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Impostor (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: January 4, 2001
CAP Score: 61
CAP Influence Density: 0.89
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
*IMPOSTOR* (PG-13) -- sci-fi thriller about replication of humans to work "suicide" espionage.
Distributed by: Miramax
Director(s): Gary Fleder
Producer(s): Gary Fleder, Marty Katz, Michael Phillips (II), Gary Sinise, Amber Stevens, David Witz
Written by/Screenplay: Philip K. Dick (1953 *Impostor*), Scott Rosenberg, Caroline Case, Ehren Kruger, David N. Twohy
Cinematography/Camera: Robert Elswit
Music: Jeff Beal, Mark Isham
Editing: Bob Ducsay, Armen Minasian
From the 1953 story by Philip K. Dick comes this sci-fi thriller about replication of humans to work "suicide" espionage.
As a boy, Spencer John Olham was fascinated with rockets and propulsion. But the loss of his father in combat with aliens redirected his interests - to making special weapons to combat the invading aliens called Centauri. From Alpha Centauri. But Alpha Centauri is a star, our nearest star (other than our Sun) 4 light years distant, not a planet! Oh, well. It's a movie.
In the year 2079 Spencer (Gary Sinise) is a lead engineer for the Special Weapons Research project and built a weapon of extreme mass destruction to use against the Centauri ... but it never gets used. Spencer's wife, Dr. Maya Olham (Madeleine Stowe) in the end is as essential a figure in the movie as Spencer. The Centauri had been wreaking havoc among mankind by murdering selected people, replicating them and placing super bombs in the hearts of the replicants. In the middle of Spencer's work, Major D. H. Hathaway (Vincent D'Onofrio) arrested Spencer for being a suspected replicant planted to kill key leaders.
In the war-torn state of affairs, residents were required to have implants placed in their backs so they could be traced and located at a moment's notice. Democracy and individual identity and liberty were all but lost to Big Brother government. Such protection was deemed necessary since the Centauri were well known for not only implanting bombs in the masquerading marauders, the Centauri were well known for implanting the memories of the victims into the replicants. Without the implants, no one could be sure if everyone is who s/he says s/he is. Shades of the microchip implant or nationalized information database we might be destined to suffer! Mark of the beast anyone? Maybe McCarthy is alive and well. It would not have surprised me if someone made up to look like Senator Joe had not made at least a "cameo appearance" in this movie.
To combat invasion of the Centauri, all of the major cities were encased in protective bubbles. But they were not enough to house all of remaining mankind. Many were left to fend for themselves outside the protective bubbles. Unfortunately, one of the alien ships penetrated the bubble in which Spencer lived. It was because of the one penetration that Hathaway believed Spencer to be a victim of the Centauri and thus one of the walking, talking bomb replicants.
Much of the story is spent on Spencer escaping and evading the military under the command of Major Hathaway. Submerging himself deep in the underworld, sometimes literally, Spencer suffers many evils at the hands of the residents outside the protective bubbles. Slowly Spencer gains their trust and becomes an ally for them and gains an ally in Cale (Mekhi Phifer). With the special implant removed by the residents outside the bubbles, Spencer launches a campaign to get back into the bubble, ostensibly for good reasons. But were they good reasons? If so, for whom? A very surprising ending is in store for those who decide to watch this sci-fi thriller. If you do, remember what I said about Maya Olham playing as essential a part as Spencer.
While this movie is, as are almost all movies, clearly a fantasy, an influence does not have to be real to influence. Though it is PG-13 it is *very* violent. As the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have jointly found through a 30-year study "that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children", I further find that just about any behavior parameter in movies, bad OR good, can be inserted in the above joint finding in place of violence with the same likelihood of being equally influential and equally incorporated into personal behavior mechanics. More
In addition to heavy violence [Prov. 3:31] are a few issues of foul language [Col. 3:8], sexual immorality and a few uses of God's name in vain [Deut. 5:11]. Though I expected *Impostor* to be another R-13
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*******Food for Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
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|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|