Hologram Man (1995)

Some movies have the same rigid formality as a classic Greek Play or Japanese Noh Drama, whose traditional structures only allow for minor variations on the basic story framework.

When we’re talking about Nineties direct to video movies, clearly Hologram Man was such a film.

Everything you’d expect from a Nineties DTV action movie is here: the cop who loses a partner; the villain with a long shared history with the hero; the girl who’s there to be threatened by the villain; the endless action scenes; some of which have little to do with the plot and are merely there to show how badass the hero or villain is; and, of course, the final, brutal confrontation between the two.

About the only minor variation they’ve been allowed is that the hero loses not one but two partners, although both represent classic tropes: the mentor killed at the beginning whose death transforms our hero; and the sassy, upbeat partner who balances out the heroes excesses until he (or in this case, she) is killed.

At any rate, it’s set in a future that is vaguely dystopian, with an overbearing corporation running the city, although the look is more Demolition Man (which gets a nod) than Blade Runner. There’s some nonsense about storing people in holographic stasis that turns the villain into a living hologram, but that’s just an even more minor variation on the classic trope of the doohickey that gives the villain ultimate power. Instead of a weather machine, nuclear weapon, Bond villain Death Ray or super suit, we have holograms.

Big deal.

We even have the totally unnecessary, completely unconnected to the rest of the story, and far, far too long sex scene without which no Nineties DTV movie would have been complete. Heck, they even kill off the girl before we can figure out whether her acting talent is limited to just moaning.

Mind you, she is good at that.

So it’s an hour and a half of car chases, gun battles and a few minutes of bare boobs.

If that’s what you want, hey, knock yourself out.

I won’t stop you.

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