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Video Reviews

MPAA Rating
Credits
Genre
Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Cast
Gary Sinise as Spencer Olham; Mekhi Phifer as Cale; Madeleine Stowe as Maya Olham; Tony Shalhoub as Nelson Gittes; Vincent D’Onofrio as Hathaway
Director
Gary Fleder
Distributor
Disney/Buena Vista
Reviewer
Bob Smithouser
Impostor

Impostor

The futuristic world of science fiction author Philip K. Dick (previously seen in Blade Runner and Total Recall) is dark and foreboding. Now Impostor (PG-13) continues the trend, transporting viewers to a voice-activated tomorrow where earth has domed its cities to defend against nasty space aliens, and synthetic DNA makes it hard to tell who’s human and who’s a genetically engineered cyborg.

No sooner do we meet weapons engineer Spencer Olham (Sinise) than he becomes a perplexed fugitive. Authorities are convinced he’s a cyborg who killed the real Olham, assumed his identity, and wants to assassinate a chancellor. A frantic quest to prove his humanity leads Olham to a downed spacecraft containing the chilling truth.

Most of this dimly lit film involves Sinise scurrying through dark streets, tunnels, woods, aqueducts and abandoned buildings. It gets tedious. Dick’s short story would have been better served as an hour-long Outer Limits episode than a protracted feature. If only Impostor had used more of its time to expand on references to God, man’s soul and their eternal bond. As is, we get a very long chase.

Beyond its mediocre storytelling and production values, Impostor’s shootings, stabbings and other violence get bloody at times, as do scenes in which high-tech gizmos are crudely extracted from bodies. There are just over a dozen profanities, and half are abuses of God’s name (one f-word). Sex between Olham and his wife avoids offensive nudity, but the camera jumps around for tight shots of groping in bed. A sci-fi clunker families can do without.

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