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Impostor Disappoints in the End

  • Holly McClure Movie Reviewer
  • 2001 12 Dec
  • COMMENTS
<I>Impostor</I> Disappoints in the End

Impostor - PG-13

Best for: Mature teen and adult sci-fi fans.

What it's about: In the year 2079, much of Earth lives under a protective electromagnetic dome that is under attack from Centaurian invaders from a distant solar system who want to conquer Earth. The alien replicants sent to Earth act just like the real people they replace, but the replicants are unaware that they're really assassins, equipped with bombs in their chests and programmed to kill important political figures.

Spencer Olham (Gary Sinise) and his wife (Madeleine Stowe) are high-profile civilians who unknowingly find themselves under suspicion from the Earth Security Agency and Major D.H. Hathaway (Vincent D'Onofrio). One day Spencer is stopped at work and accused of being a replicant sent to terminate a visiting chancellor.

He escapes and ends up on the outside of the protective dome, in the Dead Zone, where he meets a fighter named Cale (Mekhi Phifer). Cale agrees to get him to his wife at the hospital, in exchange for valuable drugs he can sell or use. Spencer risks his life so that he can run a medical scan to prove his innocence while trying to avoid Hathaway and his troops.

The good: The movie is based on a short story written in 1953 by author Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner and Total Recall), who once again uses the theme of the hero fighting Big Brother and running for his life. Considering what society and science were like in the '50s, his premonitions about the future of 2079 weren't that farfetched. Several of his futuristic ideas (voice-activated TV and shower, laser operations, medical and identity scanners, etc.) have already been invented, and his focus on synthetic beings existing alongside humans without detection is realistic considering cloning is on the forefront of 21st century experimentation.

Fans of Sinise and Phifer will enjoy seeing these two talented actors team up, along with the incredible D'Onofrio, who can play the bullying bad guy so well. Except for the weak alien invasion, the rest of this story (along with the trick plot twists) is interesting. Mature teens and adult fans of sci-fi popcorn flicks will enjoy Imposter.

The not-so-good: I found it interesting that Director Gary Fleder never chooses to show us the alien Centaurians while they are attacking Earth and supposedly killing people via the replicants. Only in the end do we see a crashed spaceship, but sorry folks, no aliens. The revelation at the end of this movie is an interesting one, but I found myself disappointed, mentally rewriting the ending to make it a better story to please audiences.

Offensive language: Mild language with one "F"-word. This futuristic culture never refers to God, except of course through numerous religious profanities.

Sexual situations: A married couple is seen having sex but only head and shoulder shots are shown (more sensual than sexual, with no explicit nudity). Brief shot of a man's bare rear through the glass in a shower. A mother is shown breastfeeding her child with part of her bare breast exposed.

Violence: Several characters are shot to death, stabbed and beaten. A video is shown of a huge drill removing a bomb from the heart of a replicant's chest while he is alive and screaming. A few surgical procedures are briefly shown. Some suspenseful and intense life/death chase scenes. A young girl is shown with bloody wounds on her face.

Parental advisory: Because of the brief implied sexual situation and violence, this movie is intended for mature sci-fi fans and not for children.