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Don't forget to rewind before taking this gem back to the video store

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/6/2015 (1257 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If the marketing of this grade-Z Canadian sci-fi/horror movie had been as archaic as its dismal execution, its title would have been lifted from the very movies from which it was stealing.

A moniker along the lines of Alien Matrix might have guaranteed VHS copies flying from the video store shelves... 20 years ago.

But it's 2015, and Debug's retrograde action/visual effects/set design can't even evoke nostalgia for cheeseball Canuxploitation of years gone by, let alone work as a contemporary thriller.

First comes the Alien-derived premise: A spaceship roams the galaxy filled with computer hackers -- apparently on some kind of work furlough deal -- who board random decommissioned vessels to disable and debug their operating systems.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/6/2015 (1257 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

EONE

Jason Momoa appears to be feeling  a bit blue.  Perhaps it  has something to do with starring in this dreadful movie.

EONE Jason Momoa appears to be feeling a bit blue. Perhaps it has something to do with starring in this dreadful movie.

If the marketing of this grade-Z Canadian sci-fi/horror movie had been as archaic as its dismal execution, its title would have been lifted from the very movies from which it was stealing.

A moniker along the lines of Alien Matrix might have guaranteed VHS copies flying from the video store shelves... 20 years ago.

But it's 2015, and Debug's retrograde action/visual effects/set design can't even evoke nostalgia for cheeseball Canuxploitation of years gone by, let alone work as a contemporary thriller.

First comes the Alien-derived premise: A spaceship roams the galaxy filled with computer hackers — apparently on some kind of work furlough deal — who board random decommissioned vessels to disable and debug their operating systems.

One vessel proves more than they can handle. It has come under the purview of an artificial intelligence called (René Descartes reference alert!) I Am.

Jason Momoa is seriously miscast in this role, given his decidedly carnal screen presence. He at least tries to add menace to a few cheap Matrix-esque scenes in which I Am draws a few hackers into an artificially constructed reality.

Capra (Adrian Holmes), the thug in charge of these digital miscreants, is summarily possessed by I Am. It falls on the more clever hackers to attempt to keyboard their way to freedom, with the tough-as-nails trustee Kaida (a wooden Jeananne Goossen) emerging from the pack as the best hope to defeat I Am's "bio-ware."

It's unfortunate that a film about a dangerous artificial intelligence is released in such close proximity to the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron or the more intellectually challenging Ex Machina. It tends to look even more schlocky and exploitative than it already is.

The shame of this is that movies like Debug tend to devalue the institution of good, cheap Canadian horror movies such as Splice, Ginger Snaps and any number of early David Cronenberg ooze-fests.

Hewlett even made one, in front of the camera, as the star of the 1988 psycho-thriller Pin.

May he be remembered for that long after Debug is forgotten.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Randall King

Randall King
Reporter

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

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