2103: The Deadly Wake (1997)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action, Sci-Fi Disaster Film  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Buzz McClain

"We'll be the first corporation since Disney to join the UN," a character says at one point, and that line indicates the sort of bizarre fantasy this odd offering intended. There's an eeriness that permeates the screen thanks to its deliberate pacing and the strange ship itself (its "brain" is that of an infant suspended in fluid and connected by cables). The set adds to the eeriness by rendering things in hard right angles and glowing primary colors -- and in 2103, the ocean's waters are rust colored. Malcolm McDowell's hard-drinking antihero Murdoch is a tough read -- is he a good guy or a bad guy? -- and Michael Pare's button-down corporate toady is just as difficult to figure out. Those characters might amuse the hardcore science fiction audience, but others will scratch their heads and fast-forward to the action scenes, which are stiffly staged. Special effects are limited to some swirly representations of energy and some laughable ship-at-sea miniatures. Despite all the negatives, the gothic tone and otherworldly action will keep hardcore sci-fi fans rapt.