34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
An underrated, action-packed thriller,
This review is from: Virus [DVD]  (DVD)
I put off watching Virus for some time because of the general sense of mediocrity it seemed to generate in many viewers and, more importantly, the fact that it features not only Jamie Lee Curtis, who is not my favorite actress, but also a Baldwin brother (William). After watching it, though, I have to say that Virus is really not a bad movie at all. Certainly, there is a lot of Alien-type stuff going on, but there is plenty of action, a fair smidgeon of gore, and reason to hope that maybe, just this once, a Baldwin character might not survive to the end. Sherman "Is that Cuba Gooding, Jr.?" Augustus and Marshall Bell deserve a lot of credit for injecting some comedy and realism into this movie, but it is Joanna Pacula, in the role of Russian science officer Nadia Vinogradiya, who really steals the show, in my opinion. She certainly far outshines Jamie Lee Curtis, whose character has almost no depth whatsoever.
The trouble starts on Mir, as some sort of fast-moving cloud of energy takes over the space station and gets sent along for the ride down to a Russian scientific receiving vessel somewhere in the Pacific, where it puts on a light show to beat the band. Days later, a salvage boat led by the hopelessly annoying Captain Everton (Donald Sutherland in one of his lesser performances) tries to drag a barge through a hurricane; the boat makes it to the eye of the storm, where it discovers a large Russian ship dead in the water. The crews board the Russian vessel, finding no signs of the crew, and eyes start to widen at the thought of the money to be earned for salvaging this gigantic scientific ship. After they turn the power back on, they come to discover two life forms stowed away onboard, however. One of them is the ship's science officer Nadia Vinogradiya; the other is something not of this world. This alien life force needs electricity to function, and once the ship is powered back up it gets to work building all kinds of little robots who in turn build bigger robots, all of which work to destroy all humans on the vessel; in a nice little twist, man has become the virus to be eliminated. You can imagine what ensues. The humans fight to survive, giving the increasingly powerful alien life force a pretty good fight, even after their numbers start to dwindle and familiar faces in the form of Borg-like creatures turn their sights on the human intruders. I didn't care much for the ending, especially since all the wrong characters survived, but one British captain of another vessel delivers a classic six-line comment that did much to better my mood.
Virus is by no means a classic, but the film does deliver a suspenseful, pyrotechnic-laced good time. Jamie Lee Curtis in particular is put through the wringer, while Joanna Pacula is just terrific. I'm really not sure why many people hold this film in such low regard, as I found it both interesting and enjoyable. In my humble opinion, this is definitely an underrated motion picture.