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Antibody (2002)
Director: Christian McIntire

review by Steve Anderson

Now here's a story that's going to make you cringe, deep down inside. Dej Productions, a direct-to-video outlet that's steadily growing in prolificacy, brings you a story about a man and his bomb. I've seen maybe two from these guys in the last week. On the topic of things that are "steadily growing in prolificacy," so do cockroaches. The comparison is surprisingly apt. No subtitles folks, sorry, but some trailers attempt to make up for a fundamental loss. And so does Lance Henriksen. Everyone's favourite caustic, raspy monotone is back for more science fiction, fantasy and mystery hybrid goodness.

Antibody drags the corpse of Russia for the bad guy this time out - we start outside the Russian consulate in Washington. Dr Richard Gaynes (Henriksen) arrives to take care of a bomb planted inside the building. A rather large and nasty bomb. But Dr Gaynes takes care of this with Henriksen's traditional no-nonsense aplomb for which he has grown understandably famous. Including, much to the collective dismay of Gaynes and the Washington bomb squad that has accompanied him to the crime scene, the death of the man whose hand was on the remote trigger at an airport several miles away. Gaynes directs airport security to shoot the triggerman, with live ammunition no less, and this causes the bomb to explode.

Surprise! Our triggerman's detonator was actually located inside him! A 'nano detonator' that is, a detonator roughly smaller than an electron. And interestingly, a similar detonator is connected to a massive nuclear device under the city of Munich, set to detonate in 80 hours. And the detonator to this massive nuclear device, which the movie tells us all about with particular glee is fully 100 times larger than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Of course, a detonator of this type is difficult to neutralise - killing the terrorist would set off the bomb, as would any attempt to destroy the detonator.

Gaynes, of course, steps in with Henriksen's familiar liquid-nitrogen demeanour and begins issuing a string of orders, directing his men as though, ironically, he were a character in a movie. A daring Special Forces-style raid later, all the terrorists are dead except for the very one Gaynes picked out, who contains the detonator. Real terrorists would have tried misdirection to kill the one who had the detonator, making everyone think that it was a different terrorist carrying the detonator. But these are not real terrorists.

Suddenly, the movie suddenly decides that it's had enough of terrorists and suddenly turns into InnerSpace. You note I used the word 'suddenly' three times. That's not a mistake. This is a very sudden move on the movie's part. Within bare moments, I clock it at under five minutes (the truly anal may now get out their stopwatches and attempt to confirm it. Send your findings to the movie has decided to take on almost the exact same plot as InnerSpace. To solve the problem of the nano-detonator, Gaynes and several team mates will be placed into a ship that will be shrunk down to a size less than an electron and injected into the terrorist. So the ship can take out the detonator. Whee!

And in a sequence positively laden with computer graphics, we now have the biggest ripoff perpetrated by man since Michael Bolton and When A Man Loves A Woman. The ship, along with a couple of pre-packaged outriders, fight off a cloud of 'whites', that is, white blood cells. Just like in InnerSpace. Gee, what a surprise. They roam through the body, hunting down the miniaturised ship, just like in - you called it - InnerSpace. And worse still, Gaynes fits himself into one of the pre-packaged outriders and, while the white blood cells are distracted by a bout of cold bacteria introduced from the outside, disarms the bomb in a truly convoluted and hard to follow manoeuvre. Well hey! That was an original part! What happened, Dej, trying not to make your rip-off quite so obvious?

How exactly did Dej Productions get away with this? They recast an old movie with new stars, some computer graphics and a tweaked plotline. It's almost a word-for-word rip-off; weren't copyright laws designed to protect us from things like this? Why isn't Lance Henriksen getting more work? I haven't seen him in anything major since he left Millennium back in the late 1990s. Seems like some of the best shows ever start on Fox and then die a few months later. Millennium, Greg The Bunny, Futurama, Family Guy, you call it. Henriksen is a genius. The man brings a new meaning to the term 'cool'. I know, I know, it's a little trite. But he's icy, positively icy. The man could say, with a minimum of emotion, that his wife died - if he had to. He's a high-quality actor. The man needs work!

Come right down to it, Antibody is a badly done recast of any of a dozen movies that came long before it, and were far better done. Lance Henriksen deserves better!

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