Review: ‘Vice’ is a cheap, unimaginative version of ‘Blade Runner’
Dystopian sci-fi for dummies, director Brian A. Miller’s “Vice” stars Bruce Willis as Julian Michaels, the mogul behind the titular pleasure palace, a resort where human-like “artificials” — mostly in the form of beautiful women — succumb to customers’ depraved wishes in a moody nightclub-hotel atmosphere straight out of ‘90s late-night cable.
Stringy-haired rogue cop Roy (Thomas Jane) would love to shut it down, considering the spillover mayhem it generates. He gets his window when a circuit glitch makes blond artificial Kelly (Ambyr Childers) self-aware of the routine abuse she’s endured (and erased by lab technicians every day). She takes off, igniting a violent hunt by Julian’s minions, and a plan for revenge from the sensitive robotics engineer (Bryan Greenberg) who originally created Kelly.
“Vice” is “Blade Runner” on the cheap and minus the imagination. It’s content to serve up a fast-food diet of blue lighting, gun battles and dopey dialogue characteristic of any B-movie action flick.
Perhaps aware of how little its audience might pay attention to anything not running, fired off or blown up, the movie’s characters explain themselves regularly. Willis, meanwhile, mutters his executive-suite-villain lines as if he’s afraid of waking you.
MPAA rating: R for violence, language, sexual content/nudity.
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes.
Playing: AMC Burbank Town Center 8.
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter, sent twice a week, for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.