This splashy FACE-OFF (1997) knock-off compensates for confusing writing with crisp direction and state-of-the-art effects. Keeping track of characters' shifting identities becomes less important than the thrills generated by the mix-ups. In the near future, the Xchange Corporation perfects a biotechnological means of transferring a person's consciousness into the body of someone far away. When Quayle Scott (Charles Powell) takes over the CEO post left vacant by his father's murder, his advisors insist that the transfer of power be smoothed over by public relations specialist Stefan Toffler (Kim CoatesToffler agrees to a mind-body exchange in the interests of reaching the San Francisco-based meeting quickly. Unfortunately, Toffler isn't privy to two salient pieces of information: Quayle paid for his father's assassination, and Toffler will be trading places with Fisk (Kyle MacLachlan), the hit man who carried out the job. The roguish Fisk subsequently refuses to return Toffler's body. Xchange CEO Allison (Janet Kidder) is less than helpful when Toffler goes to her with his dilemma, but he discovers that he can inhabit the body of a cloned drone with a two-day life span and conduct his own search for Fisk. Stuck in the temporary clone body (Stephen Baldwin), Toffler seeks the aid of Madeline Renard (Pascale Bussieres), a staunch opponent of Xchange technology. With time running out, Madeline and the Clone attempt to link Quayle and Allison in a corporate conspiracy, locate and neutralize Fisk and thwart Fisk's latest assignment, which involves blowing up a boardroom-full of executives who stand in the way of Quayle's merger with Xchange. It's fun to see character actor Coates step into a leading role, and the other cast members chomp on their contentious roles with relish. The "Who-Am-I?" machinations wear thin, but the production values deftly sell the film's sci-fi message about not tampering with a "body" of evidence.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: This splashy FACE-OFF (1997) knock-off compensates for confusing writing with crisp direction and state-of-the-art effects. Keeping track of characters' shifting identities becomes less important than the thrills generated by the mix-ups. In the near futur… (more)