If Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner had instead been produced by 1980s B-film sweatshop the Cannon Group with Chuck Norris as Rick Deckard and directed by Menahem Golan, it might have been a lot like Brian A. Miller’s Vice.
The film unspools with a momentum that mitigates its artless brutality, kinda, but it’s a high-pressure firehose of stupid. Ambyr Childers plays Kelly, an “artificial” who works at a future resort called Vice, where psychopathic patrons indulge in drugs, rape, and murder. After each of her deaths, her memory is wiped and her body repaired for the next client.
The parallels to Scott’s masterpiece are hilarious and nonstop: After escaping from the resort, Kelly is found by the sad, doomed bioengineer who designed her; she decides to break into Vice to confront her creator; before her final rampage, she trowels on black eye makeup evocative of Daryl Hannah’s raccoon paint. The resort’s founder is Julian Michaels, played by the film’s most expensive asset, Bruce Willis.
His part is a non-action “executive in the business suite” role, and all the Norris-grade loose-cannon policing falls to Thomas Jane as Roy, who barrels head-down through the film like a backhoe crashing through a daycare. Instead of Deckard’s trench coat, he’s got the hair of Aragorn and the wooden-matchstick chomping of Sylvester Stallone in Cobra.
Where Blade Runner showed Deckard’s shitty, amazing apartment and lingered over the hauntingly antique-looking family photos on his piano, Vice never offers a glimpse of Roy’s interiority and would consider you a huge pussy for asking for it.