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eve of destruction

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Movies Kelly Parks Review by
Kelly Parks
Eve of Destruction
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EVE OF DESTRUCTION - 1991
MGM
Rating: Finland: K-16 / Sweden: 11 / USA - R

Sometimes the hard part in achieving suspension of disbelief is the really bad science in so many movies. And sometimes the hard part is buying Gregory Hines as a tough guy.

EVE OF DESTRUCTION was directed by Duncan Gibbins (A CASE FOR MURDER) and written by Mr. Gibbins and Yale Udoff (TALES FROM THE CRYPT [TV]). It opens with a man putting on a tie in what appears to be a motel room. A porter brings in luggage and gets stiffed for a tip. Then tie man freezes and we see him being shut down by technicians on the other side of the mirror. He’s an android.

In charge of the project is Dr. Eve Simmons (Renee Soutendijk: GRAVE SECRETS). A colleague warns her that the testing is not going well and the project is behind schedule.

Cut to Eve on the subway, being hit on by a none too subtle young guy, but Eve seems strangely uncomprehending. She leaves the subway and walks to a nearby bank, being followed the whole time by a big, beefy man in a suit. Does he mean her harm? Eve is in line at the bank when ski-masked robbers scream for everyone to hit the floor. Eve stares around in confusion as though unsure how to respond. Her follower pulls a gun and kills one of the robbers but is killed himself by another bad guy, who then points his shotgun at Eve and orders her to the ground. When she doesn’t comply, he fires.

You saw this coming. This isn’t Dr. Eve Simmons – it’s Eve 8, a robot she built in her own likeness. The shotgun blast activates her self defense mechanism and she uses her more than human strength to send the bad guy through a window. This is a field test gone wrong as Eve 8 picks up one of the robber’s guns and heads out into the world intent on protecting herself.

And now a sharp left in the story as we cut to a SWAT team attempting what looks like a hostage rescue in a Spanish speaking country. The team makes it inside a ranch house and it looks like they’ll be successful when the bad guys pull a fast one and most of the good guys are shot. All is not what it seems, however. We quickly find out that this was an exercise for a team being trained by super agent Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines: WOLFEN). He yells and screams and uses the F-word three times per sentence, but all that bluster does not a tough guy make. I think he’s a decent actor but I never bought him in this role.

McQuade immediately receives orders to return to Washington and is put on a search and destroy mission for Eve 8. General Curtis (Michael Greene: THE ROAD KILLERS [Now why would anyone want to kill a road? -feo]) and NSC representative Schneider (Kurt Fuller: MIRACLE MILE, SCARY MOVIE) brief McQuade and introduce him to Dr. Simmons, who’s there to help in the search. Eve 8 was programmed with Dr. Simmons memories, so she may be able to predict where Eve 8 will go. What they don’t tell McQuade is that Eve has a built in nuclear self-destruct device able to take out a city.

Eve does have Dr. Simmons’ memories and feelings but she has none of the good doctor’s inhibitions. This leads Eve to act out a sexual fantasy Dr. Simmons once had about picking up a strange guy in a dive bar. This fantasy goes wrong when the guy calls Eve a bitch, something Dr. Simmons would be quietly angry about but Eve does a Lorena Bobbit on the poor sap.

To cleanse the palate from that nasty image, how about a

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
None of the tech presented here is impossible, just really difficult. Humanoid robots are a very popular sci-fi "what if" but actually building anything like this isn't even on the horizon yet. Someday...

The next thing on Eve’s to do list is to find her estranged father. I won't tell you how that goes but Kevin McCarthy of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS fame plays her father. He's hardly in the movie long enough to be recognized and has maybe three lines, which is their loss since he’s perfect for these kinds of movies.

As the clock is ticking on Eve's internal nuke the chase becomes both more desperate and much, much dumber. In fact the last portion is "where's the fast forward button?" dumb. I give it two shriek girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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