- For a person who is virtuous, see virtue.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brett Leonard|
|Produced by||Gary Lucchesi|
|Written by||Eric Bernt|
Kevin J. O'Connor
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Editing by||Conrad Buff
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||106 min.|
Virtuosity is a 1995 techno-thriller film directed by Brett Leonard. The movie tells the story of a virtual villain's successful attempt to escape into the "real world". SID 6.7, the villain program portrayed by Russell Crowe, is eventually 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 around Los Angeles, California. The movie features the first feature film appearance of 10-year-old actress Kaley Cuoco, who would later go onto fame as a cast member on the TV series 8 Simple Rules and The Big Bang Theory.
Programmer Dr. Darrel Lindenmeyer of the Law Enforcement Technology Advancement Centre (LETAC) has developed SID version 6.7: a Sadistic, Intelligent, and Dangerous virtual reality entity amalgamation of 200 notorious criminal personalities: mass murderers, serial killers, and megalomaniacs. Programmed using genetic algorithms, each of the 200 killers in SID holds the memories, personality/behavioral traits, and emotional composition of the original. Being far too complex to design, Lindenmeyer has SID's program begin with him as a child (sped up in virtual reality), having the killers in his subconscious raise him and guide him in the ways of the world. The killers emerge through the 50 terabyte, self-evolving neural network that is SID through a type of Multiple Personality Disorder, giving way to the stronger personalities depending on each situation.
LETAC would like to train police officers by putting them in full-sensory simulation VR with SID, the idea being that if the cops in the virtual reality simulator can catch him, they can catch anyone. First they must prove the concept works, which they decide to do using prisoners as test subjects. While Parker Barnes (Washington) and another prisoner are inside virtual reality in form of a Japanese restaurant, SID, having the accumulated knowledge of 200 killers, has figured out how to raise the neural sensitivity calibrations in the VR program, causing the pain being received to affect real life. SID kills one of the two prisoner-turned-temporary-police officers by torture through electrocution - a technique Barnes accurately notes is NOT available as one of his programmed methods of killing. The aftermath leaves the prisoner dead of severe, concentrated seizures to the major pain receptors of the brain. Barnes is left traumatized and later has to fight for his life in prison because it has become known he is an ex-cop.
Witnessing the catastrophe, Commissioner Elizabeth Deane, the director overseeing the SID project, orders it shut down. Later, Lindenmeyer gravely tells his 'masterpiece' his fate. SID, in turn, tells Lindenmeyer an alternative: tricking Clyde Reilly, a befriended coworker at LETAC, into turning SID's persona into a regenerating android (better known as a 'nanotech synthetic organism'), by making him think he is actually generating the persona and form of a sexy virtual prostitute, Sheila 3.2. Less than 30 seconds after the ultimate madman is released into our world, Reilly becomes SID's first victim. Now in the real world, he is free of all behavioral limits he previously had in virtual reality, gaining the ability to now grow on his own - rewriting and improving his own programming. The cops remember that Barnes was the only subject who could keep up with SID in the simulator and decide they need to use him to stop the virtual-turned-actual killing machine.
Barnes is given an offer by LETAC: he will be temporarily released to track down SID, but he is also injected with a radioactive device that will "terminate" him via satellite uplink if he fails. Barnes ultimately tracks down SID (after he kills dozens of people, and after several high-speed chases) and manages to damage his body severely by causing it to be impaled on a sheaf of glass. Before SID can regenerate, Barnes removes his core, killing him. However SID has kidnapped the daughter of Dr. Madison Carter, a psychologist who has also been assigned to the case and has been accompanying Barnes all along, and who has followed Barnes throughout his exploits on this case. In the meantime Carter's superior [William Cochran] has managed to capture Lindenmeyer and force him to help them set up a simulation that causes SID to think he won instead of being impaled and reveal where her daughter is, all in VR. Lindenmeyer bludgeons Cochran to death, then sits down and rapturously observes as SID ramps up Barnes' sensitivity in the virtual world to nigh-unbearable levels. Lindenmyer is shot twice to death by Carter after she breaks free; she then frees Barnes. Barnes rescues her daughter where she has been held in an air duct after figuring out SID's puzzle, then tosses SID's core drive off a rooftop, where it is run over by police cars on the road below, destroying it.
Cast (in credits order)
- Denzel Washington - Lt. Parker Barnes, the main protagonist who was later put into prison after killing a man that killed his family.
- Russell Crowe - SID 6.7, the main antagonist who is first a virtual reality entity but later becomes a regenerating android in reality.
- Kelly Lynch - Dr. Madison Carter
- Stephen Spinella - Dr. Darrel Lindenmeyer, one of the two main antagonists. He is the one who created SID 6.7 and Sheila 3.2
- William Forsythe - William Cochran
- Louise Fletcher - Commissioner Elizabeth Deane
- William Fichtner - William Wallace
- Costas Mandylor - John Donovan
- Kevin J. O'Connor - Clyde Reilly
- Kaley Cuoco - Karin Carter, Madison's daughter who gets kidnapped by SID.
- Christopher Murray - Matthew Grimes
- Mari Morrow as Linda Barnes
- Johnny Kim - Lab Tech
- Heidi Schanz - Sheila 3.2
- Traci Lords - Media Zone singer
- Gordon Jennison Noice - Big Red
Critical response 
See also 
- "Virtuosity (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- "Virtuosity - Cast, Crew, Director and Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- Entertainment Tonight. CBS. November 30, 2012.
- Virtuosity (1995), Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2013-03-04
- 28ed. Festival Internaciona de Cinema Fantàstic de Sitges (7/10 - 14/10), Sitges Film Festival, 1995, retrieved 2013-03-04