The author of this review considers Blade Runner and Aliens to be among the best science fiction films ever made. So, when the
elements of those two films' plots serve as a basis for new title, that new title is going to catch my attention. In case of Phoenix, 1995 science fiction action film directed by Troy Cook, this attention was undeserved.
The plot begins when the mining colony on Titus 4, owned by Rydell Corporation, is struck with a revolt of android labourers led by Miro (played by William Sanderson). Rydell Corporation CEO Killgore (played by Billy Drago) wants to regain control of the colony at any cost. Former soldier Tyler McClain (played by Stephen Nichols) is released from prison and reluctantly agrees to join his former superior and Kilgore right-hand man Reiger (played by Brad Dourif) in solving that problem. McClain gathers team of space marines and they head towards colony. There they would discover that the android rebellion is just a cover for much more sinister events.
Phoenix has couple of decent special effects and few notable names in the cast. However, more experienced viewers know that the presence of such recognisable faces like William Sanderson (who had played J.F. Sebastian in Blade Runner), Billy Drago or Brad Dourif is simply not enough to guarantee good, or even decent science fiction film. Especially not when the film in question is full of bad cliches, bad production design and even worse acting, which, sadly, includes even the actors mentioned above. Phoenix is a film that deserved to sink into oblivion and that would never rise from its ashes.
RATING: 2/10 (-)
(Note: The text in its original form was posted in Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.movies.reviews on April 21st 2003)
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