Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

This time the creature doesn't burst out of John Hurt's stomach. It is electricity from space. The thing isn't a lizard, all dripping and fanged. It is intelligence, energy, invention. And once installed can build a body to fit its purpose.

You have been here before (Alien I - IV). Instead of a space ship, you have a ship ship. Same thing: enclosed environment, no escape, zero contact with the outside world (the radio is frazzled). The larder of alien titbits contains eight homo sapiens, seven from a tug boat and a Russian scientist (Joanna Pacula), who hid in a cupboard when galactic lightening hit her research vessel - the rest of the crew is dead, fled, or shred. What could be subtitled, "The Revenge Of Meccano Man", the movie is a SFX feast and who better to do the honours than James Cameron's visual effects maestro on Titanic, True Lies, T2 and The Abyss, John Bruno? He does a terrific job.

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The story has enough zest, in The X Files meaning of the word, to create genuine excitement. When not wondering whose next for the machine shop, you marvel at the robotic monsters, half built with human flesh, and place a bet with yourself that Jamie Lee Curtis is going to smile, just once. You lose.

The pace is relentless. Once the typhoon has died (no pun intended), there is brief respite while tug skip, Donald Sutherland, and chief engineer, William Baldwin, arm wrestle for control, before metalic monsters in the hold make their presence felt. With lines such as, "You can never be too rich, too thin or too well-armed," the script carries a Made In Hokum City label. No matter. The action sweeps you away.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A ship's crew battle aliens who view humans as a disease.
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Director: John Bruno

Writer: Chuck Pfarrer

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula, Marshall Bell

Year: 1999

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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