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It’s been a while since Bruce Willis starred in a sci-fi flick, but it seems he’s picked quite a provocative film to mark his return to the genre. Check out the trailer for his latest film, Vice.
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty intrigued by this film. In a sort-of similar idea to The Purge (at least in the "we’ll offer you a place where anything goes" aspect), Vice is a place where people can act out their wildest, darkest fantasies on the human-looking robots that inhabit Vice. Of course, as is the case with any artificial intelligence, one of the robots becomes self-aware and escapes from Vice. Bruce Willis’ character, Julian, is in charge of Vice and sends his men out to capture the escaped robot, Kelly (played by Ambyr Childers). Kelly then finds herself trying to escape from Vice and all of Julian’s men while also trying to slip out of the grasp of Roy (played by Thomas Jane) who is hell-bent on seeing Vice shut down.
So while this does have a few recycled science fiction plot points, a robot that becomes self-aware, a sort of dystopian environment, and robots taking the place of humans (an area that Willis has explored previously in another of his films, Surrogates), I still can’t help but find myself curious to see more from this film. It certainly poses interesting moral questions, if nothing else. Is it okay to indulge your darkest fantasy in an environment where no one actually gets hurt (at least until the robots you’re "hurting" become self-aware)? Or does that lead to a person actually moving on to hurt someone? Is it still wrong if you’re only "murdering" a robot? The film has the possibility to bring up some interesting moral and ethical questions for the audience about right and wrong, and what is "really bad"--for instance, if you’d never hurt someone in real life, is it really okay to enjoy killing and wreaking havoc on the streets of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto?
The movie certainly brings to light a lot of interesting moral questions, and if the film is done right, I think the film could be quite provocative. I’ll be really interested to see what kind of character development Kelly receives, as well. The idea of a humanoid robot becoming self-aware is certainly not a new idea in science fiction, nor is the question of reality and right and wrong, so I hope they can bring something fresh to Kelly’s other than some bad-ass fighting and a black leather outfit. I also hope that they can bring some interesting takes on reality and right and wrong other than a couple of villainous monologues from Bruce Willis and epic shootouts and fight scenes.
All in all, I think this film has a lot of potential, and if nothing else, it looks like it could quite the fun ride. The movie will head to theaters on January 16, 2015.