Lionsgate // 2001 // 93 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // September 13th, 2002
It will swallow you hole!
Ah, the worlds of applied physics and nuclear engineering. What ripe intrigue and combat doest thou wrought.
Newton lover Dr. Eve Soderstrom had a pappy who died when a black hole (not a plot hole, mind you...those come later) accidentally opened up during an experiment by eccentric Dr. Abernathy with super colliders. Fast forward a few light years, and while teaching at one of those prestigious no-name colleges in Colorado, Eve discovers her bohunk boyfriend is again working to help dear Abby collapse matter into itself. She schtups the lumbering loaf to get computer access, and discovers that, if Dr. A has his way, an oversized nuclear anus will develop and poot the world out of existence. So she spends the remaining running time of the film trying to convince the man who doesn't care if the world is destroyed that...he...should not destroy...the world? Anyway, there is a geek who gets killed because his nerd license expired, a police detective who absolutely never believes that a crime has been committed, even when the evidence bleeds on him, and a lot of weird, Eurotrash accents. Characters reference The China Syndrome. They know a better movie when they aren't in one.
Apparently everyone has Stephen Hawking pegged wrong. He is not merely a super computer brain thinking beyond the fourth dimension while trapped in a degenerating body. No, he could possibly be involved in international black ops to discover where the Sun's missing neutrinos are, or why doves cry. The image of science as portrayed in The Void is one where Ph.D's commit murder and mayhem in the name of particle acceleration and advanced string theory. Its a career where the protracted and slide ruled run violently rough shot over the world's population in pursuit of sub-atomic fusion and Avogadro's number. A Venn Diagram can spell your death warrant and the less said about quarks, the better. Let's face it, when it comes to suspense, nothing spells action packed tension like quantum mechanics. The Void is so absurd it's eminently watchable, if only to see what hackneyed plot device (blind neighbor, child abuse past, terminal disease) or over technical science jargon they will employ next. But it's not just in the writing where the tired becomes the trademark. Action scenes are over-cranked to give them that Gladiator meets Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle look. Sets look built from discarded Battlestar Gallactica remnants and CGI work looks a lot like the final act of Tron. And what of the infamous Void, you say? Well, it's the spitting image of a super sucking toilet bowl.
Someone needs to call the DVD police on Lions Gate. They advertise The Void as a sci-fi blockbuster and provide a very interesting story explanation on the package. Interesting because it describes an intense, Armageddon against the clock thriller. But BE WARNED! This story scenario HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT! Perhaps the DVD manufacturer's doofusy intern fell asleep in his Big Gulp during the screening and ended up piecing the narrative together from old episodes of Sliders. Anyone buying the DVD based on this lame labeling is in for some intense sticker shock. Otherwise, there is a very nice anamorphic widescreen image, with only minimal artifacting toward the end. The Dolby Digital 5.1 makes good use of a home theater system, and the bonus trailers seem just as dopey as the film presented here. While it may not blind you with high science entertainment, The Void is destined to leave you laughing at Langevin equations and lattice gauge theory. After watching it, you too may believe in the ability of science to develop miniature black holes. In your BRAIN!
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Rated R