Impostor
3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
who am i Based on a story by Philip K Dick, there's a terrific premise to this ultimately rather unambitious sci-fi thriller. It's the year 2079 and Spencer (Sinise) is a star scientist helping earth battle the brutal Centauris, a war that has raged for a decade, sending humankind scrambling for cover under huge domes. But Spencer's idyllic life with his wife (Stowe) is about to be interrupted by a tenacious CIA-like agent (D'Onofrio) who thinks the aliens have replaced Spencer with a replicant assassin complete with Spencer's memories and no knowledge of the plot it's involved in. So Spencer goes on the run, linking up with an outlander (Phifer) to prove he is still himself.

Sinise is quite good as the guy trying desperately to prove that he's innocent, even as he has nagging self-doubts. He seems to draw strength on his feelings of love for his wife, which must be genuine, mustn't they? In this sense, the film is a superb examination of human interaction, with the central trio cycling around each other horrifically. Where it stumbles is in the usual trappings of a movie thriller--endless chase scenes, increasingly risky heroics, plot kinks galore, technological wizardry just for the sake of it. On the whole, the film looks great, with low lighting and effective effects shots. Where it stumbles is in the bombastic music and editing, and in a general cheesiness that pervades the art and set direction. Then the cinematic elements of the plot kick in, trying desperately to create a twist that will shock us. But by then we realise we're back in familiar movie thriller territory, so nothing comes as much of a surprise. Pity.

cert 15 themes, violence and gore, language 11.Jun.02

dir Gary Fleder
scr Caroline Case, Ehren Kruger, David Twohy
with Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Mekhi Phifer, Tony Shalhoub, Tim Guinee, Gary Dourdan, Tracey Walter, Scott Burkholder, Lindsay Crouse, Elizabeth Pena, Rosalind Chao
release US 4.Jan.02; UK 14.Jun.02
Dimension
02/US 1h26

Check-up. Spencer (Sinise) tries to get a body scan, but just keeps getting interrupted...

sinise stowe d'onofrio phifer
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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