Owen Gleiberman
January 18, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Impostor

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
96 minutes
Wide Release Date
01/04/02
performer
Vincent D'Onofrio, Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe, Gary Dourdan, Mekhi Phifer, Tony Shalhoub
director
Gary Fleder
distributor
Dimension Films
author
Caroline Case, Ehren Kruger, David Twohy
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a D

If you’ve always longed to overdose on the blue-ice-filter school of nightscape cinematography, then you’ve come to the right place. Nearly every moment in this frenzied mess of a techno-wasteland chase thriller looks as if it was shot inside a cave of neon. The entire movie has the meaninglessly burnished, sunglasses-at-midnight glow of an early-’90s car commercial — a visual scheme guaranteed to leave the audience squinting between yawns. If you squint hard enough, you may just catch a glimpse of Gary Sinise transforming his facial expression from earnest to stoic and then back again. He plays an elite military scientist in the paranoid, war-torn earth of 2079 who suddenly finds himself accused of being an alien replicant with a suicide bomb implanted in his heart. (Talk about geek metaphors.) Is he or isn’t he? And why should you care? Impostor was adapted from a 1953 short story by Philip K. Dick, but it feels less like a cousin to Blade Runner than like a bottom-feeder sequel in the Escape From New York series.

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