Virus

on January 15, 1999 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   After losing his ship's precious cargo, Captain Everton (Donald Sutherland) and his salvage tugboat must fight a losing battle against 125-mph hurricane winds. His only chance is to seek refuge in the eye of the hurricane to make repairs to his slowly sinking tug. There, he comes across an unidentified Russian vessel; upon boarding it and finding it abandoned, Everton and his crew claim it as a derelict in international waters.
   But the high-tech science research cruiser does have a few stowaways. One is a babbling, Uzi-wielding Russian (Joanna Pacula) who claims that an electrical entity from outer space hitched a ride down from the Mir Space Station via a data transmission, took over the computer system and killed the crew. What Everton and his crew write off as delusional paranoia quickly proves itself to be fact when the automated robotic lab starts using dead bodies as biological material to create killing machines programmed to believe man is harmful and must be destroyed.
   "Virus," based on Chuck Pfarrer's four-part Dark Horse Comics series, comes off as a cross between the 1984 schlock-thriller "Runaway" and 1996's Borg-ridden "Star Trek: First Contact." While "Virus'" main alien creation isn't impressive, the film's visual effects, combining live action, computer graphics and pyrotechnics, will keep genre fans somewhat intrigued. The writing, on the other hand, which includes dialogue like "You get me killed, I'm going to kick your ass," is the real virus that needs to be eradicated. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Sutherland, Sherman Augustus, William Baldwin, Joanna Pacula and Cliff Curtis. Directed by John Bruno. Written by Dennis Feldman, Jonathan Hensleigh and Chuck Pfarrer. Produced by Gale Anne Hurd. A Universal release. Sci-fi. Rated R for sci-fi violence/gore, and for language. Running time: 100 min
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