(Bruce Willis, Thomas Jane, Ambyr Childers, Johnathon Schaech, Bryan Greenberg, et al / DVD / R / 2015 / LGF)
Overview: Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis) has designed the ultimate resort: VICE, where anything goes and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants who look, think and feel like humans. When an artificial (Ambyr Childers) becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between Julian's mercenaries and a cop (Thomas Jane) who is hell-bent on shutting down Vice, and stopping the violence once and for all.
DVD Verdict: They used to call these kind of movies "paycheck" films. I think they still do, but what puts this one above (just) the rest, is that as much as Bruce Willis sleepwalks his way through his role as resort owner/host Julian Michaels, both Ambyr Childers and Thomas Jane actually don't!
With a plot taken directly from the classic 1973 film 'Westworld' (which is perfect timing as they are currently remaking 'Westworld' as we speak; of course they are!), 'Vice' is a film that smacks of the filmmakers attempting - for better or for worse - to make a cheap comic book movie. Unfortunately, they didn't have the funds or imagination. The result compares unfavorably with the average movie made for the SyFy channel.
Again, the original idea is interesting: A theme park for adults were people can do whatever they want. With some imagination it could become a serious study of human conduct; an action movie, a moral tale or at least a very interesting movie. It just didn't! I'm sorry, but I just haven't the faintest notion of what the filmmakers are trying to say about technology, violence and human empathy.
That all said, 'Vice' has some great action sequences, doesn't stretch too far outside of its fantasy resort confines, but has enough twists and turns to keep you watching. Even the final seconds reveal a twist that even I, an avid "twist hunter' never saw coming - but should have! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary with Director Brian A. Miller and Actors Ambyr Childers and Bryan Green berg
Behind The Scenes of Vice
Cast and Crew Interviews