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Impostor review

Considering its chequered history, it's a wonder that Impostor has made it to cinemas at all. Originally envisioned as part of the ill-fated Alien Love Triangle triptych, the Movie Powers That Be deemed it good enough to expand from short to feature. The fools.

Essentially an episode of The Outer Limits stretched beyond its natural length, Impostor introduces us to a futuristic Earth where humans are at war with Alpha Centauri's unseen aliens. We join the inter-species fracas as respected engineer Spencer Olham (Gary Sinise) is about to demonstrate his new superweapon to the world's leaders. About to, for he's promptly accused of being an alien android and has to make a run for it, determined to prove his innocence - and his human status - before preening Agent Hathaway (a charismatic Vincent D'Onofrio) can catch him.

Cue one long chase sequence through a predictably murky underworld, director Gary Fleder (Kiss The Girls, Don't Say A Word) trying to fan the on-the-lam flames with a flurry of stylistic tics. Discoveries are made in slo-mo. Running scenes are scissored by juddering camera work, and the mind-altering drugs that Spencer is fed by the police unleash more flash cuts and gloopy-vision than any viewer should have to suffer.

Fleder's overworked editor really shouldn't have bothered: no amount of grandstanding gimmicks can enliven this pedestrian script. Or distract from the puzzle of why David Pitch Black Twohy and Scott Con Air Rosenberg (who penned the original adap from a Philip K Dick short story) were involved with such tosh.

Having the shadow of Blade Runner and its far superior replicant tale looming over every scene doesn't help. Compared to Ridley Scott's futureshocker, Impostor is a soulless clone.

Never quite managing to shed its short film roots, Impostor feels like an extended TV movie. Best viewed as sci-fi guff to (barely) pass the time while waiting for Minority Report.

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