If you’re the kind of person who likes to wear colourful, flowery, Hawaiian shirts, then the future is probably not for you.
If this new Gary Sinise film, Impostor, is any indication, the year 2079 is a time of restrained utilitarian fashion in matching shades of blue and grey. The fact that the world is under attack from aliens hailing from Alpha Centauri is beside the point.
I mean, who wants freedom from angry invading fish-heads (you don’t get to see the aliens, but I picture them as having fish-heads and maybe little ferrets for fingers) if it means you can’t wear comfortable, loud coloured shirts? Not I, that’s who! Let ‘em have the Earth I say!
So, as you may have gathered, this film is about a bit more than the future of the fashion industry. In fact, it’s about identity, paranoia and technology and Gary Sinise’s crazy eyeballs. Seriously, he has these eyes that look crazy. They look like any minute they’re gonna jump out of his head, sprout legs and arms and a little mouth and start barking at people.
This is apt, because the question throughout the film is, “Is Gary a killer robot or a human?” (I’ve wondered this about Gary Sinise since Forrest Gump, actually.) See, Gary is a super-scientist who has just created a weapon that might end the war between the humans and the fish-headed-ferret-fingers, a war which has pretty much stuffed rental property values across the world. Earth security forces believe that Gary was replaced with an identical robot copy which comes with all the standard options such as memories, feelings, a desire to live, and, oh yeah, a bomb in his chest designed to kill someone really important. Can’t forget the bomb!
Naturally, Gary thinks they’re crazy and isn’t too happy that they want to cut his heart out with a giant Bamix, so he goes on the run and tries to prove his innocence. But is he an alien robot programmed to think it’s human, or is he really human? The cool thing about the film, and this surprised me, is that as much as I expected to be able to guess really easily what the outcome would be, I couldn’t. It actually had me wondering, “Is he or isn’t he a robot?”.
But that’s not all this film has going for it. For a flick which shot straight to video/DVD here, I have to say that the production design and effort that went into much of the film is frankly astonishing. They went to a lot of trouble to create an environment that was believable, and it pays off. Small touches that would be overlooked in similar low rent quickies make all the difference here.
If there were a few more sci-fi releases of this quality I’d be a very happy chap. And if they’d show us a future with people wearing Hawaiian shirts every now and then, even better.
A good transfer, but not a great one for the ages to look back upon and declare a visually triumphant piece of engineering. Affording it a casual glance, it all looks fine, with colours ranging from nice warm hues in the opening and then progressing to darker and colder tones as the story settles in. Where from a distance the picture appears reasonably detailed, it’s upon closer inspection that the detail is noticeably softened, looking at times a little “processed”. This is most evident in the shadowy areas which contain grain, with the encoding not always successful in creating a smooth and consistently stable image. But on the flipside, the effects work, the close-ups and the handling of the quicker cut scenes is all very well done and looks fine.