten minutes of the movie, and every ten minutes thereafter, Nadia, the terrified Russian sole survivor of the alien disaster, suggested loud, long and often that the electricity be disconnected so that the aliens who survive on the electricity will die right away without the electricity they need to survive. Boom. End of movie. Right? Wrong. After all, who in their right mind would listen to volumes of common sense coming from the only person out of a couple thousand who was slick enough to survive the alien intrusion? Again,  issue never resolved.

As always, there were other "issues" in this movie. Our resident Movie Club hurricane experts tell us that the eye of a hurricane can't last for three days like it so compliantly did in Virus.  As for the movie's ending, it would seem that one might get injured by tying oneself to a missile, igniting it, and shooting oneself out into the middle of the vast Pacific ocean only to be eaten by sharks after breaking every bone in one's body as a result of the 300 mph impact. But, as we all know, it didn't go down like that. Guess we can't always expect a happy ending.

C.R.