Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

One of the great things about Direct-to-Video flicks is that they generally have no statute of limitations. Since I have this TV show in which I review only DTV movies, I can pull out a movie from just about anywhere within a ten year period because chances are nobody’s even heard of said flick much less seen it. This wouldn’t work for new big time Hollywood releases as I couldn’t show up and tell an audience that "Today we are going to take a look at ‘Remember the Titans’, ‘Little Nicky’ and ‘You, Me and Dupree’! Stay Tuned". Those movies are old. Even if you wait two weeks, you’ve waited to long with a new theatrical release. But DTV is almost always fresh. Take this flick, one I’ve never heard of from way back 2001 called ‘The Void’. Seven years old but still fresh because who has ever heard of it? On the IMDB a total of 208 people casted a vote rating ‘The Void’ where a whopping sixteen thousand individuals cast an opinion of ‘You, Me and Dupree’. Yeah it’s seven years old but it feels like they just released it yesterday.

Dr. Thomas Abernathy (Malcolm McDowell) is overseeing some kind of combustible fusion Black Hole experiment taking place in some non-descript European country. The Experiment is about to take place when physicist Dr. Soderstrom (French Tickner) bursts in with his panties all in a bunch whining about how the facility isn’t prepared for the risky nature of the experiment. Abernathy assures everyone its safe, which he can do since he’s five thousand miles away in D.C. somewhere conducting this thing by CCTV. The experiment proceeds, it seems to be a success, everybody cheers and then as they tend to do, containment fields start breaking. Dr. Soderstrom and his team of laboratory assistants / super models all die in a fiery blaze.

Eight years later we meet College Engineering instructor Dr. Steven Price who also works for the Filadyne Corporation as a structural engineer. He’s also kicking it hot and heavy with his colleague at the school Dr. Eva…. Soderstrom! (Amanda Tapping). Even though Eva gives it up on the regular, she’s only doing it because she needs

access to Steven’s PC so she get info needed to prove that Filadyne CEO, Dr. Abernanthy, killed her father. At least that was before she ‘fell in love’ with the man. Regardless, Eva hacks into the Filadyne server through Steven’s PC, gets some information and finds out that there's something way more important than putting Abernathy in jail. By running his calculations she discovers that he’s trying to enact the same experiment that killed her father so many years ago, only much bigger with the same critical miscalculations. This time however if the experiment goes wrong he’ll do more than destroy a lab, he’ll destroy the world! Well she informs Steven on the real reason she’s been screwing him and apologizes and all and hopes that the two of them can convince Abernathy to listen to reason. Uh, no. Dude really believes in this experiment is going to work and goes around killing people who might try to stop it from going off. Despite their best efforts, it looks like the experiment is about to take place with the fate of the world is in the balance.

The character of Eva had a blind neighbor in this movie played by Kristen Robeck. The main purpose she served was to be the ears of the audience and give Eva someone to describe in detail the reasonably complex scientific theories that take place in this flick which was a pretty slick little narrative device. I also figured she served the purpose of dying since she was always hanging around Eva’s apartment when she wasn’t there. ‘The Void’ wasn’t so bad as it came off as just a slight cut above your typical ‘Sci-Fi Original’ movie of the week. The filmmakers obviously took great care in making the scientific aspects as accurate as possible, maybe too accurate as the film did get a bit talky at times. The performances were certainly perfunctory with Adrian Paul shedding his hero clothes and doing a decent job playing a nerdy college professor, leaving Amanda Tapping to actually be the heroine in this thing doing the majority of the ‘action hero’ stuff. She and Adrian Paul even had a relatively graphic love scene, though I strongly suspect I was seeing ‘stunt boobies’ in those shots. But hey, stunt boobies are better than no boobies.  Malcolm MacDowell’s character was odd as he was pretty much a murderous fiend on one hand, then a remorseful mush man in the next instance. Consistency my friends, consistency. There was also the occasional lapse in logic with the ease that Eva was able to break into the files of this allegedly ‘high security, top secret’ government facility and also the recklessness in which she discussed this ‘extremely highly classified information’ with pretty much anyone with a set of functional ears. The special effects weren’t so bad though as watching people getting sucked into black holes was actually pretty cool. I wonder where you go when you get sucked in by one of those things.

Though ‘The Void’ was fairly mediocre, I am surprised it isn’t a little more popular since its two leads are from two of the biggest geek fest shows ever made in ‘Stargate’ and ‘Highlander’ since fans of those shows usually follow the cast members to the end of the earth. I know I’ve said that ‘I’ve seen worse’ isn’t much of statement, but there it is, I HAVE seen worse than ‘The Void’.

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