APEX, replete with pseudo-scientific buzzwords and mechanical doodads, is a strong contender for 1994's Captain Kirk Award for taking sci-fi fans where no one really wants to go. Badly acted by an inexpressive cast, it's an unimaginative exercise in techno-tedium.
Scientist Nicholas Sinclair (Richard Keats), the victim of a disastrous time-travel snafu, is caught between the trouble-plagued Datron Research Center of 2073 and a war-torn 1973, unrecognizably warped by the experimentation of Dr. Elgin (David Jean Thomas). When Sinclair travels back to the
70s to investigate, he allows a companion robot to escape with him into the past, where it wreaks havoc and alters the course of history. In sector 27 of old Los Angeles, civilians are attempting to board a transport to a sterilization unit while several robot creatures blast away at them.
Sinclair encounters commandos who appear to recognize him as one of their own. Accompanied by Shepherd (Mitchell Cox), Taylor (Marcus Aurelius), and Rashad (Adam Lawson), Sinclair embarks on a mission to undo the damage caused when his first trip through time enabled a futuristic virus to decimate
denizens of the 1970s. Freedom fighter Natasha (Lisa Ann Russell) is ostracized by the other guerrillas due to her infected status; although she professes no memory of Sinclair, he refers to her as his wife. Sinclair battles scavengers, high-tech soldiers, and robots before arriving at his
destination, an abandoned lab. As Sinclair is searching for a window back to the future, Rashad is blown to bits by a robot. Hindered by Shepherd, who increasingly suspects the scientist of sabotage, Sinclair manages to complete his mission. In the nick of time, Sinclair returns to 2073 and
prevents Dr. Elgin from carrying out his destructive probe--thus restoring 1973 to its original state, sans futuristic viruses and robot monsters.
Even overlooking the inevitable confusion resulting from presenting a character with separate lives in 1973 and 2073, it's hard to forgive this amorphous film's lack of urgency and drive. While the action scenes are adequately staged for the camera and the special effects are above par, APEX
loses its audience as it flashes back and forth between a sketchily delineated future and a modestly budgeted post-apocalyptic 1973. Untalented performers, dwarfed by the sci-fi trappings, resemble the hypnotized cast of Werner Herzog's HEART OF GLASS. Keats is an unlikely leading man with the
looks and physique of a middle-management supervisor in need of a health club membership. With its impenetrable dialogue, silly-looking robot creatures, vapid leading man, and lack of directorial authority, APEX offers the virtue of seriousness but doesn't back it up with excitement or a sense of
adventure. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: APEX, replete with pseudo-scientific buzzwords and mechanical doodads, is a strong contender for 1994's Captain Kirk Award for taking sci-fi fans where no one really wants to go. Badly acted by an inexpressive cast, it's an unimaginative exercise in techno… (more)