Hey, remember 2007?
Back then, we depopulated the rainforests, which spread the Neurological Degeneration Syndrome (NDS) virus, which infected everyone on the planet, wiping out half the population. Fortunately we all had this drug called Absolon to keep us alive. Unfortunately, a company called UPC owns it and the only way we pay for anything is in time – hours of our lives are removed or added depending on the cost.
What…you don’t remember that? Me neither. But then, you have to wonder what the producer of Absolon was thinking when he decided to create a futuristic movie set three years after its release in 2004.
Fortunately, there’s Detective Norman Scott (Christopher Lambert, mumbling and shuffling through his role) and his hot red-haired partner Ruth Bryant (Roberta Angelica) to get to the bottom of a murder mystery that saved us all: the one man who discovered a cure for NDS was murdered. The twisty path that Scott takes to get to the bottom of the murder leads him to Doctor Claire Whittaker (curvy Kelly Brook). Of course, UPC has a vested interest in keeping the truth buried. UPC head Murchison (Ron Pearlman, who never gets up from his desk through the entire movie) sends his chief goon Walters (Lou Diamond Phillips, chewing cyberpunk scenery) to eliminate them.
But wait, there’s more! See, Scott has just three days to live because he was actually part of an experiment to cure NDS. He’s just one-half of the cure – the other half is in someone else…but who?
Nobody cares. Judging from the clothing choices, it’s clear that Absolon wasn’t really meant to be set in 2007, but in a dystopian cyberpunk future. Things start out promising with a virtual reality crime scene and then the film runs out of money. We get lame action scenes, stumbling plot points, disjointed conspiracies-within-conspiracies, more of Lambert’s mumbling, and nobody attractive gets naked.
Absolon had promise. The dystopian vision is interesting, the hunt for a cure that nobody wants is cynically cyberpunkish, and the leads attractive enough to hold our attention. But the script is awful, the fight scenes are boring, and the plot twists are clichéd. The actors don’t have much to work with and don’t even seem to be trying. Pearlman gives his least kinetic performance ever, so much so that at first I thought he was supposed to be playing a wheelchair-bound character. Lambert is terrible – bleary-eyed, disheveled and completely unbelievable as a love interest for the gorgeous Brooks. Only Phillips comes off as interesting and that’s because he’s a stereotypical bad guy with lots to do.
Who knew our recent past could be so boring?