Movie Reviews 144 – Pulse (2006)

pulseMy DVD sat around unwatched for a few years and it was only after I saw the trailer preceding another DVD movie that I thought it was high time I watched it as the trailer looked pretty cool.

Some hacker at a university accidentally unleashes something, but this is no electronic terror. Exactly what was unleashed is fairly vague for most of the movie, but the net result is that people start killing themselves almost on the spur of the moment and without warning or reason. At first, Mattie (Kirsten Bell) is only concerned about her boyfriend Joshua, a hacker who unleashed the evil, after he seems to drop out of touch not only from her, but all his friends. She goes to his place and after short almost aloof chat watches him hang himself. But after he dies she and her friends still get nonsensical text messages and emails. Believing that it must be his computer somehow programmed to keep sending the messages, another friend goes over only to get ‘infected’ himself. When Mattie goes over herself she find the computer gone, sold off by the landlady and so she eventually tracks down the buyer, Dexter (Ian Somerhalder) only to see that he hasn’t even plugged it in yet. Before you know it the campus and classes are almost devoid of any students. It takes awhile for the rest of the world to realize that something is up, but before long there is panic in the streets around the world.

Dexter believes that Joshua created some code to fix the virus, but in order for him and Mattie to use it, they have to track down the owner of the system who has the computer that was hacked into. They might stop the virus, but is it already too late?

While the story was interesting and there was some pretty cool scenes and neat FX, I couldn’t help scratching my head at the many inconsistencies. There are silly actions taken on the part of just about everyone, and damn stupid cluelessness and nonchalant attitude as hundreds of people were disappearing at the beginning of the plague. A once full and bustling campus is nearly bare and yet the few students still alive go to class. And Mattie only wonders why her friend hasn’t shown up to class? HELLO EVERYBODY! Sadly, Wes Craven himself is credited as the screenplay writer. I expected more from a guy like him.

Be content to be entertained by the trailer, it’s a much better movie than the film itself. And yes, I know there is not only a Pulse 2, but a Pulse 3. I have no idea what kind of ‘pulse’ is keeping these movies alive. In my opinion, the series has already flatlined.


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