Retro Film Review: Chameleon (1998)

in #filmlast month


While most actors are remembered as the main protagonists of feature films or television shows, Bobbie Phillips earned her fame through guest starring role in War of the Coprophages, classic episode of The X-Files. This memorable appearance managed to overshadow all other Phillips' incarnations, including the title role of Chameleon, 1998 television film directed by Stuart Cooper.

The plot is set in not so distant future where almost entire humanity lives in great megalopolises. This is quite convenient to authorities, because potential troublemakers could be easily located and disposed of. One of the tools for that is Kam (played by Bobbie Phillips), genetically engineered woman who can, among other things, blend with the environment. One of her task is elimination of Aede (played by Anthony Simcoe), anarchist hacker whose superchip could destroy powerful corporations and entire world economy. During the raid, Aede and his wife die, but the valuable chip gets taken by his little son Ghen (played by Eric Lloyd). Instead of terminating the boy, Kam gets overwhelmed by maternal feelings and decides to protect him. When her superiors start to target her, Kam decides to seek shelter in the world beyond city limits.

Bobbie Phillips might be talented actress, but this could hardly be established from films like Chameleon, burdened by bad scripts and uninspired direction. Bennett Cohen's idea to mix the concept of Waterworld with some kind of cyberpunk environment (which was becoming old-fashioned in late 1990s) is compromised by the series of annoying cliches. But the most annoying thing about this film is in the way producers tried to exploit some Phillips' more obvious assets and, at the same time, make film according to American television standards. The result of that is in few pathetic quasi-erotic scenes where protagonist's alleged nudity can't fool anyone - duct tape can be easily seen on strategic locations. Such sloppiness is just one of many reasons why Chameleon doesn't deserve recommendation.
RATING: 2/10 (-)

(Note: The text in its original form was posted in Usenet newsgroup on July 26th 2004)

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