26 September 2007 | vchimpanzee
Not great, or even good that much of the time
At the start and the end of the movie, an old man is telling the story many years in the future.
In 2007, the Neurological Degeneration Syndrome virus is first isolated. Eventually, because all the rain forests are cut down, the virus, transmitted through the air, kills 5 billion people. Only after a treatment called Absolon is found is the disease stopped, but Absolon is not a cure. And everyone needs it to live, and everyone gets it from a company called UPC. In this new world of the future, the only currency is time. Every time someone pays for a product, the price is referred to in minutes, hours, days, etc.
A scientist who has found the cure for NDS is murdered, and Det. Norman Scott and his partner Ruth (who seems to take hair care advice from Kelly Osbourne) are assigned to the case. Since UPC seems to have a monopoly on the product the whole world needs in order to stay alive, it would be in their best interest if the cure were not found. And the WJD seem to be like the FBI, but they are evil.
Det. Scott spends most of his time with Claire, a scientist who is also working on a cure. Occasionally, they are funny. UPC head Murchison and his goons (who include Walters) want them to fail and are willing to kill. And there is a new twist: Scott is given three days to live as a result of an experiment he didn't know he was participating in. This makes the search for the truth more urgent.
This started out as a really bad movie, and while it later showed promise, it never really improved, with two exceptions. Ron Perlman did a very good job as the head villain, and there was one other actor who really showed talent. He played a doctor (or at least some sort of medical professional) who took care of apparently homeless people and was raising two orphaned boys as his own.
Most of the other acting was mediocre or bad. Kelly Brook at least looked good, and she had her moments. Lou Diamond Phillips, despite being a respected actor, didn't show his ability here, in my opinion.
The movie showed little evidence of being set in the distant future. There were computer voices telling people to wake up in the morning, how much "money" they owed when they paid for products, and how much "money" they had left. One virtual reality scene had excellent visual effects (as the return to the "real world" was made, that is), but that seemed to use up the entire visual effects budget for the movie. We were supposed to pretend the cars weren't from the current decade, though cars have looked pretty much the same for years and I suppose it would cost too much to change them to look futuristic. One truck which didn't run looked like it would be nearly 100 years old.
It wasn't the worst movie ever.