X Change

XCHANGE. 2000

Director: Allan Moyle

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



I saw a review that gave XChange high ratings for being very campy sci-fi. But when I viewed the DVD, I couldn't see that it was intentionally campy at all. Seemed like someone hoped it would be taken seriously.

The theme is one of mental teleportation. People can download over phone lines into each others' bodies. The question asked & answered is what happens when someone absconds with your body. It's a premise that keeps the budget down because it requires no special FX, & what the hey, I'm always up for a science fiction adventure that's not just computer generated graphics.

Our hero (Stephen Baldwin) ends up in a "loaner" body which is a clone with a very short shelf life, while his own body has been hijacked by a terrorist (Kyle McLachlan). If he cannot find his own body & transfer back in it in time, he'll have terminal melt-down like all clones.

The film lacked even moderate credibility, completely lacked sufficient imagination to project how such technologies as mind-exchange & shortlived adult human clones would completely change the ›world. Yet despite its superficiality & inability to project a believable future, I found it passing fair entertainment & I didn't resent spending the time on it.

The idea that such technology would give rise to some sort of deviant subculture seemed the only credible speculation they even tried to convey, but it looked like normally good looking people were trading bodies with other good looking people in order to ›take (mainly sexual) risks with bodies not their own, & it didn't seem particularly logical at all.

The possibilities even for a sexual underworld use of the technology was treated with superficial lack of imagination & I can only guess the creative team's sex-lives must be pretty dull if they couldn't dream up anything wilder.

I never for an instant believed the story took place in a world where this technology existed, as it was otherwise just sort of our world without any technological impacts of any kind that we haven't already experienced.

I kind of like all the Baldwins, but do wonder why it is that not one of them seems to score better film employment. Big bores like Andy Garcia get roles any random Baldwin could've done better.

I think all the Baldwins should be in a big-budget western together, along with any of the Carradines who are still ambulatory -- there's a film by Walter Hill called Long Riders with the Carradines & Keeches together, & I really liked it, it's an idea worth revisiting. If Walter Hill directed a similar project but this time for the Baldwins & included a big hairy swamp sasquatch or Civil War ghosts to make it a horror-western, it couldn't be worse than the crap they're in instead.

copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl



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