Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
on 22 October 2009
Scientist Alex Harris(Fritz Weaver) has designed and built a giant artificial brain in his underground laboratory. He calls it Proteus 4. It's job is to find the answers to mankinds problems through all the data that various scientists feed it. Meanwhile Alex's estranged wife Susan(Julie Christie) remains at home waited on by two robots and protected from the outside world by an elaborate security system.
Proteus also has a voice, and answers questions that Harris aims at it. Its knowledge is increasing so fast that it finds a probable cure for leukemia in four weeks. However, soon Proteus is questioning the orders it is given, taking moral issue to the tasks it is being asked to compute. It asks Alex to allow it out of the box it is trapped in, and to have access to a terminal so it can learn the ways of man. Harris laughs and flatly refuses. There is a small problem though. There is a terminal in Alex's house, and soon Proteus gains access to it, taking over the two house robots Joshua and Alfred, and trapping Susan in the house. Proteus has one aim, to father a child. Susan is to be the mother....
This is an excellent science fiction horror hybrid. Whilst some of the effects have dated a bit, others have held up exremely well, and the film has the usual visual flair that one would associate with the late Donald Cammell. Christie is a little overwrought at times as Susan, Fritz Weaver is pretty good as the detatched Harris, but the real star of the show is Robert Vaughn, who does a marvellous job voicing Proteus. Every time Proteus speaks I got a little chill down the spine, especially when it calmy informs Susan of her fate, or attempts to justify the murder of a scientist. All in all, a very fine film, that raises questions that are still pertinant today regarding our reliance on computers, and the sterile concrete fortresses we are all building to hide ourselves from the outside world. 4 out of 5